My First Spuds! What a surprise!

Spuds - These little guys are the first things to come out of my garden this year. I put the sunglasses beside them to show just how tiny these things are. Aren't they cute? LOL
@mentalward (14697)
United States
June 29, 2009 5:08am CST
I got a really cool surprise yesterday. I had started a potato plant in a large flower pot indoors early in the Spring this year because I just couldn't wait to get outside to do some gardening and it was still too cold to plant anything outside yet. The potato plant grew and looked very nice... until... It began outgrowing it's pot so I took it outside once it was warm enough and planted it in the ground. With all the rain we've had this season, the plant died, as did all the other potatoes I planted directly in the ground. Well, all but my sweet potatoes. Anyway, I planted more potatoes in the garden but, apparently, I didn't plant them where I planted the one I started outside. Yesterday, while loosening the dirt to plant more seeds, I dug up some tiny little spuds from my original plant! I was so surprised! They are sooooooooo cute! Two of them are as small as grapes but look exactly like their big brothers in the grocery stores! My husband loves raw potatoes so I gave him the largest one to munch on (about 3" long). He said it tasted great. So, I'm left with four TINY potatoes. Maybe I should make a tiny little potato salad? How about miniscule french fries? Actually, I was thinking of just boiling them with other, LARGER potatoes and making a salad from them. I just wanted you to see my cute little baby potatoes. I'm so proud of them! Have you harvested anything you've grown this year yet? I know that one member here, tatty lashes, is doing a wonderful job with her very first veggie garden and has already harvested some and eaten it. Way to go, tatty! I hope I get some spuds as large as hers! If you've harvested, have you taken photos? Want to share? I LOVE hearing about and seeing what others have done in their gardens.
4 people like this
9 responses
• United States
9 Jul 09
I have never grown potatoes, is it easy? What do you do?
@mentalward (14697)
• United States
9 Jul 09
Hi Lady! Potatoes are so easy I've been kicking myself for not trying them years ago! All they need is some rich garden soil. You can use potatoes you buy from the store. Just cut them up, making sure that there are at least two 'eyes' per section, give them a few hours or overnight to 'harden' (where the raw part dries over so it won't get diseased and rot) then stick them in the ground a few inches. Once they start to grow, you add garden soil (even dried grass clippings or hay works) around the stems and they'll produce new potatoes all along the stem. The more dirt (or whatever) you pile around them, the more potatoes you'll get. Some people use old tires to grow them in because they can add a tire to hold the dirt as you pile it up. Actually, you can use anything to pile around the stems, just so sunlight doesn't get to it because that's when the potatoes turn green and that part is poisonous. Keep the light away from them and they'll be fine. I'm using garden soil, just to make sure no light gets to the new potatoes. I don't have enough old tires to use that method and don't know where I could get more, so I just planted mine in the garden. I'm adding those garden "railroad ties" or whatever they're called, around my entire potato patch to keep the soil from washing away. I also read about growing potatoes in those 32 gallon plastic trash cans. Poke holes in the bottom and near the bottom for drainage, put a few inches of soil in them, then plant the potatoes. You can just add soil as needed, then just dump the whole thing over when it's harvest time. I'm thinking of trying that method next year. Other than that, there's nothing to it. I'm amazed at how easy they are to grow. I tried sweet potatoes for the first time last year but planted them a little too late and only got a few tiny sweet potatoes but, hey! It was my first attempt and I was so proud of those little potatoes! LOL I'm going to try the same thing with onions if I have some that start growing. Instead of throwing them out, I'll stick them in the ground. Just last week, I dug up a couple of onions that I had grown last year. Apparently, I missed them when I harvested them last year and they just kept growing! Some things are so easy and they make me feel really stupid for not doing them sooner. I've been gardening for about 40 years and never tried potatoes or onions until last year. So, if you try growing them yourself, enjoy it! They really are so easy!
@PeacefulWmn9 (10424)
• United States
6 Jul 09
Hi Mentalward...aw, those are cute little spuds. My mom used to scrabble around potato plants early, just to deliberately get some while they were tiny. She boil them with fresh peas and tiny perl onions and put hot cream over them. They we so delicious that way! Karen
• United States
6 Jul 09
Oops! I forgot to answer your question lol. I have a huge potted plant of early girl tomatoes growing on my patio. I've picked 3 already, large ones, too, and another will be ready tomorrow. They are delicious!
@mentalward (14697)
• United States
6 Jul 09
Oh, lucky you! My first tomato plants didn't make it because of the rain but the ones I planted afterward are doing fine, but I only have a couple of really tiny tomatoes right now. I'm drooling for that first ripe tomato! Maybe next year I'll plant a couple of tomato plants in planters on our deck. They should survive if we have another rainy season next year. I'm always so anxious for that first ripe tomato! That dish your mom made sounds very yummy! Maybe I'll give it a try. I should have some tiny potatoes very soon because my second crop is doing really great. I've had peas and pearl onions but never with tiny potatoes... it really does sound good.
