Well, actually it's strange; sometimes I can be very patient - for example with certain situations or people I'm able to keep my feelings in check and wait for a situation to play out. I quilt and knit, both endeavors which require some degree of patience. I can sit and wait for an hour in a doctor's waiting room with barely a grumble. Yet, when it comes to growing vegetables I'm sorely tempted to peek beneath the soil to see how things are getting along.
Oh, I know that's the worst thing you can do when something is growing. This isn't a rational impatience! Plants need to be left on their own, undisturbed, to do their own thing and produce their fruit. Intellectually, I know this is true. But somehow I have the most difficult time resisting the urge to dig around - just a little bit - to see if there truly are any bulbs or tubers forming.
Clearly, this is something I need to work on, so the next logical step is for me to formulate a coping mechanism. (After all, that's how I am able to sit in a doctor's waiting room for nearly an hour - I have a plan for how to deal with that situation and bring a book or some knitting!)
I decided today, as I was itching to tug on a set of onion leaves, that I'd dig up one of the potato plants to satisfy my curiosity. Hopefully that will tide me over until the underground crops are ready to be harvested. The potato had flowered (which is when the tubers have started to form) so I knew there had to be something under all that soil. I tugged and the plants came out with little difficulty.
Not having much experience with potatoes I didn't know whether this was a good or bad sign. Maybe there are no potatoes growing, which is why the plant came up with so little protest? Or perhaps they are ready for harvesting and that is why the plant was easy to remove? Only one way to find out: don the gloves and start digging.
Way, way down below the soil level my fingers touched something smooth and round: a potato! From one square foot I removed a total of 6 small Yukon Gold potatoes. So exciting! We're going to eat them this evening with our pulled pork sandwiches.
Now that my curiosity has been satisfied I can leave the rest of the underground vegetables alone to grow and hopefully produce more crops. I need to trust that mother nature will do her thing, but I still can't seem to get over the fact that it seems like magic when I pull something out of our garden to put on the dinner table.