Tuesday 21 August 2012

Hot potatoes

It was a great August weekend - sunny, just a couple of spots of rain and hot! With our fickle weather we had to make the most of it in the garden.
I dug up the remaining potatoes. So far the yield hasn't been great (mostly Sante and Pentland Javelins) but the last bed was Desiree and Colleen with some Rosas that came up from last year's missed ones (what I call feral potatoes!).
In general the Desirees were good quality and size. I got 22lbs from 3 lbs of seed potatoes I bought, which doesn't sound all that great but much better that the Sante and PJs in the other bed. Colleens are supposed to be first earlies but I find they are better left to get a decent size and got about 30lbs from the 3lbs of seed potatoes. I did take a few for new potatoes early on.
The commercial potato growers are all complaining because although this year there was lots of rain there was not much sun. Their yields are down 15-20%.
This year I planted some potatoes saved from last year. Because of the warm winter a lot of our stored Sante & PJ potatoes had started sprouting so I thought they may as well get planted because they weren't any good for eating.
In general:
  • The early potatoes (Santes & PJs) grown in pots in the greenhouse from own stock were good this year and I may do more next year.
  • Santes & PJs grown outdoors were poor, maybe weather or soil or possibly a bit of blight. We love Santes for their flavour but I may give them and the PJs a miss next year and try other varieties. We had Hunters last year and they produced really nice big white potatoes.
  • Desirees were great. I will plant more in future.
  • Feral potatoes come up sooner than planted potatoes and give reasonable yield - maybe because they get started earlier or have proved their strength by survival in the soil over the winter. Is it worth deliberately leaving some in or planting much earlier?
Potatoes waiting to be packed into cardboard boxed for storing in the garage.

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