Monday, March 26, 2018

Potato planting 2018

After the Beast from the East parts 1 and 2, and despite there being rumours of part 3 to come, we managed to plant all our potatoes on Saturday 24th March. This is probably the latest we've ever planted potatoes, and possibly the coldest wettest conditions too - the ground was so wet that the tractor would only pull the potato planter through it when going downhill, even though the incline is very slight.
Mateo and Mathis on the potato planter, fully loaded and ready to go (downhill!).
This year we decided to only plant first (Casablanca and Colleen) and second (Maris Peer) earlies, plus Charlotte salad potatoes, although we have done a single line of our own saved Sarpo Mira blight-tolerant maincrops. This was to save money on our seed potato bill, and because we don't have a functioning potato lifter, so that all our potatoes have to be dug by hand. We plan to buy local organic maincrop potatoes in bulk later in the season.
26 lines of 5 varieties of potatoes planted, taking 3 people most of one day.
 At the moment we are still digging up three varieties of potato planted this time last year - Valor, Ambo and Sarpo Mira. The longer they are in the ground though the more slug and eel-worm damage they sustain, and the recent heavy frosts have also damaged some.

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