Potatoes in at last!

There were a few problems with the delivery of the potato mix but it finally arrived last night. So after collecting my share (5 x 75 litre bags) this morning I set about filling the fifteen 17L polypots. Half will have Kestrel and half Bonnie and the leftovers will go into bags with a sieved soil/compost mix. This is the first time I’ve used a specialist potato mix and it certainly beats all the hard work of shredding/mixing a homemade version. Time will tell if it produces some decent spuds.

At the end of one of the raised beds I dug out a trench and threw in some manure, fertiliser and slug pellets. Then placed two rows of bags side-by-side and filled in the surrounding soil so it was almost up to the level of the bags. Each bag was filled with the mix and a seed potato (with 1 or 2 strong chits) was plunged to the bottom of the bag. The idea is that the potato roots grow out through the holes into the trench with the manure and fertliser and the bag fills up with spuds. I don’t bother filling the bags as they grow; starting off with a full bag is easier! Then it’s just about the watering and supporting the haulms properly so they don’t fall over and grow as vigorously as possible producing the energy to form new tubers. That’s the theory anyway!

I’ve already got Arron Pilot, Lady Christl, Charlotte, Pink Fir Apple and Salad Blue in at the allotment and Casablanca will go into the shared plot hopefully this weekend. I also planted a double row of broad beans at the allotment and have plans for a serious amount of sweetcorn and an asparagus bed. I’m really enjoying the allotment, it was so peaceful down there yesterday and I’ve now met three of my immediate plot neighbours. It’s great to have a quick chat and share a few tips.

8 responses to “Potatoes in at last!

  1. It’ll be interesting to see what difference the potato mix makes. I thought the idea of earthing up the potatoes as they grow was to cover the haulms which in turn will produce more potatoes. I shall watch how your’s develop as I’m all for an easy life.

    • Jo it’s more for skin condition for showing plus I guess there’s a balance of fertilisers in there too. I tend to look for short cuts where possible so went straight in with a full bag – will see what happens.

  2. I’m intrigued by the idea of a specific potato compost. I like to use comfrey pellets in the planting hole. My spuds will be jealous they’re not being planted in your garden with all your TLC!!! I really like the idea of the bags in the bed. Some of the best spuds we’ve had were grown just in old compost bags, although the main problem was their tendency to fall over under the weight of the haulm. Like the idea that they are slightly buried. I guess it makes harvesting much easier. Will follow with interest. I was up at the allotment this morning and it was lovely and quiet, the sun was shining. Glad I’m not there now though, we’re having some freakish hail storms. Just had to run out and close the cold frame. OUCH!!

    • I think the bags in the bed are a great idea. They’re relatively cheap to buy and re-usable. There’s no digging at harvest time, just tip out the bag. No forked spuds and no volunteers coming up in the middle of your carrots the next year! You can fill them with whatever you want, some sieved soil and compost and a handful of fertiliser of some description would do the job. The trench means the roots can get well down into the manure and I think they’ll retain moisture better as the bag is not exposed to sun/heat as it would if it was stood on a patio or similar. It’s one of the tips I’ve taking from the show veg world that works well for general allotment/garden growing as well. No hail storms here thankfully!

  3. We have so far only a couple of potato bags planted up. We want to get the rest in as soon as we can.

  4. I’ve managed to get 122 in assorted containers this year and am using a home-made compost mix with the addition of commercial potato fertilizer in some to see if it works. As wellywoman says, supporting the haulms can be a problem, especially with the gales we get up here.

    • Colin that’s a decent amount of spuds. I’m fortunate as the garden is very sheltered but the allotment is quite open so it will be interesting to see the impact of any storms on the crops.

  5. Pingback: Spuds In | Two Chances Veg Plot Blog

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