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First and second earlies - Potatoes


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jimiseven
Rank attained: Hazel Tree
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Joined: 23 Sep 2012
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PostPosted: Thu Jun 18, 2015 12:15 pm    Post subject: First and second earlies - Potatoes Reply with quote

Hello All

Have had a go at potatoes this year, in bags. Have tried to be dutiful, particularly slug patrol! Just hope there are none underground laughing

I have 6 bags, two of each variety below, all planted around 24 April.

Home Guard (1st early)
Gemson (2nd early I think)
Desiree (Main crop)

My Gemson have just started to flower, whilst my Home Guard have not. I read somewhere that Home Guard do not flower? I am now wondering what to do re harvesting. Would Home Guard be ready yet (just over 8 weeks in now) and was not expecting to harvest Gemson for another 4 weeks.

Any help on what to do, leave em in, harvest would be greatly appreciated - for both Home Guard and Gemson. There has been a spot of blackfly on one of the Home Guards recently which I have been clearing by hand and the odd greenfly is starting to appear.

Many thanks.
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tagwex
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Joined: 23 Feb 2010
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Location: Co. Wexford

PostPosted: Thu Jun 18, 2015 1:19 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hi there, Home guard do flower. Earlies can be picked at 10 weeks approx. but they may seem watery to the taste. When the foliage begins to turn yellow and die back is the time to harvest. Personally I leave them 12 to 14 weeks to harden them up a bit. Stick your hands in and see what they are like size wise.
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Blowin
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Location: Drimoleague, Co Cork

PostPosted: Thu Jun 18, 2015 8:51 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I agree with Tagwex. My main reference source, our postman, has always told me that 14 weeks is the time to start lifting earlies, so 8 weeks seems very early to me? We dug a few 'strays', missed when lifting last year's crop, and, as Tagwex says again, they have little or no substance and are very watery.

My (2nd) earlies are Kestrel, planted 24 March, and showed their first flowers last weekend. I've put a note in my diary to have a first look around 10 July.

My Desirees, planted 04 April, flowered at the same time but I simply start lifting them when the Kestrels run out - nothing more scientific than that. Once blight is a possibility, and because I only grow a small amount for the two of us, I cover the lot in 2-metre wide fleece full time and roll it back as I take the crop.

I think you've got to wait a while?

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tagwex
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PostPosted: Thu Jun 18, 2015 10:16 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

That's a first Blowin, you actually agreeing with me and not once but twice!!!
Did you enjoy your Islamic day?

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Its my field. Its my child. I nursed it. I nourished it. I saw to its every want. I dug the rocks out of it with my bare hands and I made a living thing of it!

This boy can really sing http://youtu.be/Dgv78D2duBE
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Blowin
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PostPosted: Fri Jun 19, 2015 4:37 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Morning only at my age!!!
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Lius
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PostPosted: Tue Jun 23, 2015 9:26 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I have three varieties of first earlies, all planted the week before Paddy's Day 15/16 weeks now. None have flowered and no foliage going yellow, they look as fit as a fiddle. I have never seen this before, is it the unusually cold weather??

BTW I started into them anyway, I wash & cut them up, rub with olive oil, sea salt, cracked black pepper and grill on the barbecue. They look a little like roasties but have the taste and texture of new potatoes, delicious.
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tagwex
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PostPosted: Tue Jun 23, 2015 9:39 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I finally got my spuds sown on the 11th June, I know, I know, but there are reasons that I wont bore you with, main one being the field is wet, too wet to get a tractor in and the springs don't help either. There is approx. 0.3 acres sown, the other 0.1 is for the other veg. Anyway, 11 varieties in this year, had a walk through yesterday and noticed that the Blue Danubes are starting to poke their heads up already after only 10 days!
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Its my field. Its my child. I nursed it. I nourished it. I saw to its every want. I dug the rocks out of it with my bare hands and I made a living thing of it!

This boy can really sing http://youtu.be/Dgv78D2duBE
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Blowin
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PostPosted: Tue Jun 23, 2015 4:22 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Perhaps you should boil them first, before you plant them, then at least they'll come up ready cooked for Christmas lunch.
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Ado 2
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PostPosted: Tue Jun 23, 2015 8:17 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I put spuds in bags 3 weeks ago now fir pink Apple I have been putting my home made compost in as they sprout I have lots of compost as I had to give up my veg bed for the greenhouse but as I live in a small suburban back garden I have to make the most of the space I have perpetual cabbage ( is that the word , it just keeps on giving , someone gave it to me a few years ago anyway I have that in a pot I planted celery , leeks ,
lettuce in pots Well I have to eat !
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tagwex
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PostPosted: Wed Jun 24, 2015 12:37 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Blowin wrote:
Perhaps you should boil them first, before you plant them, then at least they'll come up ready cooked for Christmas lunch.


Cheeky ++++++, I will have crop by end of August, the main crop should be pickable by December. You have your stony ground and I have my wet ground, so between us we have a lot to contend with.

_________________
Its my field. Its my child. I nursed it. I nourished it. I saw to its every want. I dug the rocks out of it with my bare hands and I made a living thing of it!

This boy can really sing http://youtu.be/Dgv78D2duBE
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tagwex
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PostPosted: Wed Jun 24, 2015 7:50 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Heading to Tippbens' part of the world today, I wonder is he home.....
_________________
Its my field. Its my child. I nursed it. I nourished it. I saw to its every want. I dug the rocks out of it with my bare hands and I made a living thing of it!

This boy can really sing http://youtu.be/Dgv78D2duBE
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Lius
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PostPosted: Wed Jun 24, 2015 2:00 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

So what about none of my three varieties of first earlies not flowering after 16 weeks ???

My second earlies show no sign of flowers either, the still have 4-6 weeks to go, probably a bit early for them.
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tagwex
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Location: Co. Wexford

PostPosted: Wed Jun 24, 2015 3:42 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Well May was colder than usual and the soil didn't heat up as much as it should have and you are on the coast so that may not have helped either. How sure are you that what you think you have planted is what was planted? Wrong labels maybe, it wouldn't be the first time.
_________________
Its my field. Its my child. I nursed it. I nourished it. I saw to its every want. I dug the rocks out of it with my bare hands and I made a living thing of it!

This boy can really sing http://youtu.be/Dgv78D2duBE
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jimiseven
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PostPosted: Wed Jun 24, 2015 8:16 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Quick update - it is actually the Desiree main crop that are flowering, whilst Gemson and Home Guard are not.

Interested to see that Lius mentioned he was harvesting Desiree already. Have left Home Guard in, had a root around the potato bag last week as Tagwex suggested - still small enough, so have left alone. Might pick a few at the end of this week. Can I root around and pick a few out of the bag or should I just empty the lot, take the bigger ones and then put back in bag to let smaller ones develop?

Saw a first blight warning in place now for parts of the country - given the humidity.
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tagwex
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PostPosted: Wed Jun 24, 2015 10:33 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Patience is a virtue Jimiseven.
But I can empathise with you, the first year I grew potatoes I was regularly checking the size of them as I just couldn't wait for them to mature. Too excited I guess.

_________________
Its my field. Its my child. I nursed it. I nourished it. I saw to its every want. I dug the rocks out of it with my bare hands and I made a living thing of it!

This boy can really sing http://youtu.be/Dgv78D2duBE
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