Friday, October 23, 2009

The Humble Potato

The idea of growing potatoes had never really appealed to me, the digging trenches to plant them in and the harvesting always seemed to be too much like hard work.

However, this year all the garden centres were advertising potato pods, just strong plastic bags to grow them in, and that sounded right up my street.

A little compost in the bottom of the pod, five seed potatoes placed on top and covered by a little more compost. The bag is then topped up at intervals keeping the shoots covered until the pod is full, easy peasy. The stems then reach to about 18" above the top of the pod, die off, and, hey presto, they are ready to harvest.

One word of caution, not being the most patient of gardeners, as soon as the stems had turned yellow, I assumed they were dead and emptied the pod out. Big mistake. There certainly were lots of potatoes which ranged in size to that of a pea up to the size of a grape and the whole pod full was barely enough for one meal. Needless to say every last potato was carefully washed and cooked, yes even the pea size ones, and delicious they were too.

I have subsequently discovered the pods enjoy a weekly feed of "Miraclegrow" or similar plant food to get better results and the temptation to empty the pods too soon must be strongly resisted. I did getter better results from pod number two and that crop did at least get to the size of a plum.

Next year, with patience and a little more loving care, I feel sure I will easily achieve potatoes large enough to be classified as jackets.

As this was my first attempt at potatoes I tried four pods, one of which is still growing. Next season I will have at least eight and will include the variety "Charlotte", surely the best salad potato ever and "Rooster", the most versatile. Apart from those two there is such a selection on the market I shall probably close my eyes and use a pin to select some others. I guess that is as good a way as any to discover which are the best.

1 comment:

  1. I can certainly give a thumbs up to the cucumbers, i promptly took my whopping cucumber that Mary had given me home and followed a recipie also supplied by Mary! Baked in the oven stuffed with savoury mince, wonderful!Thankyou. Tracey.


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