Friday, 16 November 2012

Autumn Growing - Potatoes

St Ives Cornwall Allotments
Back in March I planted my seed potatoes out on the plot - Home Guard first earlies - and like everybody else looking forward to a lovely crop of new potatoes in June.

Then - again like everybody else - the awful weather caused poor growth - then blight - and a rubbish crop that fed us for about 2 meals.

I harvested what I could and cleared the plot. In August I noticed that a few plants had re-emerged - this is normal as its almost impossible to clear a bed entirely of potatoes. I decided to let them grow on a bit on the off chance that I might get a small second harvest. In September I did indeed get a few more of eatable size out - then sowed Mustard Green Manure ......

Later - back home - I noticed that a few of the smaller specimens had chitted (grown shoots). So i decided to have a go at growing them on through the Autumn. Probably an absolutely mad idea - and I have no great hopes of getting a crop.  

Growing Potatoes In Pots
But nothing ventured ... and it will be an interesting experiment. Plus it has cost me absolutely nothing.

I took one of the pots left over from Summer growing in the garden, emptied it to halfway then planted three potatoes about three inches deep.

I placed the pot in a sheltered corner of the garden and left it to get on with it.
Growing Potatoes In Pots
So far so good - the first shoots have emerged. Once they grow (or if they grow) to about six inches I'll start adding more compost to earth them up. If it looks like a frost - not common in Cornwall but it happens - I'll put a bit of fleece over to protect them.

New potatoes for Christmas day ? Not counting my chickens - or potatoes - but it will be interesting to see what happens.

Regardless - I'll be planting a few spuds - in pots or bags - in the garden in Spring. I've done this before and found that they are a bit less vulnerable to blight than those grown on the allotment. Will post about that in due course.

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