As mentioned, I began the potato harvest a bit late. The tops had died down about a month ago. Its not wise to leave them underground too long. Bugs will get at them, they could rot or resprout, so I was a bit worried when first I started pulling back the straw and compost and dirt. And yes, there were signs of neglect and at first I was worried I wouldn't have a very good harvest. My impressions are that this is not as good a harvest as in previous years, but having said that I've never been very methodical in the past. I've always planted in some sort of order but just harvested into a big potato sack and then used them as I like. And I've never been bothered weighing my harvest.
This year, my husband asked me to keep track of where I planted each type of potato and also asked me to store them separately so we'd know which is which. So, in the spirit of being methodical - this is the order of planting, reporting and photographing...nicola, coliban, desiree, pontiac, sebago....
Each year I buy a mix of seed potatoes. I've used Diggers club mixes, Eden Seeds and now in 2010 for the 2011 harvest - New Gippsland seed potatoes. They are often sold as "Gourmet Seed Potato mix". I planted 4 Nicola, 4 Coliban, 4 Desiree, 4 Pontiac, 20 Sebago on the 27th September 2010. Here are the harvest statistics:
- Nicola - 2 kilos (note nibbles by bugs)
- Coliban - 1.7 kilos
- Desiree - 1.9 kilos
- Pontiac - 5.3 kilos
- Sebago - 6.6 kilos
- Total harvest - 17.5 kilos
- Nicola: yellow/white: mashing, baking, boiling, salads
- Coliban: white: mashing, baking, boiling,
- Desiree: red: baking, boiling, gnocchi
- Pontiac: red: baking, boiling, grating
- Sebago: white: mashing, baking, boiling, frying.
So - white potatoes are good for mashing, all potatoes are good for baking (ain't that the truth) and each one (except the Coliban) has a speciality (salads, gnocchi, grating and frying). I love potato salad but I've never made gnocchi, I don't do much grating and frying - well - who wouldn't love that but you know the drill. Moderation.
And then here's the potato bed finished harvesting.