These are my "Pink Fir Apple" potato plants (the ones on the right, in the dark green pots)
I had four seed tubers of PFA, and I planted them one to a pot. Initially they all grew at much the same rate (i.e. slow). After a couple of weeks I earthed them up as usual. Three plants continued to grow (despite a severe battering in that amazing hailstorm we had), but one of them just seemed to stop. This is what it looks like now:
It's evidently not dead, but for some reason it seems to have given up. I wonder if maybe slugs have attacked it below soil level. I'm not going to verify that theory, because the disturbance would probably be too much for a weak plant like this. Instead I'll just leave it alone and see if it recovers. Actually, taking a positive outlook, it would be quite nice if it did recover but mature later than the others, thereby extending my harvest period even further. Pink Fir Apple is a maincrop potato, and I would not expect them to be ready until September anyway.
One final little anecdote: a couple of days ago I was lifting out the hessian bags in which I store potatoes after harvest, and I discovered one tiny PFA tuber from last year's crop still inside. It had produced a "chit" (shoot) which had grown through the hessian towards the light. Did I throw it away? No, of course not! I planted it. I reckon that if it has the tenacity to cling on to life for nearly a year in such adverse circumstances it is worth letting it have a go at producing some "babies" of its own.
Just so we know what we're aiming for, this is what PFA looks like when the tubers are mature:
|"Pink Fir Apple" - photo from 2011|