Potato planting has begun

My potatoes have been sprouting like crazy. Good Friday is the more traditional ‘potato planting day’, but my spuds will never last that long. And I have about 8 rows worth to plant. Every year we decide to plant fewer potatoes, and every year I get seduced by different varieties, and end up taking other peoples surplus, and inevitably end up with too many.

I’m not the only one though, there are always people on our site trying to off load the potatoes they’ve simply run out of space for. What is it with potatoes? We’ve all got eyes bigger than our plots!

So the first 3 rows have been done, 2 of Casablanca and 1 of Ratte. A bit of a first for me, as it’s usually John’s job, so I won’t live it down if they don’t succeed. Thankfully I had some time-honoured advice (like it or not) from one of the old boys next door.

After digging a trench (about 6 inches deep – thereabouts) I threw in some dried, concentrated manure (Organic Extra) which I buy from Marshalls, and then spaced the larger potatoes around 12 inches apart, and the smaller ones a bit closer. I don’t worry too much about the spacing, as sometimes it depends how many you want to fit in a row. I then gave both the trench and the potatoes a good soaking with water (with liquid seaweed added for good measure) before earthing the trench back up.

Everyone has their own methods and matter which they add to the trench, I don’t think there’s any right or wrong way. So long as you get some goodness in there for a healthy start, and then ensure they’re weeded and watered (which goes for most things) they should be fine. I do think it’s a good tip, which I received, to water the potatoes before earthing them up, as they soak it up like little sponges and it’ll help them get going.

Apparently if you have some chitted potatoes which have shrivelled and dried up, you can soak them in water to revitalise them again before planting. Just be sure to plant them straight away though, or else they’ll rot.

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