Seen at the Festival of the Tree

...if you would be happy all your life, plant a garden ~ Chinese proverb

Monday, 24 March 2008

Holding Back the Spuds

Easter's meant to be the time to get yer spuds in - on Good Friday and with your earlies to be exact. However, I don't think the advice applies this year due to the very early Easter combined with the snow/frosts we've had (and still forecast to get) the past few days. Any road up I don't think my cold clay soil would pass the 'bare bottom sitting test' advocated by Bunny Guiness on Gardeners' Question Time a few weeks ago! Therefore, I'm leaving my spuds to continue chitting away in the dining room for now. They've got much more in the way of shoots today as the picture was taken just under a month ago when my freebie spuds arrived. They're are a relatively new early variety called Vales Emerald. I suspect I'll have to rub some of the shoots off before I plant them, leaving just 3 strong ones - you can have too much of a good thing. I'll also be planting Ulster Sceptre (another freebie - bred in the 1960s and meant to be high yielding), Anya (a cross between the delicious Desiree and the knobbly Pink Fir Apple), Harlequin (absolutely delicious last year) and Sarpo Axona. All except the Sarpo are earlies to try and beat the blight and the Sarpo one is a maincrop blight resistant variety I've grown before.

If you've planted your spuds already, I do hope you've got plenty of fleece to hand to tuck them up nicely on those chilly nights. However, my allotment neighbour Brian eschews all of this advice - plants his spuds in late February, doesn't use fleece, earths them up straight away and still gets a decent crop. Just shows that rules are made to be broken...

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