Master gardener Paul James repairs a stone path, creates a container for shade, and harvests potatoes and garlic.
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Filed under: Walkways, Flagstone, Grass, Flowers, Container Gardening, Vegetable Gardening, Vegetables
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Harvesting potatoes and garlic
Given that his potato plant vines have started to fade and turn brown, James suspects that it's time to harvest a few potatoes for dinner. He carefully scratches the soil surface to see if there are any potatoes ready for harvesting. In this case, James is growing the buttery variety known as 'Yukon Gold'. He backs off from the base of the plant a bit, stabs a pitchfork into the ground, and gently lifts.
Also in need of harvesting is garlic. "I've got two types of garlic — a hard-neck variety that produces a curious flower at the end of a tall stalk and a soft-neck variety that doesn't flower."
For the hard-neck varieties, James recommends getting rid of the flower because you want to force the energy back into the development of the bulb. After removing the flower head, the garlic should be ready to harvest in about two weeks. The soft-neck varieties are ready to harvest when the foliage starts to fade. Loosen the soil around the base of the plant with the pitchfork. Lift the stalk straight up, not at an angle, to avoid breaking it off.
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