@Annie2 (594)
• United States
30 Jun 09
We pulled up a few of our little "new" potatoes and cooked them. They were really good. This is the first time I've ever planted potatoes. We'll leave the rest to grow into bigger potatoes. The potato plants were huge and beautiful, but now they've fallen over. I don't have dirt to put on top, which would be great for producing more potatoes -- I can't afford to buy dirt, I don't have a way to haul it, either. We had onions -- only a few of them came up, but they were good. We've been eating our leaf lettuce. It looks like our squash plants are becoming giants with beautiful blooms. The carrots and broccoli are growing. We only have one or two watermelon plants that came up. The green beans didn't make it. The peppers are growing slowly, but surely. Tomatoes are appearing on only one plant so far. We had so much rain and storms that I'm surprised anything is surviving. The plants were constantly beat down by the rain and I was sure they would just rot. But, for the most part, they are doing well.
@mentalward (14697)
• United States
3 Jul 09
That's great news, Annie! My second attempt at a garden is also doing well. I know that tomatoes get fussy sometimes and refuse to produce blossoms if they are too hot, too cold, too wet or too dry. They love rain, just not as much as we've been getting this season! My second attempt at tomatoes is doing well and have noticed buds on all of them and one TINY little tomato. As for the potatoes, if you cut your grass, you can save the clippings and, after they've dried out, pile that around your potatoes. It works! You can use hay, too. Apparently, potatoes don't really care what they grow in, just so there's something to hold them up and protect the new spuds from the sunlight. At least, this is what I read. I might experiment with that one of these days but I did read that in a gardening forum and on other sites about growing potatoes so there must be something to it. Good luck!
1 person likes this
@Annie2 (594)
• United States
3 Jul 09
Thank you for that information about the tomatoes. I have a small yard, so I don't have tons of grass clippings, but I'll use what I can. I do have a portion of a bale of un-used straw leftover from winter (used to keep bunnies warm), so I can use that! Thank you!
@Chevee (5915)
• United States
29 Jun 09
Peppers - Just a few of my crops for 2009
Your spuds look great. I didn't plant much. I do have a picture of some of my peppers that I grew. My tomato plant didn't make it. We are having the opposite weather from you we need rain, we get thunder alone with lightning but never any rain. The rain is coming down all around us just not in this area. I have to water my plants constantly to keep them from dying. Here is a picture of the peppers I took.
@mentalward (14697)
• United States
29 Jun 09
Wow, Chevee, they look gorgeous! You've done an excellent job from what I can see. I wish I could send this rain down your way, at least for a little while. We had a sunny Saturday, rainy Sunday, it's sunny today and rain is expected tomorrow. That's how it's been since Spring first arrived. Actually, a bit before Spring, actually. We had a bad drought here two years ago. It was my first year with a well and I was afraid the well would run dry because my plants needed water. I did bring buckets of water up from the lake, but they were too heavy for me and the climb back up to my garden was just too much so I didn't use too much lake water. One of these days, I should install a pump and hose so I could just pump the water up from the lake. Geez, now that I think of it, it's just not fair! We're having so much rain, plus I live on a lake and you're down there with no rain and no lake. We have too much, you don't have enough. I've always thought that either the Federal Government or each individual State Government should install a drainage system that connects with each connecting State where we'd be able to pump flood water to areas having droughts. It would save so much in the long run; not just for food, but human lives and properties! But, I'm just a littl peon and the government won't listen to me. But, your peppers look absolutely wonderful! I adore banana peppers and wish I could take a big old bite out of yours! LOL I had them growing last year, but this year's crop was killed by the rains so I gave up on them until next year. I just have habanero peppers growing right now.
@Chevee (5915)
• United States
29 Jun 09
Thanks you all just made my day.
@ElicBxn (60884)
• United States
29 Jun 09
wow, something came out of the flood after all, potatos are pretty amazing
@mentalward (14697)
• United States
29 Jun 09
Yes, I was really surprised when I found them. I thought for sure that everything had rotted away. Now, I've REALLY got the gardening bug for more potatoes. This is so cool! When potatoes I buy start to sprout before I use them this fall or winter, I'm going to toss them in a planter. I might not get big potatoes but I'll get more smaller ones! That's a lot better, in my opinion, than just tossing the potatoes in the trash. I saw what you wrote under the photo and, no, I won't name them. If I did that, I'd feel like a cannibal or something when I go to eat them. If I gave them names, I'd want to keep them as pets.
1 person likes this
@ElicBxn (60884)
• United States
29 Jun 09
But they are so CUTE!! Maybe you can frame the picture, or dress them up in photo shop or something! Mr. Potato Head, eat your heart out!
@WebMann (4732)
• Canada
29 Jun 09
Awesome, we did the same thing and just yesterday I decided I was going to dig another 4 foot square garden to plant those potatoes and in. I have two large pots I planted them in but I took one potato and quartered it for each pot. I think one quarter in each pot would have worked so I may keep one in each pot and then put the others in the new garden patch I am digging up. I won't be doing that today. We had a great sunny weekend but this morning it's pouring and not suppose to stop until mid-Wednesday. I remember as a kid I loved to dig up potatoes, brush them off on my pants and then chomp down on them raw. They are so good. The only thing we have had so far are strawberries. I started one strawberry plant last year, cut off any flowers and fruit to make it stronger and enjoyed the best strawberries I have had in many many years.
