I do not put ads on my blog but do have a counter that shows me how many visits the pages get. (The stats. count is just there so I can see if I am 'talking' to myself, luckily so far this has not happened.) By continuing your visit here you are consenting to the stats. counter tracking cookies. Cookies, that sounds like something nice to eat but not that exciting.

Growing Your Own Fruit and Vegetables

We grow our own fruit and vegetables for our meals for as much of the year as we can. Without a greenhouse we have to buy shop food in the winter months but in the spring, summer and autumn we often have enough to share with family and friends.

Read about growing your fruit and vegetables here on my growing your own food pages.

Sunday, 11 September 2011

What's happened to my Potatoes - the good,bad and ugly -

Review of the success and failure of the different types of seed potatoes we have grown.

Since we started to grow potatoes on our allotment we have had successes and occasionally failures, perhaps nothing has proved so variable in results as the potatoes. If I had to give a quick summary I would say that we have had far more success than failures when growing our own potatoes. However I would have to admit that we have been on a learning curve over the years. This search for the best home grown potato continues year to year as we experiment
trying to grow the best potatoes that we can on our plot on our sandy soil. We have been working on improving the moisture retaining qualities of the soil as well as attempting to boost the fertility of it too. We have discovered that there are other variables when it comes to growing potatoes and these effect the quantity as well as quality of what we eventually dig up from that years potato patch.

One thing we have no control over is the weather, which can wreck havoc when combined with our sandy soil. We try only to water our vegetable plot when we have to as the water bills are increasing in cost over the years. But with sandy soil and potatoes at the growing stage, unless we water in dry spells we reduce the yield of the crop and also know that it can cause other problems with the potatoes.

The other factor that can affect the quality and quantity of the potatoes we grow is the varieties that we grow.
Below is a short list of the seed potatoes I will be happy to plant in future years and also a list of the ones I will not bother to try again.

Seed potatoes that I had good crops from on my sandy soil
(keep in mind when reading this that - conditions vary from year to year with the weather and the fertility of soil is gradually improving with the addition of organic material such as compost.)

Seed potatoes I will plant in future years -
Charlotte, a nice salad waxy potato.
International kidney ( develops into a Jersey Royal Type of spud).
Pentland Javelin.

and the ones that I will avoid -
Pentland Dell - not sure what got to these but they were a pretty bad choice for us (lots of wastage when peeling them through inner discolouration).
King Edwards - just not right for us or our vegetable plot.

ones that I might grow again but were not idea l-

Pink Fir Apple - lovely taste and interesting shaped potatoes but were small the year I tried them - came out of the ground - lots of little potatoes which made harvesting and prep. for cooking time consuming.

Nadine - I cannot remember anything good or bad about these so they must have just been OK and not memorable for anything wonderful or awful.

I will add to this if I have forgotten any of the best or worst potatoes that I have grown in the past.

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a healthy potato plant in flower

a healthy potato plant in flower
photo of potatoes in flower

home grown carrots.. grown from seed

home grown carrots.. grown from seed
photo of my first bunch of carrots 2009

Even a small batch of mixed fruit can be useful

Even a small batch of mixed fruit can be useful
Home Grown Fruit can be made into delicious compote