Tuesday, 05 August 2014 20:13

Potato Harvest Time Featured

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Some of today's potato crop Some of today's potato crop

 Gardening Diary 5th August 2014

On a hot and sunny afternoon I spent a most pleasurable couple of hours lifting more of this year's crop of potatoes. This is one of the most rewarding tasks in the gardening year, and it is always a wonder to raise a forkful of good-sized tubers. As in previous years, around ten percent had been nibbled from the outside by those rather unpleasant red-headed grubs, but the joy of finding the rest with perfect size and shape far outweighs any slight concerns about any losses. This year I planted two types of potato – a few King Edwards for the first time, and the red skinned “Rosabella” that I harvested today,

The Rosabella yield was good with many good and even-sized tubers, having shallow eyes and smooth skin. Our first boiling of these was a little disappointing, since they fell apart at the point of being ready. Reading the literature suggests that these are recommended more for frying, salads and purée, so we will be trying that next time.

The gardening literature frequently recommends planting potatoes in newly created beds as a way of improving the soil. I'm not convinced that has anything to do with the plants, but a real benefit results from the thorough digging that usually happens in the quest to retrieve the whole harvest. If the rain holds off, I will be lifting more potatoes tomorrow.

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