The Veg Diaries 2020 - Let's talk about spuds....

So here we are in the middle of May and my veg growing year is starting to pick up momentum.  One of my long standing favourite vegetables to grow are potatoes.  As a child I used to plant out the sprouted potatoes we had bought from the veg shop and not eaten quickly enough and I would get a reasonable little crop from them.  I always found this rather magical.  Since I have had the veg beds in my current house I have planted potatoes every year.  I usually plant them out and then inexpertly harvest them so that I have spuds sprouting from the previous year time after time.  Potatoes also take up quite a bit of space that I would rather use for other vegetables, so last year I grew them in containers and I was very pleased with the results.  This year I did not even think about it, the potatoes were going into the containers again.
I bought these seed potatoes when I visited Waterperry Gardens earlier this year.  This was the last garden visit I did before the lockdown. I now wistfully remember visiting gardens as it was something I loved doing and I hope before the year is out we are able to visit places again safely. 

I was also fortunate enough to have been given two different peat free composts to trial at the Garden Press Event in March.  I see this as doubly fortunate as we all know how difficult it is to get hold of compost at the moment.  I am hoping now nurseries and garden centres can open it will get easier to source.
I used the New Horizon All Veg Compost to plant the Rocket into.  
and the Happy Compost Vegetable Compost to plant the International Kidney into.  As you can see I even made a note of which was in which so I can keep a proper record.
They were planted up and soon began to sprout.  So I earthed them up using more compost.  The Rocket went off like a rocket! I soon has to earth them up again.
The Main Crop International Kidney have been slower to develop but I would expect that.  They too reacted well to being earthed up.
What the potatoes have reacted less well to has been the recent frost.  I am hoping we are now through the frost period and that going forward they will recover.
I used coir compost last year to grow my potatoes in and was very pleased with it.  I have to whisper a bit quietly that I am not a totally peat-free gardener.  I know I should be, I do want to be and that is why I am happy to trial these two composts.  Some peat free composts I find are better than others, which is just the same as any other compost really.  I am sure I will make the total move soon.  It is the responsible thing to do.  
Tonight we are due another frost so I have covered them in an old bit of sheeting in the hope that it will protect them from further damage.  I am watching them carefully and enjoying seeing them develop.  There is nothing, nothing more tasty than a home grown spud.

and yes, if the title has you humming a song by Salt'n'Peppa then my work here is done.......


  1. Hello, I really enjoyed reading your article about growing vegetables, I found it very helpful. Thank you, Richard

    1. Thanks for your comment, I'm glad you found it helpful.


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