2011 Garden Reflections: Root Vegetables

As I look back on this second year in this garden, some of last year’s successes were repeated, others were not. Some of last year’s failures were corrected, others were not. Here are a few reflections.
You can read last year’s reflections part 1 & part 2.

Potatoes

I ordered too many potatoes this year for the space I had planned. They ended up taking a row and a half.

I was too eager and planted them too early before the soil was warm. Most varieties survived but I had to replant the Adirondack Blue. I did better with watering in the morning (and it rained enough) so that disease wasn’t a problem. Also the chickens enjoyed the potato beetles so I was better at picking them off for them to eat.
Our yields were better this year with 60 lbs of potatoes. I enjoyed the French Fingerling varieties because of how the potatoes grow out away from the stems. It make it easier to harvest a few without disturbing the plants too much. We liked having the Irish Cobbler as an early potato but they didn’t produce as much.

We found that we’re not eating the Adirondack Blue that much, I guess after a few years the novelty of the all blue has worn off. We’ll take the rest of them for mashed potatoes at Thanksgiving. I probably skip them next year and try to reduce my potato space, maybe to experiment with sweet potatoes.

The Romanze are supposed to be a good storage potato and were our main planting. Time will tell how they store. They did produce very large potatoes.

Beets

Beets were a bust. I had trouble with germination in the spring and fall planted ones didn’t size up. We got less than 2 lbs of beets all year. In fact, both beets and swiss chard did poorly this year in the same bed, where onions grew last year. So I may need to experiment with different placement and look into how to grow better beets.

Carrots

I’ve found that I get better carrots when I’m patient and leave them alone. I planted carrots in May and didn’t harvest until late August. We planted a mixed variety of colors and enjoyed the variety of colors and shapes.

I need to remember to use the board over the carrots to improve germination rates. I don’t find succession planting for carrots helpful, so I need to plant more in the spring and then again in July for my fall crop, instead of every two weeks. So this year’s carrot success is something to build on. They didn’t over-winter well last year and it’s impossible to get them out of the ground once it’s frozen, so I need to finish my harvest of the fall carrots soon.

This entry was posted in 2011, beets, carrots, Garden, potatoes. Bookmark the permalink.

2 Responses to 2011 Garden Reflections: Root Vegetables

  1. kitsapfg says:

    I have the same experience with carrots but this year I had some serious carrot fly infestation which really did alot of damage to my main crop. Generally though, I like to play them in April after the average last frost date and then just leave them until they are mature in mid to late summer. A July planting provides late fall harvests. This year I am growing several large containers of carrots in my greenhouse as an overwintered seeding that should provide carrots in spring time when things are growing but not producing much yet.

  2. Robin says:

    I had better luck with carrots this year then in the past. The spring planted carrots were good. But I should have left them in the ground longer. I had no success with my late planted carrots due to the hot weather.

    I have planted blue potatoes in the past also. Like you said, I think it’s a fascination with the color. Now I plant the best storage varieties that I can find.

    Have a Happy Thanksgiving with you family!

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