Saturday, 1 August 2009

Honkjazz - The Allotment Part 20a

Hello Children.

I trust you've all been behaving yourselves in our absence? Didn't think so. No rhubarb jam for you.
As with the last post the dates of our gardening activities have been lost in the mists of time (fog of ale) but so much has been going on that it would be silly to try one huge rambling post (because we've never done that before).
So instead of that I'm going to try and put together a few mini-posts concentrating on one thing at a time. The photographs will be randomly selected from that last six months or so if at all and the varieties of vegetable and planting dates will be left blank for Herb to fill in because I don't know about those sort of things. It'll be like Blankety Blank. But without the chequepen and book. Is that alright?

The spuds this year have been a bit of an oddity. Not the things themselves, just the growing process. We planted the early, second early and main varieties (which were BLANK, BLANK and BLANK) all at the same time in the month of BLANK (I'm loving this already). The growth-rate of the spuds seemed a bit slow and the plants were quite small compared to last year leading Herb to think that he'd panted them too close together. However, when I visited my Papa's vegetable garden he was complaining about his plants being too big! The thinking was that all of the growth would be in the plants above the ground and not in the crop under it. We'll find out when he hoiks his spuds out later on this year.
Which leads to the Odd Factor (reality talent show idea no. 21) - the main crop plants have died back as well as the early and second earlys. They should have another six to eight weeks left before they die back so we're a bit flummoxed as to why they've bolted early. I shoved the fork under a rotting plant a tilted the soil up last week to check and there are big ol' spuds under the ground so its not a disaster, just a conundrum. Anyone?
Whatever - we've been taking the potatoes out of the ground in stages this year just because there's no way we can eat that many potatoes (we struggled with three beds last year - this year we have four) and last weekend I grabbed the last of the second earlys leaving just the mains underground. They'll probably have to come out soon though as the rain has been constant for weeks now and I'm a bit worried that they'll rot.
The harvest has been good and the pink potatoes are very cool and magical (especially for faerie Pwincesses). The haul is never as much as I imagine it will be which is silly really - each plant has had at least six to twelve spuds underneath it which is pretty good I reckon. But there's always a part of me that expects the ground to be packed with spuds, every square inch of it!!! Thousands of them!!!!
Anyways - we've probably pulled about five or six carrier bags full as of yet and we've been using them in curries, boiling, mashing, frying them, whatever we can as fast as we can. And they're a good size for throwing at kids on their bicycles as well.
Next up - broad beans!


jute said...

Welcome back Honkjazz! Our earlies took ages to grow and died back at the same time as or second earlies. First earlies were pink too but not as firm as I'd hoped for new potatoes. The second earlies are better all round, we've dug up about half of them. The main are still growing fine. If they look like they are flagging or going yellow give them a foliar feed of tomorite. It worked for me!

Looking forward to comparing notes on the broad beans.

Herbert Westchester & Brazil Banks said...

Main crop plants died off completely a couple of weeks ago! How long is is safe to leave spuds in the rfgown before they'll rot?
I'm loving the blanks more than anything I've ever done ever in the world ever.