Friday, 7 August 2020

Potatoes

Desiree potatoes harvested August 2020
Desiree potatoes harvested August
2020 has been a pretty good year for potatoes. As usual in Jan and Feb I started several pots in large containers in the conservatory and then several more in big pots and compost bags in the greenhouse. They provide a tasty early crop before the outside potatoes are ready. Santes, Desitees, Robintas saved from last year and some shop-bought organics that had started sprouting.

The rather wet spring meant the potatoes went in late March and end of April, not quite as early as I'd have liked. But even then we had a light frost in May which knocked back the early growth a bit.

First plantings were Orla and Pentland Javelin - both white earlies - followed  a couple of weeks later by the Desirees. I bought fresh seed potatoes for the Orlas and Pentland Javelins and some Desirees, but I also used some Desiree tubers saved from last year. 

As well as these deliberate plantings a reasonable number of what we call "feral" potatoes emerge from the vegetable beds where potatoes or bits even have been missed when we harvested last year. These actually provide some useful additions to the crop.

After harvesting I let them dry off for a couple of days, well covered with thick cardboard to prevent them going green. Then I sort into small or damaged ones - which go into the kitchen cupboard to be used right away - and good, medium and large ones which I store in sealed cardboard boxed in the garage (nice and cool). Wine boxes are great because the inside cardboard bottle spacers keep the potatoes apart and prevent any mould or rot spreading.

Very little by way of underground damage, worms ir slugs. There are some decent-sized Desirees that I'm looking forward to baking.




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