Wednesday, February 2, 2011

Tanaman ubi kentang merah

I wonder if anyone notice that in my recent harvest post, I harvested potatoes. Did anyone wonder where I got the potatoes when I have not said anything about growing potato this warm season after my first attempt at growing potato, the  plant leaves were badly burned to crisp in November. Really, I did not intent to grow potato for this warm season, as I know it won’t survive the extreme hot weather here in summer. However, in the end of September last year, supermarket bought potatoes in my kitchen were sprouting many “eyes”. I had problem germinating chili seeds so I borrowed the space that I allocate for chili to potato. I did not think that the potato will give me anything, it just for fun. It is growing in a very partial shade area and as you know potato needs  a lot of sunshine.

DSC09378 A few days later, potato baby plants pushing its way out from the soil.


Early November, our sowed chili seeds have not yet germinated for us and the potato plant has grown very fast on one row where chili seedlings were planned to be transplanted.


In early December, this patch was such a mess and potato plants start to make other plants very annoyed. Tomato and carrot need some breathing space. Coriander seeds need to be harvested and end season flowers need to be cleared up.DSC00166

Potato flower bud. What colour do you think it is?


White coloured flower potato plant.


Somehow, I managed to make this veggie patch look more tidy after the big mess. Now you can see the tomatoes, carrots and rockmelon young plants.


End of January, Mr. ROCK-Melon plants are scrambling on top of the wilted potato plants. Mr. ROCK-melon is much more stubborn than potato regarding space and its trying to get my attention that I better let him have more space because some of the pregnant females are getting heavier with fruit. Fruiting in partial shade? Believe me we had success growing honey-dew melon here last summer vertically and horizontally in this patch. This year we try our luck with Rockmelon.


I was not expecting any spud. But I was really happy when I pull the wilting potato plants and saw this. My mother was also excited as she was beside my the whole time I was harvesting potatoes. I am happy that I can give her some fresh potatoes to make her special blend juice in the morning.  Do you know when I started to grow plants on this patch it was very heavy clay soil (tanah merah/laterit). It was so hard to dig in with the previous soil condition. However, every time before I grow plants on this patch I will dig in compostable things like grass clippings, kitchen and green waste into the soil. It has been one year and a half since I routinely done this and now I have a black humus soil on top. It is still not the ideal soil yet, but I was kind of surprise when I realised all the energy I spent digging in compostable stuff has actually worked with the helped of the small creatures living in the soil.


Some of the potatoes were exposed to light and they are sprouting due to my negligence not covering them with soil or straw. Do you think I can keep them until early April in the kitchen cupboard and plant them back?


I wonder if anyone is familiar with the variety of this potato?  It grows well during summer here in this patch so I am thinking of growing this variety again next spring. Nice timing, chili seeds that my mother sowed has grown to a nice size for transplanting on this patch. Last summer, chili seedlings that I grown were also the ones that my mother sowed. Does it mean it won’t work with my hand but only my mother’s?


cikmanggis said...

Pertama kali Cm lihat pokok ubi kentang dan bunganya.Terfikir nak cuba tanam kentang..oh ya pokok ketumbar yang Cm tanam dulu kelihatan sangat bantut dan berhenti membesar.Kecewa tapi nak cuba lagi

Anonymous said...

Here it is custom to grow potatoes as a first crop in a new garden. They loosen up the hard clay and provide better soil for next crop to come.
Beautiful picture of potato flowers!

One said...

You are so fortunate. Potatoes without effort. I have tried growing them unsuccessfully. No problems with chillies though. Like you said, maybe red suits me better.

I have not harvested my sunflower seeds because new flower buds appeared. They come one at a time with breaks in between. ???

Mark Willis said...

As vrtlarica ana has said, potatoes are often recommended as a first crop in a new garden. Their extensive root system is very good at breaking down compacted soil, and their dense foliage is good for supressing the weeds whose seeds are brought to the surface of the new cultivation. Those spuds you grew certainly look nice! If it were me, I would not try to keep the green ones for replanting. I don't think they would do very well, but if you do decide to keep them,keep them cool. I am intrigued to hear about the special juice your mother likes, that involves potatoes. Tell us more about it, please.

hafez zahruddin said...

Nice red poppies! I wish I can grow poppies in Malaysia.
On the other hand... Let me try ordering some seeds from online seed stores... *contemplating*

Eliza @ Appalachian Feet said...

The latest issue of How to Find Great Plants is here and your pyrethrum post is listed (you have much better luck with these beautiful daisies than I ever have)! Thanks so much for participating, I hope you will again next month. Here’s the issue:

It's great that your potatoes did so well -- I'm sure the soil you have been amending made the biggest difference. I also have clay soil and I've had to work hard to make it healthy enough to grow good potatoes.

