Actually there are a grand total of 34 potatoes now planted in my garden, as I have spent a couple of hours this afternoon putting the 10 King Edwards and 14 Rooster, chitted tubers into their final positions, having already planted my 10 Duke of York first earlies, in to the half barrels a few weeks ago.
Half a dozen King Edwards went into one of the normal beds beside the gravel path, with 4 Rooster in the slightly smaller neighbouring bed. One of the half sized raised beds is now home to two more of the King Edwards.
The look of my newly planted potato bed(s) always tickles me, as the little mounds left behind wouldn’t look out of place in an episode of CSI or even some horror movies.
So with 12 of the potatoes safely buried deep underground, I had to figure out just where I could slot the others in, not that they were needing bed space. No, my remaining seed potatoes were going into either potato bags or reclaimed compost bags and it was where to set up my potato bag colony that was the problem.
Had all the bags been the smart looking bottle green ones I’d bought from Wilkinsons a couple of weeks ago, then I could have looked at using the concrete area outside the greenhouses. However, most of the potatoes were in the old compost bags and didn’t look particularly pleasing and so an alternative spot needed to be found.
I settled on the area between the back of the raised beds and the half barrels, as this area is fairly well sheltered, offers both sunshine and shade and the ugly compost bags wouldn’t be visible from the house or the rest of the garden. There is a concern with this particular spot though which is the very real danger of damage from next doors football which comes flying over our 6 foot fence every couple of days or so through the Spring and Summer but then, as last year proved, it would appear that nowhere in the veg garden is safe from potential football damage and so I decided that this was as a good a place as any.
I have to say that the potato bags which I got from Wilkinsons, appear to be a nice quality and even the drainage holes are reinforced and if they survive this season and do a good job, then I’ll get some more for next year. The last two King Edwards went into one of the bags and then the remaining Roosters went into the other potato bag and the compost bags.
I filled each of the bags to a depth of around 8 inches, placed two potatoes into each, taking great care not to snap or damage the shoots and then put a further 8 inches of compost over the top of them. In the case of the compost bags I did exactly the same but as these weren’t as rigid as the potato bags, I placed each one into a shallow flexi-bucket to give it that little bit extra support. I also made several drainage holes in the bottom of each compost bag – the buckets are used to grow beans in and so already had drainage holes.
I will keep an eye on the weather reports and if a frost is predicted or hinted at, I will be using some more of my bubble wrap to try give the tubers extra protection. Now what I need is a nice hot bath.