Wednesday, August 21, 2013

Time to Dig Potatoes

Ouch!  Shhhh: don't tell the bees and wasps where I am.  I'm hiding indoors, behind screens, waiting for them to chill out.  One little sting and two humongous stings/bites, and I'm a little worried about finishing the potato-digging.  Those angry fellows and their stingers had a ground hive (of which I was unaware until 10 minutes ago!) in my compost pile masquerading as a potato patch.

Apparently, I should have dug potatoes sooner.  Next year, Susan, do not wait until the vines dry up.  Go out and dig when the potato vines BEGIN to wither and dry.  This year, the red potatoes did okay.  [Rachel, Rachel: warning.  Do not swoon or puke at the rest of this paragraph.]  The Yukon Gold, however, with their tenderness and their thin skins, were a feast for the centipedes.  Yuck yuck yuck.  I did keep some that were unmolested.  But it was icky to dig in a spot where there should've been several potatoes and find only a swarm of fat centipedes.  Or to pull out three nice potatoes with a couple of slimy ones that were half eaten.  Next year, be earlier!!

About a month after planting potatoes this year, I had a huge pile of wood ash from the burn pit.  I spread it on half the potato patch, not knowing whether I was helping or hurting.  It was mind-boggling to see how the potato plants thrived where the ashes had been added to the compost pile.  But would the huge showy greenery mean lots of top and not much potato growing underneath?  Turned out there wasn't much difference between the two sections of the patch.  If anything, I think maybe the end with the ashes resulted in more food for the table. 

Well, time to head outside and see if I can finish the task.  But this time, I know what I'm up against.  I expect to disturb the wasp nest and make a run for it!   And if that doesn't work, I suppose the centipedes will enjoy the rest of my potatoes.


  1. I read your warning and just thought, "What could possibly be swoon- or puke-worthy about potatoes?"

    Shows what I know. I'm a little light-headed and nauseated now. And not looking forward to the next time I need to get potatoes out of my cupboard.

  2. Oh, silly, you're not going to have problems in your cupboard!!! It's the dirt, and leaving the potatoes there in the ground, all tasty and convenient.

  3. Got all the potatoes out. I think.

    But I also unearthed three combs. I don't know if they're honey combs or "brooding combs." I don't know if they're honey bees or ground bees. And I don't know what to do with them. If they're honey bees, I want them hanging around -- but NOT in my compost pile.

    My stings are swollen, inflamed, warm, red, sore. Boo.