Tatyana@MySecretGarden said...

Congratulations on your potatoes! A similar story happened to me. I planted store-bought potatoes when they sprouted and got a good harvest! I call them 'accidental potatoes'.
Thank you for the comment on my blog!

Hafiz said...

I have one potato plant in my backyard right now. I started to plant them last November I guess. How do you know that the potato is ready to be harvest? Got it first flower already..

Autumn Belle said...

During my first attempt in growing potatoes, I buried them inside the soil, so it rotted after some time eventhough shoots appeared from the eyes. I'm thinking of trying again since it is good for the soil. I have no problems with sweet potato vege which spreads very fast.

Sue Garrett said...

We too have often used potatoes to break up heavy clay soil. Often when harvesting potatoes a few are left behind accidentally which grow and produce a few potatoes. Generally though if you keep putting spare potatoes back in the soil you run the risk of growing diseased crops.

Malay-Kadazan girl said...

CikManggis~ Pertama kali tengok ubi kentang tu berbunga seronok sangat asyik duduk belek-belek je. Coriander tu dia duduk sorang-sorang ke atau ada kawan kat keliling?Dalam pasu ke?

Vrtlarice ana~Thank you for reminding me that potato help break clay soil. I keep on forgetting about it. Now I can make plan to plant some potatoes in our clay soil in autumn:).

Kwee Peng~After the first big one bloom~ break~after that the anak-anak will bloom simultaneously or one by one. How about trying red potato?

Mark Willis~ Thank you for the advice. My mom drinks this blend juice of potato, carrot, apple (a bit of lemon/lime or can substitute with tomato) every day in the morning, one hour before breakfast. It is said good for people who has lung, liver or cancer problem. For severe cancer it is recommended to take one hour before dinner as well.

Hafez~ I am not sure with growing poppy in Malaysia. The bees like them so much.

Eliza~ Sometime life is a bit funny, the thing that you don't expect to do well did beyond your expectation. But the things I planned don't go according to what I planned. That is my veggie patch story.

Tatyana~ Thank you for visiting. This "accidental potatoes" make the things happening in the garden more exciting don't they.

Hafiz~ It will depend whether you want to harvest them as baby potato or big ones. I don't have much experience growing potato yet. But after they flower, you can start bandicoot some potato from the plants. When they are wilting or the plant is drying off you can start harvesting them. But you don't need to rush harvesting them in this stage, the potato is safe in the soil unless you have other visitors like possum in your garden or it is extremely wet season and you don't want it to rot. In my 8th photo, some potato plants has already died and rockmelon rambling over the dead plant.

Autumn Belle~ Do you harvest sweet potatoes shoots?

p3chandan said...

I like this information on potatoes Diana, I want to try growing them like you but not sure whether I can get potatoes after that, or just leaves or anything at all but will like to try just for experiment.

Mr. H. said...

I enjoyed seeing the garden pictures and your potatoes look great. In the past, I have had pretty good luck planting store bought potatoes as well. You should have no problem holding that potato over for a couple months and replanting it..although those sprouts might become quite long. Wish I knew what variety it was...the grocer might be able to tell you.

Malay-Kadazan girl said...

Sue ~ I have many potato plant growing from kitchen waste (potato peels) that I dig in the soil accidentally. They don't produce that much but we got lucky with one plant giving us some spuds. Yes, we must be careful of desease. It was a hard decision for me when I thought of planting this store-bought potatoes, selected which look healthy.

p3chandan~It will a very fun experiment indeed. We started potato plant experimentally as well, it was not successful the first time but the second time gave us some surprise when we did not expect anything. I guess it is part of learning what suit potato needs in our garden.

Mr. H~ I have now start to realise this partial shade patch in our small garden potential. In summer I can used them to grow solanum as growing in our sunny patch cause them to wilt and stunted due to extreme hot weather. It also protected from the cold wind in winter so I can keep some plant as perenniel instead of annual. In winter, some leafy vegetable don't mind growing there. A very enlightening observation on that small partial shade area. I used to moan about having partial shade patch but now I am glad that it has provide us many food for the kitchen. Marketing sectors have play an important role of asking customer not to grow store bought potatoes but certified virus free seed potatoes. But I think if crop rotation is practise it won't be that much of a problem.

Malar said...

WOW! The potatoes and the flowers looks awesome! I never seen red potatoes before.
Like others, i'm thinking of planting potato too but can it withstand Malaysia's weather...

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