Sunday 30 April 2017

My potatoes dodged the frost

Being away from home when you have young plants is always a worrying time! This past week, while we were away, the night-time temperatures in Fleet were very low - hovering around the zero degrees point - so I was concerned about my potato plants. However, with the aid of fleece and the plastic greenhouses they have come through unscathed.

The forecast for the next 10 days shows night-time temps of 6 or 7 degrees, so hopefully the danger is past for the time being, though I think it is still perfectly possible for us to get frost right up until about the end of May.

I really hope that it won't be necessary for me to protect those potatoes again, because some of them are getting tall now - too tall to fit in the mini-greenhouses.

First Earlies at the Right, Second Earlies at the Left.

As you can see in the next photo, I haven't put the fleece away just yet. I'm keeping it close at hand, weighted down with some bricks, so that I could deploy it quickly if necessary.

Just a tip for any novices reading this: if you are going to use fleece to protect plants, ideally you should try to make sure it doesn't actually touch the plants - by suspending it over some hoops or something. This is because if it gets wet the fleece itself will freeze too, and therefore do more harm than good. The alternative is to cover the fleece with an outer layer of something, like a cloche for instance, to keep the fleece dry.

At the rate things are going at present, I expect to harvest my first potatoes some time towards the end of June. With a bit of luck all the different varieties will mature at different times, giving me a harvest period of about 2 - 3 months.


  1. Our potatoes on the plot are just poking through and we expected that they would be frosted but they weren't, the strawberry flowers survived too.

  2. Your potatoes look wonderful Mark. I didn't bother to plant any this year which is probably good since the weather couldn't seem to make up its mind this year. I have just a few vegetables planted and several rose bushes still to plant.

  3. Glad your potato plants survived! They look amazing!

  4. Hopefully we won't get another severe frost but I'd keep that fleece on hand just in case! We're not frost free until the end of May, the last month of spring.


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