This time last year, we were growing potatoes in hessian recycled coffee sacks in the garden at home. Upon digging up our first earlies we found tiny (albeit tasty) potatoes and the yield was pretty non existent. They had been fed and watered and earthed up. They had finished with their beautiful little flowers… And they just we’re not worth the effort and expense in compost bags.
This year it was different. We got our allotment space in October which gave us plenty of time to prep the ground for the spring. Our first earlies went in the open ground on Good Friday. A day which will always stay in my mind as a beautifully warm day where we met our plot neighbours and made friends with dogs in the sun.
The Potatoes grew super fast really and we were lucky enough to avoid any bouts of blight even though the weather has been rather uncommitted in its decisions of late.
Last weekend, we decided to give half a row of first earlies a dig and see what came up. The cute purple flowers had grown and dropped and the plants were starting to produce poisonous seed pods that look deceptively like tomatoes.
We were over careful at first. The ground was fairly loose after the recent rain. We didn’t want to lift the whole plant and find there was nothing there but also didn’t want to stick the fork through a potential potato either.
Once lifted, we knew we were in for a reasonable crop when we spied the first golden gem in amongst the ground.
We decided to dig just half a row; about 6 plants. Although there were a nice number of potatoes ready, there were also a huge amount of little pebbles. In leaving for a bit longer, we have hopefully increased our yeild a bit for the rest of the row.
We pulled the rest of the plants with ease once we got used to it. And so our first potato harvest was born. 2.2kg of them.
Not bad for a first attempt!
Now, if only the sun would shine for long enough for us to get some more time down the plot.
It’s times like these I wish we had sorted out a shed…