My straw-grown potatoes…

As we move nearer and nearer towards the end of autumn (in terms of the weather and its impact on plants and on the vegetation and not with reference to the official date for the beginning of winter), I thought that maybe it was time that I harvest the potatoes that I had planted in a basket of straws. For those who might have read and remembered from my previous sharing on my balcony garden, I had written about my attempt to try to plant some potatoes in straws after I had read about it on the Internet. After realising that I could successfully grow potatoes in plastic shopping bags … you could say that I was quite eager to find out whether I would be able to successfully do so in straws! So I had been waiting for the time when I could unearth (or is it unstraw? ;)) the potatoes in the basket!

I planted the seed potatoes three months ago, thus enough time to allow the potatoes to grow big enough to harvest … although ideally, it would have been better to have let them grow some more. But since I had noticed that the plants had begun to die … partly as a result of the cooler autumn weather and partly because I had been remiss in watering the straws at times … I decided that I might as well  just harvest whatever potatoes that I could find so that I could use the basket for my compost … and also … so that I would not have to do it when the weather would be too cold to be doing so on the balcony or in the case it would have even started to snow! Well, okay … I know it is highly unlikely to snow any time soon given the warm spell (for autumn I mean because it is still cooler than summer!) that we have had in recent weeks … but … you can never know with the weather! Last year, we had had heavy snowfalls towards the end of November, heavy enough for the hubby to make a snowman from the snow that had fallen on our balcony! So … who knows …

Frankly, I was not sure what to expect and did not put too much hope of finding any decent potatoes in the straw basket, knowing that I had planted them outside of its season … and especially when I saw that my carrots, which I had also planted in late summer, were not growing well at all! But one can only hope, right? 🙂

Anyway… I think I will let the photos show you how many potatoes I got to harvest from my basket of straws last Saturday  …

Only after removing more than half of the straws from the basket … did I finally see some potatoes peeking out! I cannot tell you how thrilled I was when I saw these lovelies! 🙂

I decided to put the used straws in a garbage bag … so as to be able to recycle them as compost for next year. As you can see from the picture above, the potatoes were not very big. In fact, I would call them baby potatoes!

I am not too sure whether it was because they were planted in straws and therefore they might not have got as many nutrients as those grown in treated soils which I had used for the rest of the other plants … or … because the climate were not ideal for their development, as I had planted them very late in the season!

Nevertheless, as you can see … there were many (small) potatoes in that straw basket in comparison with my plastic bag or pot harvests. So comes spring 2012, I am definitely going to plant more potatoes in these straws … to see whether they grow bigger when planted at the appropriate season … and of course, in order to use up the big plastic bag full of straws I have not been able to use this year lah! 🙂

The radishes that were planted in late September … still growing well despite the cooler autumn weather … and ready to be harvested.

I decided to harvest some that day so that they could be added into the salad mix.

Plus some of these green lettuces … even though they are not very big yet. But big enough to be picked and added into the salad mix lah! I should have enough supply to last me through winter, I think! hehehe ….

And for the past few days, I also took the opportunity to harvest the last remaining bunches of the mini grapes, the bird’s eye chillies, strawberries and cherry tomatoes … before they start to dry up for being left too long on the plants!

But harvesting was not the only thing that I had been doing during the past few days on the balcony … I had also been busy planting onion bulbs and garlic cloves. So that hopefully comes summer, I will have some onions and garlic to harvest! Won’t that be nice? 🙂

Other entries on my balcony garden:

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One thought on “My straw-grown potatoes…

  1. Pingback: Purple crisps 100% homemade | à la mode de chez nous

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