@mentalward (14697)
• United States
29 Jun 09
Cool! Take pictures when you harvest them! I know all about rain, believe me! We got almost 8" of rain in May and over 5" so far this month. We were supposed to have a rain-free weekend, but it did rain some yesterday. One storm and a lot of drizzle off and on. I'd LOVE to see one entire week without rain. I'm so sick of it! Hopefully, your rain will end a little earlier than expected. I know what it does to gardening-lovers. I look outside the window and get so depressed when it's raining for days on end! It's funny, my mother grew up on a farm. They grew all kinds of vegetables, plus chickens. When I was growing up, the only thing my mother ever planted was tomato plants. Weird. We had grape vines, so she would make grape jelly every year, and also made stewed tomatoes each year that she would can to eat throughout the winter, especially for my father who adored stewed tomatoes and could make a meal out of a quart jar of them. But, my mother never grew anything besides tomatoes, although she did talk about all the veggies they grew on her farm. I was given the title "Keeper of the Garden" when I was about 10 years old. That's when the gardening bug really hit me, but mostly I grew flowers, well, and tomatoes. It wasn't until maybe 30 years ago when I became addicted to vegetable gardening and have tried new things each year. We moved here two years ago and this is the first place I've ever lived where I had enough room to grow everything I've ever wanted. I have a lot of fruit and nut trees growing now, although none have produced anything except for one peach tree and an almond tree. I have blueberries, blackberries and raspberries on my bushes right now, getting ripe. I've had to put netting over them to keep the birds from stealing them as soon as they ripen, though. I learned that the hard way last year. Also, I was waiting for my peaches to ripen this year and noticed that all but 3 have disappeared. I think a deer got to them. Living in the country sure does have it's drawbacks! Slowly, but surely, we're getting fencing around the area where I have all these things growing so, hopefully, next year, I'll be able to harvest a lot more fruit. Sorry... I got a little too caught up in my gardening frenzy here. I really ought to go out and make sure the geese aren't trying to steal the tiny pumpkins and cantalope I have growing. (They did last year.) It's supposed to rain again here tomorrow, so I guess I should do what I can today. Good luck with your garden and I hope you get some sunshine soon!
@WebMann (4732)
• Canada
29 Jun 09
Great background story. Thanks, it reminded me of some good times as a kid. I tend to think of mostly bad things from my past but it's great to recall some positive ones. We bought a net for our strawberries as the birds do seem to like them as much as we do, they just don't clean up their plate when they are done and leave strawberry remains everywhere. Glad you have a place to grow now. :)
@Ldyjarhead (10157)
• United States
29 Jun 09
Good job! They really are cute, LOL ... I've never grown potatoes. To me they take up too much room and they're not that expensive in the stores. I've got a few tomato plants, 2-3 cucumber and a couple rows of corn in my small garden this year. I wasn't able to amend the soil and get things started the right way, but I wanted to get something in the ground before it was too late. I've got 2 tomatoes on one plant now and loads of flowers on the rest that will hopefully yield a decent crop.
@mentalward (14697)
• United States
29 Jun 09
Oh, that's wonderful, Ldy! I have yet to see a tomato on my plants. The first ones I planted were washed out by all the rain we've had, so I had to start over. My tomato plants now have blossoms so I'm hoping to see my first tiny green tomato very soon. I had plans this year for a massive garden, but the weather had other plans. Besides all the rain, we had an unusually cold Spring but things are finally beginning to take off now. I grew corn one year and it was the best-tasting corn ever! I'm convinced it's because corn starts to lose it's sugar content the second it's picked. Even corn in grocery stores that was just put out was picked at least days earlier, so when you pick the corn yourself and eat it right away, it's ultra-sweet and tasty! Geez, now I'm starting to drool! I wish I had corn growing! Maybe next year. I did just put cucumber seeds in the ground last week and hope to at least get a few of them before it gets too late in the season. Man! Lucky you! I can see you eating that first ripe tomato now. You just can't buy that taste in any store!
@dragon54u (31617)
• United States
29 Jun 09
Would they have grown bigger if you'd left them in the dirt? Those are so very cute!! I have some peas and green beans that are ready. Not too many but I don't want them to hang there and go to waste. At least, I hope they're ready! This is my first vegetable garden since I was very small and I've forgotten anything I learned way back then. My batteries won't charge or I'd post a picture. The pumpkin plants really take up most of the garden--I thought they were squash seeds. Remember, when you harvest seeds, always label them!
• China
30 Jun 09
Congratulations mentalward! Your little potato look really cute...And your experience reminds me of what happened when I was in grade 3...I still remember that day our class teacher gave us some seeds of strawberry. I went home and planted them carefully...everyday I went to observe them growing and take notes after school...several weeks after, I got some tiny little fruits! I was so happy and that was my first time to harvest something...but I didn't take any photos, what a pity...keep gardening, dear :)