Sunday, February 26, 2012

Planting new potatoes.

Yesterday, Saturday 25th February, a team of eight began planting this season's seed potatoes. We have planned 20 beds of new potatoes on the market garden field, 10 beds each of Maris Peer (which we grew last year and were delicious) and Pink Fir Apple (a new variety for us). The market garden field is primarily worked by hand - this season's maincrop potatoes will be planted by machine on another field after it has been ploughed by tractor.
Preparing beds for new potatoes.
 The area we are planting was ploughed last May but weeded over again during the year. In September we dug the dock roots out of it and covered it in a mulch of thick black plastic. This has had the affects of keeping the soil dryer and more workable during the current wet weather, of warming the soil up, and of killing most of the weed growth, thus reducing our workload now planting has come around (and allowing us to start work one week earlier than last year).
The new potato beds, with black plastic mulch in the background.
 There are still couch grass roots in there, which we dig out and give to the chickens to peck through and destroy, and dandelion roots which our pigs love eating. We hope to have all 20 beds prepared and planted by the end of next weekend, thanks of course to our wonderful community volunteers.
A well-earned cuppa out on the veg field.

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