As you can see from the photo above, the bowl isn't particularly big - maybe 25cm high and 40cm across - but water chestnuts are supposed to multiply profusely under ideal conditions (one corm can produce up to 100 new corms in a season!), so I figured I might get a decent crop.
To harvest them, you wait until the stems have all died back in the cold weather, generally about this time of year or early July. They were all looking pretty dead to me, and have been for a few weeks now, so I tipped out the pot today to see what I was waiting for me.
After scrounging around in the mud for 10 minutes or so, I only came up with this lot! After cleaning and weighing, they total about 280 grams. Pfffft! The plant cost me around $13, so that works out at about $36 a kilo, LOL.
We'll eat them peeled and sliced in stir frys with other vegetables, so it probably works out as 2 meals worth I guess, once I pick out the smallest ones and save them for planting out again next season.
As I said, the pot was pretty small; most people I have seen growing water chestnuts have had them in old bathtubs, and I can see why now, LOL, obviously you need a fair bit more room for them (and/ or perhaps a deeper pot?). I have a heap of foam boxes in the garage that I have been reluctant to use for planting vegetables in (after reading about toxic chemicals in styrofoam leaching out when exposed to heat, i.e. the sun) but nevertheless, I am considering planting up several of them next spring (say, four or five, if I can find the room - and my corms don't all rot during storage), and give over the glazed pot to growing cress?
Anyone else have experience with water chestnuts? It occurs to me just now, that maybe they need to be more heavily fertilised than I fertilised them, too? Anyway, I hope they taste nice, LOL.