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Planting Maincrop Varieties As Earlies ?


 
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Lius
Rank attained: Silver Birch Tree
Rank attained: Silver Birch Tree


Joined: 12 Mar 2009
Posts: 191
Location: Ballinteer, Dublin

PostPosted: Sun Jan 27, 2013 7:49 am    Post subject: Planting Maincrop Varieties As Earlies ? Reply with quote

Hi All,

I was digging in a load of well rotted manure into 3 of my raised beds yesterday which got me thinking, as there is no first early potato variety with good blight resistant can I plant Sarpo Mira as my first early? Why not? Anyone tried this?

I want to get the beds to produce (or at least grow) all year round with as little work as possible, six 8x4 beds in the back garden look awfully bleak from the kitchen window with no greenery and the winter crops are most welcome. I really like the Sarpo Mira, they are very hardy & vigorous and tasty. My first early crop last year (Pentland Javelin) was poor like most people reported. I see one report saying:- it may be best not to put Sarpos in too early; mine were badly hit by "early blight" (alternaria) when sown before June. (Note that this disease is NOT blight). Later-sown tubers were fine. But dont you run the risk of this with any variety. Would I be better going with a more traditional first early variety, something like Colleen which has some blight resistance.

The other three beds have produced for all winter again. One with kale and broccoli which is nearly ready to eat, the second over winter garlic & onions and one with Lola Rossi lettuce (which seems to grow all year in any weather just a bit slower) . One of the three beds I manured yesterday was producing Brussels Sprouts right up to Christmas. The beds look great with all that tall greenery, epically in the snow.
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Greengage
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Joined: 09 Nov 2011
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Location: Kildare

PostPosted: Tue Jan 29, 2013 9:13 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Potato varieties, are usually described as early, second early and maincrop potatoes.These names indicate when they crop, early potatoes are usually less likley to be attacked by pests but if damaged by frost they may not recover,
Second earlies usually take 16 to 17 weeks to mature after planting, so you should be able to harvest them from very late June through to the start of August. You then have main crops which are in the ground for about 18 to 20 weeks and store better. ANyway to answer your question If you plant Sarpo mira they have a few unusual characteristics including good blight resistance and a curious "horizantal" growth habit. These potatoes were developed over several generations by a family in Hungary. They are described as a late main crop variety so if you plant them say March 17th they will not be ready to lift until the end of July. If you plant an early variety like Home Guard will be ready to lift in approx 7 weeks
Sarpo mira as a first early NO>>>
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Lius
Rank attained: Silver Birch Tree
Rank attained: Silver Birch Tree


Joined: 12 Mar 2009
Posts: 191
Location: Ballinteer, Dublin

PostPosted: Tue Jan 29, 2013 4:57 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thanks Greengage,

Apologies, I asked that question before I thought about it properly. To get an early crop with Sarpo Mira (20 weeks to harvest) I would need to plant just after Christmas which would require a heated greenhouse with lights, DOH!

I decided to go with Colleen for my first earlies this year, I went back through my notebooks and saw that I had a good early crop with these in 2010 and noted that they tasted lovely. They are also resistant to tuber blight etc. and I see some great recommendations online for them. I need to get some Colleen seed now and get them chitted. Manuring - chitting, its starting all over again, just like Groundhog Day.

What is everyone else planting for first earlies???
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