Tuesday, 16 May 2017

Potato Problem - Opportunity

Allotment Growing - Rogue Potatoes
Allotment Growing - Rogue Potatoes

A common problem on allotments is "rogue" potatoes popping up in unwanted places.

I rotate crops around my plot on a four year cycle  - to prevent the build up of pests and to improve soil fertility. So my potatoes move to a different bed each year. I grow peas and beans in the space previously occupied.

But when harvesting it is just about impossible to dig out every single spud - a few are always left in the ground. These then continue to sprout underground and pop up shoots in their old bed the following Spring - and sometimes for a year or two after that.

In the past I've always treated these like weeds and dug them out - but this Spring I've tried a fresh and more productive approach.

I've continued to dig up the rogue spuds - but have then transplanted them to this year's potato bed. They may or may not grow on - but if they do they will add to this year's crop - and for free!

This year I only planted three rows instead of the usual six - I've had potato blight for the last three seasons and decided to focus solely on first earlies. These will - hopefully - be harvested before blight strikes again. The additional space in the bed is now in productive use with these "extras" - and any crop will be a bonus.

Friday, 12 May 2017

Spring - Allotment Growing and Planting

St Ives Cornwall Allotment
St Ives Cornwall Allotment

More planting on my plot over the last week or so - and more seeds developing into seedlings.

Allotment Growing - Courgettes

I've planted some courgette seedlings - kindly given to me be local friend and grower Marcus.
These are protected for now under old supermarket baskets - also donated - by local friends and growers Tim and Sharon. They make great little cloches.

Allotment Growing - Raspberries

I've planted some raspberries - something I've been wanting to do for ages.
Still looking a bit scrawny but most of them should grow on.

Allotment Growing - Peas

Peas are in their "cage" and growing on well.

Allotment Growing - Broad Beans

Broad Beans are coming on nicely.

Spring is most definitely here. One of the driest for years -
but I've been watering as much as I can and all is growing nicely.

Allotment With A Sea View - St Ives Cornwall

Finally - a view of the sea as I approach my plot from St Ives when I walk over the fields.
More posts soon.