Potato Digging

Growing and Harvesting Potatoes in the Subsistence Garden

I debate often with myself about whether gardening is worth it.  I have thought that there must be a monetary return. But what I really hang up on is the labor input.  So I kept good track this time for potatoes. We bought two bags of seed potatoes from Tractor Supply this spring. A bag of yellows and a bag of blues.  I also had a partial bag of grocery store red potatoes that had started sprouting I decided to just plant. The two bags of seed potatoes cost about $6 total.  

I figure it took me about 2 hours to prep the bed including tilling and planting.  Maybe an hour of weeding, and potato beetle picking during the growing period. And then another hour to dig, sort and wash.  So about 4 hours. My beds are 50’ long, but had onions at the foot of this bed. So maybe 35-40’ of bed space.  

My harvest was only 20 ½ pounds.  Pretty abysmal. My labor isn’t worth much in this case.  I have to focus on the fact that I am displacing some of my grocery store budget.  The self sufficiency is worth something. I believe my garden is worn out old row crop field.  And I desperately need to bring in compost. I am also going to be liming heavily.

Next year I’ll plant a full bed.  And top dress with compost. And I need to get a good fertilizer program started.  I would like to make my own fish fertilizer. I hope to share my process and findings in future posts on homemade fish fertilizer.


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