We'd started way back when with an organic potato split in half that looked like this (more on the whole project here):
We'd (Basil included) really built this moment up in our heads, doing lots of online research to ensure we'd end up with "bags full of potatoes" in the fall season — which is finally here. Can anyone else believe it's actually November already?
For those following along, we'd been waiting to see signs of purple flowers or yellowing leaves as a clue for when to harvest them from the bags. We'd also heard it was good to go ahead and get them out of the ground before the first frost.
Well, the first frost was near, as was Hurricane Sandy, and above all else we noticed last week that a good portion of the leaves on the vines just seem to be dying. Not yellowing, but more like something was wrong with them:
See what I mean?
We decided now was a good time to go ahead and find out what had been growing in those coffee sacks over the past 5 months. To get things started I snipped the vines from where they were growing out of the soil and set the support structure we built to the side.
Then I went to flip the coffee sack over, thinking I would be able to just dump all the potatoes out when the entire bag just ripped apart as I grabbed it. We chalked this up to just being left out in the open exposed to all the elements for an extended period.
Then the moment of truth came — I began digging around the dirt with my hands, feeling around for the potatoes:
And to our surprise (and admitted horror), here's what I unearthed:
What!?? Yep guys, this was it:
I started digging around furiously trying to find all the rest of the potatoes. Tell us we're wrong, tell us there's more, we were thinking and laughing at the same time. They are basically like huge sweet potato fingers. We are saving them to make something with — even if it's just 4 lone sweet potato fries. haha.
So that's what we have to show for all these months worth of trying to grow sweet potatoes in bags and all the blog posts we laid out showing how to do so. We contemplated going back and editing all those posts to say something like "how to grow sweet potato fingers."
Sweet. Potato. Fingers.
We're not quite sure what went wrong. Maybe we started too late, maybe we harvested too early. Maybe bags aren't quite as conducive to growing potatoes as we hoped. Maybe we over-watered, maybe we under-watered. We definitely didn't add any growth chemicals or fertilizers.
But you know what? We want to try again next year. We're taking this on as a challenge, and yes, we are crazy.
Ironically enough, today Jennie sent us this video and blog post from another blogger in Canada who also just harvested her sweet potatoes. After seeing her luck with growing them in bags vs. in the ground, it's pretty funny:
Sorry for the let-down guys! Have any of you had luck growing sweet potatoes? We'd love any tips for hopping back on the bandwagon as soon as spring rolls back around!
Catch up on our full sweet potato growing experiment here.