Tag: planting

Finally, potatoes planted out

potato seeds

Chitting what? ooops we forgot.

Most of the potatoes have now been planted out, we were a little behind schedule (to say the least). They should have gone out a couple of weeks ago and were starting to get a little leggy and grown through the netting. Ooops!

Yes our chitting regime has been left a little by the wayside, instead of well sprouted tubers we opened the box to find them their long triffid ‘tendrils’ trying to escape through the gaps. Most of the years prior  we have been pretty good at saving our egg cartons and getting the potatoes chitted, but this year we were so busy we fogot time and time again.

Varieties of seed potatoes we have in our line-up

This year we decided to invest in organic varieties for our seeds and the chose our “tuber champions” (hopefully) which are:

  1. Robinta – Late Maincrop:
    (1978) The most disease resistant red potato ever. Very productive with smooth red skin and cream flesh. Short oval tubers retain their shape well when boiled. Good resistance to blight, scab and potato cyst nematode. (Source: The Organic Gardening Catalogue)
  2. Bambino – Salad Potato:
    Small round white tubers with light cream flesh and superb taste. Good resistance to foliage and tuber blight, scab and blackleg. Less waxy than other salad potatoes so don’t overboil. Early maincrop maturity. (Source: The Organic Gardening Catalogue)

Let’s hope that the poor chitting won’t affect our harvest too much and they still produce plenty of spuds! (Fingers crossed).

Which potato planting method works best?

potato sacks

Our potato sacks are ready to go

Generally we plant our spuds in green potato sacks, slowly topping up the soil as they grow and generally they yield fairly well. Well except when we have utterly washed out summers…

Quite honestly we don’t know which method is best, results have varied year to year. Also there seems to be mixed opinion out there on the tinter-web. One thing is for sure, dont forget to chit your potato seeds (LOL).

We have so many potato seeds and not really enough space to plant them all out, so we planted out a third of them into our potato sacks, the other third went out into our veg plot and we have the final third left over without a home. As we have to rotate the crops we plant our veg plot, this year the spuds managed to get a little more real estate and got a spot in one of our plots!

We still have potato seeds left over, anyone interested?

Unfortunately we still have a couple of dozen of each variety left and nowhere to put them. It would be a shame to throw them away, so if anyone lives near Reading and is interested in some free potato seeds, let us know ASAP! They won’t last too much longer.

UPDATE: 18 August 2013 – Sunday harvest

homegrown potatoes

Potato harvest part 1

We decided to see how two of our potato sacks were doing and to our surprise the Bambino’s did fairly well, though the Robinta’s were not quite as productive. As you can see in the pic there is almost twice the amount grown. Next year we are certainly considering building a potato tower, that should be interesting!

We have 1 sack and 1 large bucket to empty, plus 4 rows of potatoes in the vegetable plot, so we have plenty to last us into the winter. So at least that will save us £4-£5 every 10 days or so, we try to shop no more than 3 times a month if possible.

Growing food in an urban setting

Growing food in raised beds is easy!

Just came across this post on the Waltons blog and thought it was worth a quick share… for all those urban dwellers who would like to grow their own food at home, but dont think they have the space. It’s a short and sweet start up guide for those who need a little nudge to get started! 🙂


Heritage seed planting session

Seed trays

A couple of seed trays crammed on our windowsill

Well with this miserable weather outside, we thought today we should plant some more of our new heritage seeds! Though we are seriously lacking with available window space, we cannot put all of the seeds out in the greenhouse either as it’s still too cold at the moment. So we have been trying to plant our seeds in separate sittings, this was the second sitting and the rest of the seeds will have to wait until April. So Sherrie, her mother and i sat there in a mini production line, cleaning seed trays, filling them with soil, planting and labelling for a couple hours.

Why are you planting heritage seeds?

We decided to move over to heritage seeds for many reasons, which we will go into more detail in a future post. But to keep things frugal, heritage seeds in some cases are cheaper to buy, taste better and much easier to get a new set of seeds for next year. Yes they are not as disease resistant as F1 hybrid varieties and maybe a lower yield but they are certainly the better more natural choice in our opinion, especially if you are scrimping!

Where did you source your heritage seeds?

After looking around for a good well stocked heritage seed company, we came across The Real Seed Catalogue and so far have placed a couple of orders with them, this is our first year on heritage seeds, so we are excited to see how well they do. We will keep posting away with status updates as our little green babies grow!

What are your thoughts on heritage seeds? We are keen to learn as much as possible.

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