The hot weather has been good for the potatoes; only the Pink Fir Apples are lagging behind, but they are maincrop so that’s not an issue.
This time last year, my potatoes were much further advanced, with some showing flowers on 18th June 2020. Then, I grew Swift, Desiree and Pink Fir Apple; so it’s probably a combination of weather and different varieties that’s put me behind.
The Community Garden held their AGM on Saturday 12 June. I fully intended to go, but at the last minute something came up and I missed it. Hopefully someone has made a note of what was discussed and with circulate them. But we got there two days later, when the weather was much cooler with a few spots of rain, though not enough.
With warmer days towards the end of March, the potatoes are sprouting well.
It will soon be time to choose the best three or four shoots on each and remove the remainder – perhaps this is where I’ve gone wrong in previous years, by assuming the more shoots the better. (NOTE: I didn’t remove any shoots as they’d not grown many more than shown in these pictures)
With some – finally – sunny, warm and dry weather, and a couple of medical appointments looming, Thursday 27 May was ideal for a quick visit to the allotment. The best news is, that with a car boot full of things for the allotment, we can now drive down our lovely new access road, which saved hauling everything by hand.
The onions are growing well, and I sowed some carrot seeds in that gap (and the same the other end).
I find myself in the enviable position of still eating 2020’s Pink Fir Apple potatoes (2 bags left) while simultaneously trying to chit and plan for 2021. I ordered 1.5 kg each of Anya (second earlies) and Red Duke of York (first earlies) potatoes on 6th January and they arrived on 4th February. After a few days of quarantine, I got round to unpacking them.
I didn’t quite realise how many potatoes would make up 1.5 kg: I only have room for eight of each in the allotment bed, but I can manage a few pots at home too, along with somemore Pink Fir Apples (I’ve saved some of the smaller potatoes to use as seed potatoes. I haven’t bought any first or second earlies this year, so will use those grown in pots as new potatoes, and dig the others as required later in the year.
This is all the potatoes there were in the first green bag. A disappointing harvest but not perhaps unexpected as these were in the shady part of the patio and first to be hit by cold winds and wet weather. I didn’t weigh the first crop, but the second weighs just 160 grammes. But it’s enough to add to a stir-fry for tea.
When I posted the previous Potato Diary on 4th May, I had just moved the potato bags from the greenhouse to the patio. Since then, we’ve had freezing temperatures, when I had to wrap them in bubble-wrap.
Seed potatoes are already appearing in garden centres now the Christmas decorations have finally been removed.
With my new allotment bed now available for the coming year, I have decided to plant early potatoes – Swift for preference – in containers at home, and main-crop potatoes – Desiree once more – at the allotment, where I have room for sixteen plants using the Square Foot gardening technique. I don’t think I’ll bother with second earlies this year.
In this post, I mentioned that I’d seen a post about planting potatoes to grow for Christmas. I planted up three potato bags, with three tubers in each, using the compost remaining in my old green compost bin – 4 inches below and 4 inches above. I gave the bags a good soaking after placing them on the shady patio. Continue reading “The (Final) Potato Diaries of 2019”→
While we are still working our way through the pots of Swift first early potatoes (we’ve eaten the potatoes from two pots, have one nearly empty, and one not touched), with Nicola (one pot) and Desiree (two pots) to follow, thoughts turn to planting up some bags so we have new potatoes for Christmas.