When I suddenly realised this week that our early potatoes may be ready to harvest after just 7 weeks, I could hardly wait to have a wee poke about in the soil to catch a glimpse of those golden orbs. I had been worrying about this variety called 'Swift' (described in the catalogues as the earliest potato yet) as I missed the flowers and recently the foliage has looked less than healthy. And what with the ants I disturbed when weeding I had pretty much resigned myself to a failure. However, I was pleasantly surprised. The first couple of tubers were like little and large - one the size of a grape, the other a large egg. Not put off I groped around in the soil a bit more and sure enough more tubers tumbled forth.
Now, the yield isn't great, most likely due to slack watering (poor things had to make do with mother natures will which - to be honest - has been less than giving since early April), but on returning home the first spuds weighed in at just under 1kg. Not bad for two haulms - I expected less. Other indications of thirsty spuds are split tubers (had a couple of those) and common scab - a bacterial disease common on light sandy soils and encouraged by hot dry weather ( had a lot of that!). There was also a bit of wire worm damage (those orangey yellow critters that hatch into click beetles) but really, none of these conditions will render them inedible. In fact, I scoffed some tonight, lightly dressed in a vinegarette made with a glug of oil, a splash of lemon juice and a dollop of whole grain mustard. Deliciously decadent - so tender and creamy! Highly recommended! Potatoes may be dull and back breaking to plant, but oh so rewarding to harvest and consume!
Other pics I took today include the pumpkins and nasturtiums Jess planted and I have to tell ya that mulching is the way to go people! So - there may be a problem with the perennial weeds continuing to poke their way through but I've not really had to water as the mulch has stored the moisture for me under it's dense blanket. Excellent news!
The early onions are almost ready to harvest - I think. Not huge but reasonably successful.
Beautiful borage - soon the plot will be full of the shameless self seeder!
And the geraniums. I recently added a few new ones to the collection - an indulgence of mine. A gorgeous magenta flowered psilostemen called 'Dragon heart' ; a maculatum called 'Expresso' and my personal favourite 'Else Lacy' a pretense type, first spotted in a fabby little nursery near Saffron Waldon maybe five years ago. At the time, their only stock plant would have set me back around £300!! I'm glad I waited.
Wednesday, 17 June 2009
Monday, 1 June 2009
The sun was out, we had a ton of camping gear with us just to make a single cup of tea, mum brought some lemon meringue pie and dad and I spent the afternoon watching the women work, all in all it was a very successful first allotment tea party!