Monday, 15 June 2015

Harvest Monday - 15th June 2015

Potatoes are top of the harvest list this week. These ones are the first of the "Winston" variety, a First Early.

What you see there is the yield from one seed tuber, grown in a recycled chicken manure container. It's just the right quantity for a 2-person serving. I know that if I left the potatoes a bit longer (maybe until the foliage died down) I could get a bigger yield, but I'm not after a bigger yield. I want quality rather than quantity.

Here they are, washed and ready for cooking, giving me an opportunity for an artistic photo as they sit in the evening sun on the kitchen windowsill...

At the same time as digging up these potatoes I harvested a bit of salad to go with them and (and a fabulous tomato quiche that Jane made).

Firstly, this "Marvel of Four Seasons" lettuce:

This is "Devin":

And then there's this batch of Baby Leaf Salad, including Cress, Mustard, Mizuna, Rocket and Pak Choi

In the photo above you can see more clearly the complete yield from the container of "Winston" potatoes - a few "tiddlers" of course, but also at least 10 tubers of a decent size, which means the yield from the original seed tuber was 10 : 1, which seems OK to me.

On Thursday I used all the surplus Lettuce seedlings to make a Baby Leaf salad. Certainly a better option than throwing them on the compost!

I already had several Lettuces potted-up and waiting their opportunity for planting, so I didn't need all that lot. Snipping off the leaves with a pair of scissors produced this:

At the weekend I harvested another batch of "Winston" potatoes, shown here before and after washing:

You can see the benefit of growing potatoes in a medium rich in organic matter (in this case composted stable manure) - the skins are smooth and blemish-free, with not a sign of scab. Once the potatoes are harvested the compost from their containers is added to the raised beds as a soil-conditioner.

The Broad Beans are not ready yet, but it won't be long now...

I am linking this post to Harvest Monday, hosted as ever by Daphne's Dandelions.


  1. I love that photo of the washed potatoes in the evening sunlight and Jane's quiche is making me hungry, it looks scrummy. I did the same with my surplus lettuce seedlings, the snipped leaves made a lovely little salad.

  2. Good looking harvests there. That quiche looks yummy.

  3. Everything looks so good! Looking forward to your Harvest Monday posts!

  4. Beautiful potatoes. That's a clever way of growing them in a tub of compost that gets used in the garden.

  5. Wow - those are some gorgeous potatoes...not a blemish on them. I'm wondering about the stable manure - I had read that you shouldn't use manure in the potato bed as that can actually lead to scab, so I didn't add any manure to the potato bed, but just plenty of regular compost. Considering how wonderful your potatoes are, perhaps they were referring to raw manure & the standard composted variety (which is what I use) would be ok & even beneficial. What do you think?

    1. I don't think manure will lead to scab, whether it is fresh or composted. Scab is associated with dry conditions, and the organic matter in the composted stable manure I use seems to be just right. For the same reason, some people advocate adding grass-clippings when you plant your potatoes. I don't do this myself, but it sounds as if it might work. A lot of commercial compost is very dry.

  6. Your potatoes always look so beautiful. They steal the show. Though that one lettuce comes in as a close runner up. Gorgous.

  7. Daphne's right, the potatoes are the stars of the show, perfection.

  8. I've just started digging my Winston too - so far a few very large tubers under each plant. Lack of water on the allotment, l think. The flavour and texture are very delicate for a new potato, pleasant but I don't think I shall include them in next year's selection.

  9. I love the potato photo with the filtered light shining through. Your lettuce is so beautiful as well. Marvel of Four Seasons is one if my favorites, but I usually end up harvesting the leaves as it grows so I rarely see it mature to such a lovely loose head.

  10. Your potatoes are so perfect! At first glance, they looked like duck eggs. Not a bump to be seen!

  11. Those potatoes are as smooth as eggs.

  12. Potatoes. I haven't tried to grow potatoes - yet. Maybe next year. For now, the farmers market awaits.

  13. Lovely photos Mark. Those potatoes and salads look amazing. I've completely failed on lettuce but I might have another look tomorrow for more potatoes.


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