POTATO PLANTING IN THE VEGE PLOT            April 15, 2012

For healthy potatoes on your plot there are a few techniques to try for soil preparation. I will go into this in depth later but if you haven’t prepared your soil by April it’s probably a little too late for planting any early potatoes.

By now, you should have turned over the soil and removed as many perennial weeds as possible.  It is a good time to weed just after rain when the soil is soft and the weeds, in particular, the deep rooted ones can be dug up and tugged from the soil. If they break, they will grow again and/or spread. Take the entire weed and root out of the soil and keep it separate from your compost heap.

Work in well rotted manure or organic potato fertiliser and loosen the soil as much as possible. Dig a trench and throw in a bag of fresh compost in a line to place the potatoes on.  I do this simply because my soil at the moment on the plot is a little claggy and hasn’t been worked thoroughly enough over the past few years. The compost will help the potatoes to sprout. Then cover the potato line with a mound of soil dug from the trench.  The aim is to have the sprouts coming out of the mound and to keep earthing up to create more tubers. The more sprouts, the more tubers, the more potatoes, keep earthing up and covering for more tubers to grow and so on.

I have planted Marshalls seed potatoes this year. We had a bit of a disappointing start with the stock as some of it arrived wrinkly and a few rotten potatoes amongst the packets but without question they where very good to promptly send more fresh ones. The ones now chitted have been put in the ground today.

Red Duke of York - a Heritage potato from 1942 and good for mash bake and roast.  These are one of the first earlies – check this link 

http://www.heritage-potatoes.co.uk

Pink Fir Apple - another traditional variety that is over 100 years old. Grown for the main crop season. It has a waxy flesh and great for salads. Here is a useful website for you to check potato types, flavours and recipes.

http://www.lovepotatoes.co.uk

Marilyn – is a mid season cropper, an elite potato, excellent taste and ideal for salads, steaming or boiling. Here is a another potato site to check out.

http://www.potatoes.net.au

HAPPY SPUDDING!