Saturday, 16 August 2014

The square potato

I recently harvested another of my pots of "Nicola" potatoes:

"Nothing remarkable in that", you'll say. But look more closely:

Do you see that one on the top which looks like a dice? With squared edges?

This is where it came from:

The potato was growing wedged in the corner of the pot, in the sunken bit which forms one of the pot's feet. Obviously its shape was dictated by the square cross-section of the pot-foot.

The tubers from this batch are showing their age. Their skins have gone quite rough, which is a sign that they have been in the ground too long. "Nicola" is a Second Early, so they should really have come out some while ago, but I have been eking out my potato harvest and only lifting them as required. It's not a big problem, but it probably means that I'll need to scrape the skins off before cooking the potatoes.


  1. You'll have to patent the method and scale things up a bit and sell the potatoes as chippers.

  2. you're on to something here!... perfect square crisps every time!

  3. So modified, but not genetically! You did well to winkle it out of that tight corner. I didn't know that the skins of potatoes roughened the longer they're left in the soil; does this affect the taste as well? I'm growing maincrop and the stalks are only just beginning to look a bit floppy, even after all that rain. I have a feeling I'll be starting to de-bag them fairly soon. :)

    1. Caro, these days most people don't bother to peel new potatoes. They only bother with this when the potatoes get older. In my Dad's day though, it was considered normal (essential perhaps!) to rub the skins off very new potatoes or scrape them with a knife. I remember my Dad thinking us lazy because we hadn't "bothered" to peel our new potatoes. We had a hard time convincing him that many of the vitamins were actually in the skin. I don't know about the effect on taste, it's not something I have consciously assessed.

  4. I've seen a grow your own square tomato kit aimed at children in the garden centres before now. I've never really looked at it but I suppose it will be along the same lines of this, you'll have to encase the developing fruit in to some square contraption perhaps. I'm still eating second earlies too, I do prefer them earlier on in the season when I can leave the skins on but they're a treat in their skins or out so I don't mind too much.

  5. Haha... I've seen it all now Mark,
    Only you could grow a square potato!


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