Tuesday, 6 March 2012

First Early Potatoes

I planted out my first early potatoes today in re-useable grow bags. (I'm saving all the space I can on the plot for maincrops varieties). I am growing two varieties of early potato - Pentland Javelin and Rocket and this will be the first year that I have really paid attention to the difference between earlies/mids/mains and lates. Usually I just chuck them all in the ground at the same time and dig them up gradually from one end of the plot to the other. This year I am keen to get more succession going with my crops so I am doing everything I can to have home grown produce for as long as possible.

The seed potatoes have been chitting on a windowsill for several weeks now (you can read about chitting potatoes here) and finally I couldn't wait any longer to get growing.
I put a layer of home made compost (about three quarters rotted) in the bottom of the grow bags, about 10 cm worth. I also added a handful of wood ash and put the seed potatoes in, chits facing upwards, three to a bag. I added more compost and some bagged topsoil that we got from freecycle so that the potatoes were just about covered.

As shoots start to grow, I will keep covering them with more earth until the bags are full. If there is going to be a frost, I will lift the bags off the ground and protect them with some fleece. Hopefully, I will be harvesting my first potatoes of 2012 around May or June time.

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