Tuesday, 2 July 2019

Harvesting potatoes and Broad Beans

Isn't it satisfying when "growing veg" turns into "harvesting veg"?

At the weekend I lifted some "Belle de Fontenay" potatoes.

The yield was low (1.34kgs from two pots, each planted with two seed-tubers), but the quality was good. Some of them are really excellent spuds!

I've been very good about remembering to water my pots of potatoes. A lot of people are not so careful and end up regretting it, because potato plants need plenty of water to produce a good yield. Quite apart from the weight of yield, the quality of potato tubers is affected by the dryness or otherwise of their soil. Dry soil promotes tough skins and the incidence of Scab.

Growing potatoes in containers like I do is never going to be "economical" (compared with buying them in a shop), when you consider the cost of pots, compost, fertiliser etc, and your time, but it is very rewarding from a psychological point of view. The joy of upending a tub of new potatoes and scrabbling around in the compost to find the little golden jewels is one of the most satisfying episodes of the gardener's year!

As well as the potatoes, I also harvested a big batch of Broad Beans.

This was over 3kgs of pods - probably the best crop I've ever had, especially considering there are still a fair few more on the plants. I've put them (still in the pods) in green plastic "Stayfresh" bags in the fridge, where they will keep in good condition for at least a couple of weeks if need be. I expect we will be eating lots of meals that include Broad Beans over the next few days!

For the benefit of those of you who are interested in such things, these BBs are "Witkiem Manita", a variety I have grown several times before. They are pretty reliable, always giving a decent crop of medium-sized pods, each containing about 5 grey-coloured beans.


  1. What a smart way to keep your produce of broad beans! I'm going to remember this for next year, as i just blanch and freeze them but it would be nice to have some fresh ones for using in weeks after the harvest!

  2. I’m hoping our broad beans fill up soon. Yes it is good when harvesting starts in earnest.


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