When potatoes begin to flower, new potatoes are likely ready. If your soil is sandy loam or peat, you can reach beneath the plant and feel the tubers. They can be taken without killing the plant, if done with care. That technique worked in the soils I had in the two previous places I gardened. However in the brownish red clay I have here, it doesn’t work as well. I’ll need to get the fork out and lift. But the rewards are well worth it.
These potatoes are in a bed where I seeded annual rye grass as a cover crop last fall. In March, I saw seed potatoes at the hardware store and came home with a bag. When I removed the staples and opened the bag, I realized they were already sprouted and ready to plant. I didn’t have the ground prepared for them, but decided to get them in any way.
I cut the rye grass down with a line trimmer and turned shovels full of dirt and put in the sprouted potatoes. I didn’t dig the whole bed, just spaces for potatoes. When the potatoes sprouted, some of the rye had come back. I cut it again and smothered the grass with some of last fall’s leaves.
Generally, it is not recommended to plant in recently cut rye grass. The rye roots deter other seeds from sprouting. But the potatoes were already sprouted and don’t seem to have suffered. Soon there will be some on the table.
PS – also not recommended if you are going for a professional looking blog is to have your phone’s shadow in a photo