I have been harvesting potatoes again. I'm not complaining about this - far from it, I am really enjoying the long period over which my potatoes have been maturing. This demonstrates the wisdom of choosing to grow several different varieties. Earlier this year I got my seed potatoes from a "Potato Day" at Whitchurch, where you could buy potatoes individually, enabling you to have exactly what you want, rather than being obliged to buy by the kilogram or net. I shall definitely be doing the same next year.
As most of you know, I grow my potatoes in containers, which makes it easy to harvest in succession. Whenever we need more spuds I just go out in the garden and tip out the contents of one more container:
There's that moment of anxious anticipation, waiting to see what the crop is like - and then the spuds come tumbling out...
And then you scrabble around in the compost with your fingers, lifting out all those little golden beauties...
This latest batch is from another plant of "Nicola". It weighed 776 grams - not as good as the last one of this type, but still good.
I am really pleased with the quality of the potatoes I have grown this year. Even these ones which have been in their containers for several months are still smooth and unblemished. I will almost certainly grow my potatoes in the same growing medium (composted stable manure) next year too. I have learned through experience that potatoes grown in dry compost are much more prone to disease (especially Scab) than ones grown in compost with a high level of "bulky organic matter". I know that some people advocate surrounding the seed potato tubers with grass clippings, but in view of the issues I encountered this year with compost contaminated with clopyralids (used extensively in domestic lawn weed-killers), I am not going to recommend this!
Luckily for me, the best is probably still to come... I have the Pink Fir Apple ones to look forward to. I hope they will be of a similar standard to those already harvested!