Tuesday, 15 February 2011

Here come the spuds.

  It's that time of the year again!

 The seed spuds have been delivered.
Most of my seed came from JBA again, but I also had a couple of bags from Thompson and morgan, and a couple more from Medwyn's of Anglesey. I'm still waiting for one packet to be delivered, but it's only a small packet of a new variety to try out.
  They have been looked over to check the quality... thankfully all is good, and then dropped into seed trays to chit... I didn't have enough egg trays (I can't find them actually) so I opted for seed trays again this year which did the job perfectly well last year. Altogether we have about 30kg's of seed potatoes, which will hopefully keep us harvesting right through until this time next year again.

Firsts, seconds, maincrop and exhibition.

 I've sorted them out into their different classes.. firsts, seconds, maincrop and exhibition, going from left to right in the photo... here is a quick rundown of what i've gone with...

 First earlies:  Dunluce and Red duke of York. These both did well last year, so i'm playing it safe and sticking with them again this year.
 Second earlies:  Kestrel, Edgecote purple and Shetland black.  The first two also proved themselves last year, so i'm rolling with them again, but the Shetland black just looked interesting so I thought I would give it a go.
 Maincrop.  Ambo, Celine, Congo and Mayan gold. Ambo did well for me last year (about the only maincrop that did) but the other two are new. Celine sounded pretty good on the website, and the Mayan gold are supposed to be really delicious!! (yes, thinking of my stomach again :) Congo are only being grown because I want to make some blue crisps out of them!! :)
 Exhibition.  Winston and Blue belle. Never grown either of these before, but I am only looking for aesthetics with these two, not flavour (they had better win us a red card at the village show! :).

 The seeds are chitting away nicely in their light windowsills, and I am planning on getting the first earlies in the ground in around two to three weeks time, but that will depend on the weather really. Last year I started planting on the first weekend of march and everything worked out pretty well. They will get a nice bed of well rotted manure to sit on when they are planted, and then mounded up in the first couple of weeks to protect the emerging shoots.
 The exhibition spuds are going to be put in a compost mix inside a 17 litre polypot, and then sunk in the ground in a row in the garden. Hopefully the compost mix will mean I get some nice looking tubers free from blemishes for the village show. That reminds me... I must get onto Darren and get the compost mix for the pots as he is my exhibition guru!!

Dunluce, Red duke of York and Edgecote purple.

 Hopefully in a few months time we shall be harvesting some more of these little beauties... and no doubt giving lots away to friends and family.


  1. Looking good! I need to get hold of some polypots, growing all mine out of the beds this year to save space for other veg.

  2. Dear Simon, Clearly your potatoes are not just any old potatoes...indeed, I note a number of aristocrats amongst them with blue blood to boot!! And, I thought that village show competitions were just for fun!!!

  3. Damo, how many do you need... i may have a couple spare when i plant mine up.
    Edith, nice to see someone else who appreciates a good spud. The village show is obviously just for fun ;) but there is no harm in winning!! :)
    I can't wait to grow the Congo potatoes and make those blue crisps. :)

  4. That is a very impressive collection of seed spuds! My total harvest for the year will come to less than that. I grow only about two dozen tubers - in pots on my patio, because I can't spare the space in my raised beds. It's worth doing though, since home-grown spuds are just so much better than anything you can buy in a shop.

  5. I have not heard the word "chitting" before! You have added a new word to my American gardening vocab. Interesting article. Do you use cow, sheep or horse manure or doesn't it matter? I have some potato plants growing in mounds that are well augmented with potash. Here in Florida however, we will only get what you would call "new potatoes."

  6. I hope you washed your 30kg of seed potatoes Simon? ;)
    Will you be hiring potato pickers?
    Your selection sounds grand. I hope they do well for you. Mo

  7. I didn't just wash them Mo.... i put them in the washing machine on a hot white wash with some Daz powder!!! Brilliant!! ;)I hope they do well too :)(Hmm..might need that picker if they do really well)
    Mark, i totally agree.. home grown spuds are superb!!
    Dawn, i'm glad you learnt something from my blog.. i guess that makes it worthwile writing it :) I use horse manure, but any of the three will be ok as long as it's well rotted. Oh, and New potatoes are delicious!!

  8. All very impressive! I see you're another fan of Kestrels which are a firm favourite.
    Mine have been chitting away in the spare room for a few weeks now getting ready to be planted out starting in about a months time. Flighty