This year we decided to give homegrown potatoes a try. We purchased a couple of assorted seed potatoes from West Coast Seeds, along with a few potato bags to grow them in. I have to say that everything worked out really well!
Growing the potatoes was very easy. The seed potatoes we purchased were a tri-colour mix of yellow, red and purple, so we planted one of each colour in each potato bag. The neat thing about planting the tri-colour mix is that we could tell which plant was which by the colour of the stalks. The purple potato plant had a deep purple stalk, while the red one had slight red streaks to it. The yellow potato plant had a basic green stalk, but it was easy to spot when compared to the other two.
The plants grew very well in the growing bags, and eventually we had tiny purple flowers on top of all three types. We even grew a few potato fruits, which look like tiny green tomatoes! However, beware, because potato fruits are actually poisonous so make sure to pick them and throw them away (especially if you have little kids around who might be tempted to pick them, or mistake them for a tomato).
Since we only grew a small amount we planned to eat them fresh, instead of storing them long-term. After the flowers died off and the plant stalks started to wither, the potatoes were ready to harvest. Voila!
It was immensely satisfying cutting through these crisp, fresh potatoes with a sharp knife. It felt like cutting butter, or a soft piece of fruit. Once cooked, they were deliciously creamy too!
I will definitely grow more potatoes in the future again. Next year I think I would plant less in each bag, but gardening is always about experimenting and it’s tough when you’re dealing with limited space on a balcony. If I owned a piece of land, I’d devote a nice big square to them. 🙂