Saturday, 26 March 2016

Seed Potatoes for 2016

Typically I use a soil investigation hand auger to drill  200mm - 8" holes, I then line the bottom of the bore with a mixture of compost and potato fertiliser pop in the seed potato and fill up the hole with compost. This is all done through the weed membrane which stops the weeds, keeps the moisture in the ground from evaporating too much in the dry summer and the haulm will find the heat and the light on the soil where the holes are in the weed membrane.

The photograph on the left is from my first year of owning an allotment and before I started to use weed membrane to protect the spuds and stop the weeds but it shows the hand auger I use to bore the holes. Derek our Site Rep on Spencer Road uses a fencing post auger to do the same.

It is said in some of the books I have that there are over 400 varieties of potato but here are the ones I'm growing this year. Why so many you may ask, well there was an offer on the Sarpo potatoes so I bought a trial sack plus some Sarpo Mira because Dan on YouTube has such good results with them, they always look go. 

I have some volunteers left over from last year, some have been given to me and being sick of the kids telling me why can't you grow them like the ones from the supermarket, I have looked to see what we have been consuming after last years spuds ran out and have bought those varieties to grow myself this year. So that's 11 different types of spuds this year then, which is only 2.5% of the varieties out there.    

Swift - First Early - 10 Seed Potatoes - Among the fastest maturing of the first early varieties, being the quickest to produce heavy crops of round, smooth, white-fleshed baby new potatoes

Lady Christi - First Early - 11 Seed Potatoes- Lady Christl potatoes are an excellent first early variety that bulks up early in the season and can be harvested after just 8 weeks of sowing. Derek on the allotment had too many potatoes and offered me his excess, as I didn't have many first Early spuds I accepted his kind offering

Albert Bartlett Vivaldi - Second Early - 10 seed potatoes - Can be grown on as main crop - Sweet creamy taste - Great baker - I selected these because my kids are always saying my potatoes are not as good or as large as the shop bought ones for baked potatoes and this is one they believe is better than mine have been historically.

Sarpo KifliSecond Early - 6 Seed Potatoes - Blight resistant, white skinned second early crop,  Waxy potato with a new potato flavour all year round

Estima - Second Early - 25 seed potatoes - Good Uniform Shape Ideal for Boiling and Baking - 2kg sack bought from Wyevale no chits on them. Another shop bought potato I selected because my kids said they liked the shop bought ones. I looked at the small print on the label and read that they had been grown in Norfolk by Neil Van Poorvilet Variety Estima, up until then I had never heard of the Estima variety.  

Sarpo Mira - Main Crop - 18 Seed Potatoes - 2 went manky and had to be thrown away, and actually the ones in Wyevale look healthier and better sized and more consistent than those I received directly from the Sarpo people. The original blight buster developed for hard living and recommended by Dan on YouTube after seeing his reveals and as there was an offer on them I had to try them for myself.

Sarpo Axona Main Crop - 9 seed Potatoes - Blight resistant, red skinned main crop.  Floury potato idea for chipping, mashing and baking -

Sarpo Blue DanubeMain Crop - 9 Seed Potatoes -  unusual blue skinned variety with strong resistance to tuber blight.  The perfect roastie!

Desire - Main Crop - 10 Seed Potatoes - left over from last year that have developed chits and I thought why not give them a go and plant them as originally, until I could not resist and bought more potatoes, I was light on potatoes this year.

King Edwards - Main Crop - 22 Seed Potatoes - Fluffy Texture Ideal for Baking or Roasting, the kids disagree about the baking as they prefer the Estima -  2kg sack bought from Wyevale already had short chits

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