Wednesday, 11 April 2012

Potato trial part 2

I hope you all had a good Easter and managed to get some quality time down your plots. Me I mainly worked all Easter and didn’t get time to do much on the plot. Tuesday was a different story I got the potato trial under way. For all my readers that follow my blog will know this year I am trying 10 varieties of potato all mainly heritage and some over 100 years old I did have a bit of a setback in February and lost a few spuds due to the weather but I still had enough to go with.
I planted the First earlies (Dr Macintosh Winston & Ulster classic) a few weeks back now and the first signs of shoots are starting to appear.

Tuesday was time for the second earlies and the Main crops. I am planting in two different ways the first the tried and tested dig a trench 6 inches deep and place the potatoes in sprinkle with fertiliser and cover back up, the second is a far simpler way using a bulb planter taking out a small whole them plopping the spud in (with a little fertiliser) them covering it back up. I tried this last year with my Christmas spuds and I got a good crop.
All the potatoes have been chitting since February some of the potatoes really responded well to chitting, the Santé and the Majestic both had really good chits but the Doon Pearl and the Ryecroft purple had chits but were very small and look like they had only just started.
All the main crops went into the potato bed at the plot but the first and second earlies were both planted up in containers and dotted about around the plot. 

For me the first and second earlies aren’t really about yield but more about the taste and texture. I can’t wait to try the Dr Macintosh just because I love the name!  the main crops are a little more about the yield because this is what is going to supply us with our potatoes for the coming year but I still will have an eye on taste and texture because a potato may be a heavy cropper but it may taste like dish water!

I will also compare the different planting styles as the santé had 2 rows planted 1 with the trench method and 1 with the Bulb planter we will see what grows best and if there is even a difference.
The soil although it has been dug over was very hard going and due to the lack of rain over the winter when you get 4inches down its very dry and full of boulders I am hoping the potatoes will help break down the soil further.

All that’s left to do now is water them and wait….