Monday, August 24, 2015

Potato Dandelion Harvest and Redistribution

My container grown Potato Dandelions, Krigia dandelion, yielded a record crop of tubers this year.  The half pound of tubers contained in this cereal bowl all came from a pot with an eight inch inside diameter.  My calculations estimated six tubers produced for every square inch of soil surface.

Total harvest for the year was 1.2 pounds of tubers.  I calculated that the average tuber weight was 0.78 grams.  That means there were about 700 tubers produced this year.

Tuber size ranged from about one inch down to one tenth of an inch.  The larger tubers will sprout multiple shoots next spring, while the smaller will yield only one shoot each.

Into the eight inch pot, I planted five large tubers and four small.  This equals what I put into the pot last August, and that multiplied into nearly 300 in the course of a single growing season.  I hope these do as well.

I’ve dedicated a couple more containers to Potato Dandelion production.  This pot has a 23 inch inside diameter, giving it eight times the growing room of the smaller pot.  That means it has the potential of producing nearly four pounds of tubers.  I would find that truly remarkable.

As I did last year, I planted the extra tubers into suitable locations in the woods.   Since I had more tubers to work with than I had anticipated, I planted about half of the tubers in areas away from the planned ridge top.  I moved down the hill and began planting at the edge of the tree line just above the barrens openings.  I made scattered plantings from there on up to the ridge top.

I chose planting sites that had friable soil, had little competing plant growth, were away from major animal pathways, and had a high probability of receiving plenty of early spring sunlight.

Once a site was selected, I cleared away the surface litter in a 10-12 inch long swath across the slope.

I then used the pointed end of an old two prong weeding hoe to dig twin grooves about 2 inches deep.  Into the grooves I planted 16 to 20 tubers.  For those who might misconstrue the condition of the tool as a sign of neglect on my part, be advised that I found the hoe half buried in the yard about a year after we moved here.  A thick layer of concrete on the head and lower portion of the handle suggested that the tool had been used for mixing concrete prior to its disposal.  The tool is in much better shape now than it was the day I found it.

Next, I returned the removed soil and firmed it into place.

Finally, I replaced the original surface litter.  You can’t even tell that anything had been done here.

In the vicinity of the plants that performed so well after last year’s tuber planting, I planted three small blocks of tubers.  These blocks were located near easily identifiable features that will make it easy for me to monitor their progress.  Hopefully, next spring will begin with Potato Dandelion flowers scattered through the woods.


  1. Wow, what an awesome yield of tubers! Thanks for sharing. This makes me want to grow some, too!

    1. Hi, Green Gal. I'm glad to see your blog is active again. Growing plants in containers allows you to give them the extra attention that allows them to produce to their maximum potential.

  2. Hi Steve... Have you been looking for my obituary, or have you got some scientific way of seeing if Grammie is still kicking. I could be pushing up daisies or potato dandelions.
    Are you trying to make me curious to what to heck you was talking about. :}
    I had to go back and dig through your past post to find out what those blooms look like, and I didn't have one of those nifty hoes to use. That is a great tool !!!!!
    It is good to see that you are keeping busy with very interesting projects.
    I have found out about things on here I had no clue about.
    Just keep the snakes away HaHa :}


    1. Hi, Grace. I did wonder what you were up to, but I figured Renee would have commented if some disaster had occurred.
      When I found that tool, it looked like it still had some good years left to it, so I cleaned it up as best I could. It waited patiently in the barn for just this job.
      I haven't been seeing many snakes lately, so you are probably safe there. If I do post about a snake, I always put the snakes's picture first thing as a warning to click away fast if you feel threatened.
      We'll have to wait until spring to see how those Potato Dandelions survive the winter.