If you’ve been following the blog for for a few months, you’ll know that I planted some potatoes back in April. I’ve looked after the plot, weeded it, de-stoned it, shooed cats away from it, fretted as the fox used it as a thoroughfare and watered it during our extended weeks of sun.

I watched as the shoots grew into stems and developed leaves, then flowered. I’ve watched the plants thicken and grow taller, then start to sag. I’ve protected them from snails and slugs. In the last few days, a couple of them have turned yellow and started to die. I looked it up and found that now was the right time to dig them up.

So this afternoon I dug them up! There were more than I remember (I planted 15 seed potatoes) but when I was watering them I was sure not all of them had surfaced. After an hour or so of digging, I have managed to harvest 22.5lbs of spuds. The smallest one didn’t register on the scales, the largest was exactly 1lb. There was no real difference between the trench planted potatoes and the ones in individual holes.

Tonight I will be having pie ‘n’ mash. Tomorrow, sausages and home made chips. Sunday, roast spuds and chicken. Monday, burger and mash. Tuesday, cottage pie with lots of mash. By next Friday, I’ll be having toast and mash and I’m thinking about spud sandwiches, too. I anticipate potatoes playing a large part in my diet for a while to come.

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Tatty Pots

I dug my vegetable plot on 17 February. I enlarged it the next day and for the next few weeks, I dug it over, removed so many stones that I could build a small cottage and worked in compost. I weeded, removed more stones (my mum used to say that the garden grew stones) and weeded again.

All the while, my potatoes for planting were in egg boxes in a dark part of the kitchen as I waited for the shoots to start to grow. Except that for some reason, they didn’t grow. Not a single shoot, and usually I’m throwing potatoes away precisely because they are shooting. It’s been too cold to plant anyway. But now is the right time, The temperature has gone up and the rest of the garden is growing fast. So yesterday I got some seed potatoes and this evening I planted them.

I decided to experiment and so one lot went into a trench while another lot went in to individual holes. I’d seen this kind of planting at Dingboche in Nepal, so I was keen to see if it offered any advantages. I’ve planted about 15 potatoes – 10 in the trench and five in the holes.

Watch this space for the developments as they happen. If you can contain your excitement.

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