June 1, 2020
I had no idea potato plants produced flowers. I probably should not be surprised, as most plants that bear fruit produce flowers during the process. Still, I was surprised to be watering my garden and see these beautiful purple flowers with what looked like yellow stamen on the biggest of the eight plants. The potato is a tuber and not a fruit on the vine. I know, technically the potatoes are not a fruit either, but the online resource I checked says what can be produced by the flower is a fruit that resembles a small green tomato. While potatoes flowering is normal, the flowers usually dry up and fall off without producing fruit. I hope I get some tiny “green tomatoes.”
My resource went on to say the flowering is a sign of nearing maturity and harvest. This part surprises me even more as the projected harvest is around the 25th of July and it is only the first of June. This plant did grow fastest and is tallest and it might be I just put an older plant in the ground to begin with. Whatever the reason, I will need to keep a close eye on it to make sure it is acting “normally.”
One of the fun things about raising a garden is seeing new things I have never paid attention to before. I have never tried to grow potatoes, and now I am watching and learning how they go from an eye in the side of a shriveled-up spud to a plant reaching over 30” tall. None of the plants are the same height. The smallest are only about two feet and two of the larger ones are pushing past 30”. The other four vary somewhere in between. I have mentioned the expectation of harvest, but even with my flowers I am determined to let them run the course of their life. I guess if the plant begins to die, I will have to change my approach.
THOUGHTS: The longer I live the more I find life continues to bring unexpected wonder. When I was in High School, I thought I knew everything that needed to be known. When I went to college, I found a breadth to the world I never knew existed. Then in graduate School I realized it was no longer about knowing, it was about knowing where to “look it up.” Too often we find people stuck in the first stage of understanding. We know everything we need to know. I am glad I was able to get to the point where I realized I did not know it all. I hope you find yourself at that stage as well. If you venture out, stay safe.