Thursday, 19 July 2018

Second Early potato "Nicola"

A couple of days ago I harvested the last of this year's crop of container-grown potatoes - two pots of the 2nd Early variety "Nicola". As with my other varieties this year, I have been conducting comparative trials to see which produces a better yield - a pot planted with a single seed-tuber, or one planted with two seed-tubers.

This time the result was more decisive than with the other varieties. Although it's not particularly obvious from the photo below, the pot with two seed-tubers was the clear winner.

The yield from the 2-tuber pot is at the top of this photo

The 1-tuber pot yielded 1.356kg and the 2-tuber pot yielded 1.686kg.

In view of the prolonged hot dry spell of weather, I think this is OK. I normally reckon anything over one kilogram per seed-tuber is a good result. Of course, these "Nicola" ones have had longer to develop than the other varieties, so in a way you would expect them to produce a better yield. Actually, although I have not put this to the test, I have heard that "Nicola" keep fairly well in the ground even after the haulm has completely died down, so presumably I didn't need to rush to harvest them. Having said that, I know that the skins of older potatoes can be a bit rough, and the flesh tends to be denser.

I find that "Nicola" is quite similar to the more well-known "Charlotte", which it closely resembles. However, I think that "Charlotte" is still superior. The texture is always so light and buttery - and it cooks really quickly. "Nicola" is good, but not that good.

In amongst this batch of potatoes I found one that had already started to sprout:

Presumably if I had just left it in the ground, this one would have begun the growing-cycle all over again - maybe producing spuds for Christmas?!

For the record, these are the full results from the comparative trials:-

Variety                        1-tuber pot                  2-tuber pot
Annabelle                    628g                             1237g
Juliette                         863g                             1103g
Charlotte                     1182g                            1048g
Nicola                         1356g                             1686g


  1. Our plot potatoes are proving very difficult to harvest due to very hard soil.

  2. I'm very disapointed with Annabelle. It sprouted late and has grown pitifully. I suppose I will not be having s decent crop with it (I planted it much later than you did). On the same spot I have planted other variety, and they are doing well. Unfortunately I have no idea of the name, I just planted spuds I had in my kitchen which had started to sprout. They are from my parents, who grow our yearly consumption of potatoes (they are preserved in root cellar).
    But potatoes are tough, I have several potato plants growing around my veg plot - they are from last years plants, I have missed few spuds and they have overwintered in frozen ground! I firmly believe, that you could preserve your potatoes in your containers, if you don't water them too much.

    1. Yes, you are probably right about preserving the potatoes in their pots, but I only grow a few and we like to eat them straight away! If I wanted to keep potatoes for a longer period of time I would choose Maincrop varieties.

    2. This is my 3rd year on my current plot and I get potato plants coming up where I haven't planted spuds in that time, so they can survive several years, and winters, in the ground. If I grow mains in containers I usually only harvest them as needed, finding that the keep much better left where they are than if harvested and stored somewhere 'cool'.


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