Frittata, masha o potata fritta, it doesn’t matter. Potatoes are THE crop to grow. Especially for all you first timers. It’s really hard to mess up this crop — believe me — I’ve come close, several times.
But they still come up daisies, even when they’re pushing daisies. As I mentioned before, my potato princesses died during the long hard freeze of January 2010. A sad day, but salvation came in the form of their babies. They survived!
Amazing, but true. I planted these at the end of October. (the green you see are my chickpea companions which ultimately perished as well) It was a risk, I knew, but I’m a risk taker at heart and figured potatoes in Florida? How cold can it get? Twenties, sure, for a night, maybe two. I can hold off Mother Nature for that long, no problem. Really?
Try four, maybe five and yep, you guessed it. She kicked my fanny. Like I always say (now, anyway), don’t go messing with Mother Nature. You do NOT want her on your bad side because she WILL show you who’s boss. Hint: it isn’t you.
So back to my success story. Yes, I went ahead, against the advice of my potato seed supplier and planted my crop of potatoes. I love potatoes and haven’t had fresh papas since summer. I missed “swimming” for the little guys, you know what I mean? And yes, as forewarned, I lost them. But tilling the soil for the next rotation – onions, in this instance – lo and behold, what do you know…potatoes! Some nice sized ones, too.
Talk about thrill. Well I looked down a few rows at my newest up and coming crop of these pups and thought, good job. You planted them after the freezing cold, they should do fine.
Wrong. Well on their way – poof — another wind blows down from Canada and we have near disaster. Near disaster, because like I said, I know how to protect them. With a quick glance upward, I first check with the lady upstairs. Then breathe a sigh of relief.
With some warm hay mulch and frost blanket, we can hang on for a few days.
Thankfully, that’s all it was this time, though I did “miss the memo” regarding the last two nights. I only happened to catch the late evening weather anchor mention the chance of frost — even freezing — but my husband waved it off.
“It’s not going to freeze tonight.” Translated: I’m not going out there at this hour to cover the plants and neither are you. Then he rolled over and went to sleep.
Hmph. Lucky for me, the girls only incurred a few brown tipped leaves during their shivery nights, but now seem no worse for the wear. A good thing, because I have several new potato recipes I can’t wait to try!
So, if you’ve always wanted to garden but felt your thumb was a bit too brown, trust me. Potatoes are the answer. Short on space? I recently discovered a great solution. The Lutovsky Potato box! Produce 100 lbs. of potatoes using only 4 sq. ft. of space.
No, I’m not kidding. Visit the link and see for yourself. Whether you have limited outdoor space or live in an apartment, you can grow and store a TON of potatoes. They are generous producers and very forgiving.