Saturday, 10 August 2013

Harvesting Potatoes

St Ives Cornwall Allotment
Potato harvest time has arrived - long awaited and anticipated since I started preparing the ground last October.

I planted two varieties this year - Charlotte First Early and Wilja Second Early. Chosen because they are two varieties that I like to eat and taste great. Also chosen because I wanted to avoid the worst ravages of potato blight by harvesting early - so I avoided maincrop varieties.

My plot and our allotment site as a whole seems to suffer badly from blight. I'm not sure why - we get plenty of wind - maybe its the damp Cornish weather.

Potato Bed
I lifted the last of the Charlotte potatoes a couple of weeks go - so this week it was the Wilja. After looking really good for weeks they were struck by blight about 10 days ago - and it spread fast. I cut off all the foliage and binned it. Blighted potato haulms should not be composted as this risks spreading the disease and storing it up for next year.

Potato Harvest - Wilja Potatoes
I was really pleased with both the yield and the size of the spuds - enough to keep us supplied in the kitchen for several weeks. Also a surplus to share with our neighbours - which is something that I enjoy.

Two beds cleared - one more to go - then I can move on to preparing the beds for the next crop. Under my crop rotation system they will be sown with peas and beans - starting with Broad Beans sown in October.

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