Monday, 15 June 2015

First harvest of the year...


Well, not strictly true, since we've already eaten a few radishes...

This year we did something we'd often read about, but never tried before, i.e. growing potatoes in containers.

We'd planted up eleven 30 litre buckets filled with multipurpose compost, each with only two or three small seed potatoes, the first five batches of which were started off in the greenhouse towards the end of February before being transferred outside in April.

We'd bought twenty of these large white buckets, which had once held ice-cream, for a fiver in an eBay auction.   The seed stock was procured from Wilkinsons, for £1 per packet with each containing around five or six small tubers.  They were of different varieties; Casablanca, International Kidney, Charlotte, Nicola and Red Duke of York.

Each container was initially filled to around a third of its depth, and was topped up in two further stages as the tops grew.

And today we harvested all the potatoes from the first five containers, around 110 days after planting.


first two containers were a mixture of red and white varieties....



contents of one container....
the five containers refilled, and a bucketful of potatoes...

weighed in at just over 5 kg (11 lbs)...

We'll definitely try this again next year - the potatoes are of excellent quality with no sign at all of blight or pest damage, which we've always had when we've grown them directly in the ground.

And when we'd picked them, we immediately put all the compost back into the containers with a sprinkling of Growmore, before sowing Marion carrot seeds, so hopefully we'll get two different crops this year from these same five pots.

The other six containers were all planted later, and placed outdoors from the outset.   After a slow start they've come on a treat recently, and are still growing strong.   This time we'll wait until they've either flowered or started to die off before they're picked.


still to come later in the summer.....

It's nice to have something early from the garden, especially with the very slow rate of progress of everything else this year, mainly due to too many unseasonal cold nights.  Even last night, the 14th of June, the temperature dropped to only 4 degrees here !

The next harvest will almost certainly be the strawberries, which are fattening up well and hopefully we'll pick the first ones within the next couple of weeks...



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