Potatoes: Heart Over Head
Way back in February I told you about the potatoes I was going to grow this year. We're still munching our way through the overall results, but today I can bring you those from my grow-in-a-bag 'Jazzy' trial.
I find growing potatoes is a triumph of my heart over my head. If you look at it purely from an economic point of view, it simply doesn't make sense as spuds are as cheap as chips [actually, they're cheaper - Ed] in the shops.
Yet there's nothing that brings me greater pleasure than my first dig of the year for the treasure buried in my potato patch. Then there's the warmth I felt from bringing home these particular spuds from a mere feet and seconds away, plus I usually choose varieties unavailable in the shops.
Other results I've seen had more than 40 potatoes per bag. However these had many pea-sized spuds; all but one of mine were of a decent size.
I confess I was a bit lax with my watering during the dry period we had early summer, which probably helps to explain the discrepancy in the results. In terms of the amount of compost used and number of tubers planted it's a better result than my air pot trial a few years ago, though unsurprisingly it's not as good as Mark's results with a maincrop potato.
Cooking and taste-wise 'Jazzy' is a typical waxy salad potato. I've yet to find one which beats my beloved 'Harlequin', though I've heard good reports of 'Epicure'.
Will I grow potatoes next year? You bet. If you remain unconvinced, Jono has six great reasons to persuade you.
Update: Helen told me via my Comments she also trialled 'Jazzy' using various composts this year. Her full report is here. For the record I grew mine in Sylvagrow. It turns out Jazzy has its own website (there's posh) and they're available to buy at the Co-op.
Helen's also rootled out a useful RHS trials report which shows 'Jazzy's' yields may be high in terms of numbers, but it might be better to look elsewhere in terms of weight. The reported yields were for 5 tubers in 40 litres of compost, so it looks like our results were slightly better for 1 tuber planted in 8 litres of compost.