Potato time

Chitted for the recommended six weeks, 4kg of early variety seed potatoes, Orla and Colleen, went into the ground in time for St Patrick’s Day (17 March). The Colleens are an early potato that we should be able to start lifting from June. The Orlas, while an early variety, can stay in the ground longer, so we’ll have them to eat after the Colleens.

We have a stock of Sarpo Mira maincrops stored away and will start chitting the first lot soon to go into the ground in April, with the remainder going in after the Colleens start coming out from June.

All going to plan, we will have a steady supply of potatoes from June into the winter.

One of two bags with seeds potatoes in them in the polytunnel

While it may seem wasteful to some, growing so many potatoes in a limited grow-space (at least five of our eleven outside raised beds will grow potatoes), there are few crops that give us as much joy as the potato: from chitting, to sowing, to earthing up, to seeing them flower and then digging them out when ready. Never mind eating them. Similarly, at least two of our raised beds will be given over to alliums: onions by the hundred, garlic, spring onions, leeks. All cheap and readily available, but crops we cook all the time – and therefore the ones that will bring the garden into the kitchen every day. We planted another ninety garlic bulbs in recent weeks, joining those that have overwintered since October in the first of our raised beds, along with spring onion seeds sown directly mid-March.

Red and white onion seedlings in the polytunnel. We sowed 400 seeds in February and March.
Lovely muscaries growing from a wall in the garden.

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