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2nd Early Spuds


 
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Micks Garden
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PostPosted: Fri Mar 17, 2017 11:35 pm    Post subject: 2nd Early Spuds Reply with quote

Never grown spuds before - we like white varieties - roasted or mash, we never eat plain boiled spuds . I am Planning to plant last week march first week April .
What varieties should I go for ?- . Also If I want small potatoes for salads should I pick immature little spuds or is there a variety suitable for this ? .
I have two hot compost heaps on the go one is at boiling point the other is cooling and should be ready for late march .
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tagwex
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PostPosted: Sat Mar 18, 2017 7:53 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

You can't go wrong with British Queens (plant now and you can harvest in early July) and Golden Wonders (plant now and harvest late September) Red Duke of York is a great tasting spud too but I know you said you like whites. Depending on the size of your plot I would get seeds from a few varieties and experiment with them. I had 12 varieties on the go here 2 years ago. Save the seed of those that you like and you are set for next year.
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tagwex
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PostPosted: Sat Mar 18, 2017 7:55 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

P'S. The Queens make lovely salad potatoes.
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Micks Garden
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PostPosted: Sat Mar 18, 2017 11:58 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

tagwex wrote:
Depending on the size of your plot.

I have a big plot but I am bringing top soil in for most of it, so I am not confined for space . There is only me and her indoors so we don't need a ton of spuds.
I will try all you suggested and see how I get on .
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Blowin
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PostPosted: Sun Mar 19, 2017 9:41 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Quite by accident I stumbled on a variety last year that did very well. They're called 'Markies' and are billed as a second early. They're white too.

Going on previous years, I bought some 'Kestrel' (earlies) plus the Markies, and a few 'Desiree' (main crop) which are reds but all the same when peeled. The Markies were ready to dig well before the Kestrels so I started on them, then transferred to the Kestrels and, because they're susceptible to slug damage, I dug the Desirees and put them in a sack. Once we'd exhausted the Kestrels, we used the other two intermittently and I think we had the last of the Markies (straight from the soil) in November.

So this year I've abandoned the Kestrels, planted a few Desiree left over from last year and have gone full out on Markies, both planted last weekend. Like you, there are only two of us and I've put a note in my diary for 20 June to 'Try Markies' as that'll be 14 weeks after sowing. I hope that helps?

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mange tout
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PostPosted: Sun Mar 19, 2017 2:11 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

How do people plant them? A friend told me to build the soil up in a ridge and then plant them a few cms under the top. They worked fine, though I saw in a book recently that suggested you just plant them at ground level then build up the ridge as they grow by earthing them up?
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tagwex
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PostPosted: Sun Mar 19, 2017 2:33 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Get them in as deep as you can and earth up as well, this leads to a bigger crop.
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Blowin
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PostPosted: Sun Mar 19, 2017 5:55 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I think all these pieces of advice are right, but the basic thing to know is that all the crop is produced ABOVE the seed. You'll find people who've laid the seed potatoes on the soil, waited until the helm is growing, laid black plastic over them, cut holes for the helms to poke through, and then tied the plastic round them to prevent light getting through. All that's then necessary is to lift the plastic and gather the spuds (they say). Others use an old dustbin that the bottom's rotted out of. The idea is to stand it in a tray, or similar, plant the seed, cover with soil, wait until the plants breakthrough, cover them again with soil and keep doing so until the dustbin is full. The tray makes watering possible and the plant keeps producing spuds all the time soil is being added. Once they've had time to mature, the dustbin is shaken, using the handles, and the spuds harvested from the bottom as they show. This is supposed to allow the next up the line to fill out etc. and there are wonderful tales of one seed producing 1cwt of spuds - but I've never tried it.

This year, to save space, I drew out a 12-14 inch drill with a rake and planted my seed spuds down each side in a sort of double row. I've got a huge stack of well composted lawn mowings that I'll put down the middle when they show, and then I'll pull soil in from either side to complete the earthing up process. What the results will be, goodness knows, but I'll have saved a bit of space if nothing else.

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mange tout
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PostPosted: Sun Mar 19, 2017 7:17 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

That bin idea sounds mad! But super productive. Someone should try it, I only on my second season of spuds so going to stay conventional for the time being.

Is the theory that the plant will continually grow as long as soil is added to the top? Surprised they don't do that commercially if so
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tagwex
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PostPosted: Sun Mar 19, 2017 7:23 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

1. Yes.
2. Wouldn't be commercially viable as there wouldn't be enough soil on that scale. Us small farmers can do it up to a point.

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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: Mon Mar 20, 2017 5:59 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

MT - As Tagwex says, it always has to be done by hand and is thus very labour intensive for commercial application, but some accessory companies offer plastic bags that do the same thing. As on so many fronts, machinery can be a boon but there are also methods available to the domestic gardener that the big boys simply can't afford to employ.
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Micks Garden
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PostPosted: Mon Mar 20, 2017 11:01 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thanks for all the replies, I will try the varieties suggested , but will leave the bin method til next year .
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tagwex
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PostPosted: Mon Mar 20, 2017 8:14 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

You could try one plant as an experiment. But use old car tyres instead, just keep adding tyres and the spuds will keep on growing.
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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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Micks Garden
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PostPosted: Mon Mar 20, 2017 9:06 pm    Post subject: Beach Combing Reply with quote

I might do a bit of beach combing this week , there's always loads of containers washed up (and well washed), if I get a few will give the bin method a try .

Last edited by Micks Garden on Mon Mar 20, 2017 10:51 pm; edited 1 time in total
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Sue Deacon
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PostPosted: Mon Mar 20, 2017 10:20 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Best salad taters? Charlottes, by a country mile.

My sister has special woven tater bags (for woven taters? Confused ) right outside the kitchen door. OK she's growing them for only two people but you really can't get any more fresh than that!

I bought three of those bags for the Charlottes this year, can't be outdone by my little sister.

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