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Archive for the ‘Potatoes’ Category

Well into May, and lots to do.  The patches needed weeding, and a lot of sowing and transplanting to do.   Mind you, it’s not just weeds growing, the crops are coming on nicely:

Potatoes growing well

Potatoes growing well

The potatoes are looking great, the peas are growing steadily, and the tomatoes seem to have benefitted from their early season cloches and are well advanced.

Tomato plants with a chilli in the foreground

Tomato plants with a chilli in the foreground

Next step, planting more seeds.  It is now perfect soil for direct sowing.  We put in some parsnip, carrot and sweetcorn seeds, which should provide a late summer crop after the peas and beans have finished.

Peas and beans

Peas and beans

Another pleasant surprise each year is always how well the flowers do.  This year we got our first peonies, and Eden’s rose is doing really well too:

Eden's rose

Eden's rose

All the Dahlias were lost in the frosts, so we have put some more in, along with some lilies for late summer perfume.

Lastly a bit of maintenance was needed.  The tarragon looked as if it might bolt, so we trimmed it right back.   Incomplete harvesting has led to a profusion of ‘volunteer’ potatoes (that’s what you call potatoes left in the ground from the previous year that sprout in unexpected places).  These had to come out but left us with a handful of mini potatoes which will be an intriguing addition to a salad.

Tarragon destined for the freezer...

Tarragon destined for the freezer...

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Jamie has worked so hard since we got the improvement notices, and I think the results will speak for themselves. I didn’t think the plot was particuarly untidy anyway, but I feel as if we are entering some sort of gardening competition within the next 28 days.

Apple blossom in the girls' plot

Apple blossom in the girls' plot

Potatoes

Potatoes have already gone into Stanley Road (Picasso). We chose this type because Paul gave us some of his crop last year and they really did roast well as described. He had got the tip from Doug, and so we guessed they would work well on our soil as well. They were a nice balance between a floury and waxy potato – not too extreme in either direction.

The Perry and George system in action

The Perry and George system in action

Jamie has put them in using the ‘Perry and George’ tried and tested potato planting system. They dig a trench and a mound, ready for earthing up the potatoes. Once the initial plants show through, you just heap the soil over the plants. Apparently this leads to a better crop, and it keeps the frost off the small plants.

Legumes

The second annual planting of the year went in – the pea and bean beds. This year is going to be a rainbow of colour, as I have saved last year’s seed and have bought some new ones to try. There are purple-podded peas and French beans, a rare yellow-podded pea from the Real Seed Company, as well as the green Sugar Snap Pea ‘Cascadia’. As well as the purple peas, I have acquired some interesting French beans, again recommended by the Real Seed Company. These have the rather fascinating name of ‘Cherokee Trail of Tears’ and are an old Native American heritage variety.

Not much to see yet really....

Not much to see yet really....

Sweet Pea ‘Fragrantissima, grown for flowers, finishes off my legume beds. I just can’t wait the month or so till they start to flower. Although I am leaving it quite late this year, I can’t say I am sorry after the spring we have had. I am sure any plants that had gone in earlier would have died or been stunted with the combination of cold and rainy weather we have had.

All that remains tomorrow is to put in some catch crops of salad and beetroot to make the most of the bare soil. Jamie’s tomatoes and peppers are doing brilliantly under cloches. The only worry is whether they will outgrow the cloches before the frosts are over….

Tender plants under cover - is this too early for them to be outside?????

Tender plants under cover - is this too early for them to be outside?????

Planting plan 2009:spring-20091

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