Monthly Archives: April 2012

Planting potatoes…

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Today I have been finishing planting my potatoes.

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Almost 2 beds are full, with 2 rows of potatoes in each.  We used to dig trenches which was back-breaking work, but last year I purchased a long handled bulb planter which worked really well and makes light work of the potato planting task.

I buy my seed potatoes through the allotment society which means I get a great selection at a great price and place the order in October / November time.  They are ready for collection from the Allotment Shop in February / March.

Potato varieties I am growing this year are:

Charlotte – Salad Potatoes  BBC Charlotte Potato Recipies

Aaron Pilot – First Earlies

Kestrel – Second Earlies – a firm favourite which lasts exceptionally well in storage or if left in the ground

Markies – Main Crop  Markies Potato Information

King Edwards – Main Crop

For a great resource that tells you all about the many varieties of potatoes  try the potato council website www.lovepotatoes.co.uk.

The new year begins… tomatoes, tomatoes, tomatoes…

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After winter the growing season begins again.  Of course there are things that can be grown over winter, but from March/April onwards seeds need to be sown in earnest and the hard work begins.   I have recently cleaned out the greenhouse and for the first time bought some tomato plants to put in the grow bags.

Why? You might ask.  Well, every other year I have grown my own, but I never seem to get fruit until September which means many of them don’t ripen.  Unfortunately I have limited space in the house for starting them off early and my greenhouse is not heated.  I noticed last week that the local garden centre had some excellent specimens for reasonable prices so this week I decided to spend a total of £7.50 on a selection of 8 plants.

They are far more developed than my seedlings have ever been at this point of the year, some are even starting to develop flower trusses!

Another new method I am trying this year is only planting 2 tomatoes in each grow bag instead of 3.  Also I am ‘extending’ the grow bags (so-to-speak) by placing in pots that we have cut the bottoms out of to allow the roots to grow freely and which allows me to  add more compost.  Finally, for watering I have sunk a smaller pot in the middle of the two plants.  I shall see how successful this method turns out to be over the coming months…