Disappointing potato harvest

I just harvested the first two tubs of patio potatoes. It’s not terribly impressive.

Disappointing spud harvest
Oh dear

It is about what I expected from these two pots, unfortunately. They are two that we’ve had for a while now, and they have internal water reservoirs at the bottom. Usually that really helps the plants to survive my sporadic watering, but this year April was so wet the tubs filled up with water when the potatoes were still getting going. Once that happens, it’s a real battle to get them dried out again, and the thunderstorms we’ve had since have been great for refilling the water butts but bad for these potatoes.

It turns out (and I think this has been historically well documented) that potatoes don’t do so well in a bog.

A learning experience for the future, I guess. Because although this year’s pattern of heavy downpours has been unusual, maybe it won’t be so much in the future.

Fortunately this year we planted four tubs of potatoes rather than two, and the other two tubs have normal drainage. The new water butts have made watering much easier, which means my watering is less sporadic. So we’ll see what they turn up – maybe next week. I’ve also got some seed potatoes left that I’m planning to try for a second crop. You never know!

For the two harvested pots, I have a second crop of bush french beans and a cherry tomato all ready to go. With a bit of luck they are already big enough to absorb a lot of the extra water and give me another harvest. We’re getting mange tout from a couple of troughs down the side of the conservatory (not a lot yet, but that’s ok) and I have some climbing french beans that are doing well. I need to harvest my red currants, and the blackcurrants and blueberries are on the way.

First mange tout coming through
Red currants imminent

None of these harvests will be large, even if they all grow well. We’re fortunate to not be relying on this hobby of mine, so I can be pretty philosophical about the lessons they give me instead. I don’t miss the Brighton veg garden, and I’m not hankering for an allotment. The big lesson from Brighton was that bigger harvests take a lot of time and effort, and I’m much better at writing software! But a small harvest beats no harvest, so I’ll keep growing.

2 replies on “Disappointing potato harvest”

Yes, I’ve heard good things about those. These tubs have served me well for a few years now though – normally I’m more worried about forgetting to water rather than excess rain! For example, last April when I planted we were already low on rainfall and heading into one of the worst droughts the UK has seen. It’s just quite unpredictable.

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