This time it's potatoes.
|Chitted tuber of "Accord"|
At the weekend I planted my First Early potatoes, two tubers each of "Juliette", "Lady Christl", "Accord" and "Belle de Fontenay". Funnily enough I planted my First Earlies on March 11th last year too.
I used the smallest of my containers, reserving the bigger ones for the Second Earlies and Maincrops which will be planted later. This is because the First Earlies are generally smaller plants and don't need so much space. The pots in question are 35cm in diameter, and 30cm tall.
This year I am using soil from the raised beds that I recently decommissioned, but I also added a good handful of Growmore general-purpose fertiliser to each pot. It will be interesting to see how things go, because I usually use compost for growing potatoes in, either commercial or home-made. As regular readers will know, I have become suspicious and disillusioned concerning commercial compost, so I am trying to minimize my use of it.
My planting method couldn't be easier. Dig hole in soil; drop potato tuber in it; cover with soil; done! The tip of the tuber ends up being about 2 or 3 inches under the surface.
Notice that I have planted the potatoes with the biggest chits (shoots) uppermost, and that I have used labels to remind me of which variety is which. Later on, when the shoots break through the surface I will add more soil.
My pots are placed inside my two "Seedling Greenhouses", which will give them some protection from wind, rain and frost.
|Notice the bricks weighting-down the greenhouses!|
If I didn't have these greenhouse things, I think I would probably delay planting for another two or three weeks, to allow the weather to improve a bit more (hopefully), but I acquired them specifically for this purpose. Their existence will permit me to harvest potatoes over a slightly longer period, which is what I want.
If things go according to plan, I should be harvesting spuds in Mid- to Late-May.