This weekend saw the rest of the potatoes harvested. The plants had suffered somewhat from the windy weather, stalks all looking fairly battered and broken so it seemed best to just dig them all up, rather than risk my precious crop rotting in the ground.
The total quantity didn’t quite live up to the promise of the first two plants, but it still exceeded the weight that my kitchen scales were capable of weighing! It all came in at a little over 6kg, so that’s a grand total of 8kg of organic (ish) potatoes for the £4 or so the seed potatoes cost me. I know that I could have got the yields up if I had only bothered to earth up the plants (or indeed to anything other that stick them in the ground and wait 4 months!) but I’m still pretty pleased with the result.
For comparison purposes I’ve tried finding the ‘going rate’ for organic heritage potatoes – it doesn’t seem fair to look at the price of Tesco Value pots! – and they seem to be around £22 or £23. Not bad at all.
We also picked the first summer savoy, which is delicious – happily they seem to be hearting up fairly staggered, so we’re not going to be in a panic to eat a dozen cabbages over a three day period.
I’ve also put some winter savoy seeds into my little seed pellet things, which will go into the space freshly vacated by the potatoes. No point in letting ground go unused – which is why I’ve also put in the first row of lettuces which can sit between the cabbages until they start growing up.
Next thing to decide is if I’m going to try and squeeze any more crops out of the space soon to be vacated by the summer savoys; it’ll have to be something pretty fast growing, and I’ll have to start praying for an indian summer, but I may as well try!
The tomatoes – which were a source of concern earlier – have recovered totally after I finally decided they needed feeding. All three plants are growing strong, and each of them have at least a few green tomatoes hanging off them.
The courgettes are just starting to form; I can see two or three round yellow fruit lurking there and soon I’ll have to work out at what stage I’m supposed to pick them! The ‘backup’ plants I put in aren’t doing so well – one has been eaten by whatever it is that has such a taste for courgette seedlings, and the other is struggling and barely growing at all. Still, it might pick up.
The first batch of potatoes are pretty much eaten, which is just as well as a couple of the remaining plants look really unhealthy – I think their stalks have got broken by the wind we’ve had lately, so I really need to pull those now. Good timing, though.
Savoys are getting very close, I expect we’ll be enjoying them at the weekend. The onions and sweetcorn continue to grow, albeit slowly. I remember from last year thinking how sluggish the sweetcorn was being, but it’s just a matter of patience – they start their growth spurt later than the other things I’m growing this year.
The potato harvest raises some interesting questions, as I’m about to have a small patch of bare earth. I may just put some lettuce in there for a quick crop, but I’m also wondering if I can get away with planting out some seriously late winter savoy.
Well, after agonising about the right time to start lifting the potatoes I finally started digging some up this weekend. I was slightly concerned that I would be forced to harvest all of them in one go, but it turns out that the plants are fairly self-contained so I only pulled two plants.
Total harvest was slightly over 2kg, so if I keep to that rate I should get something like 10kg of potatoes for my initial outlay of £4 or so. My beloved was determined that I should get more pictures into this blog so helpfully stood over me snapping away as I dug!
They’re not quite as ‘blue-skinned’ as the description made them sound – I’d say it was closer to purple. It’s also slightly disappointing that most of the colour comes out of them as they’re boiled – however, they really are delicious (although it’s always hard to know how much of that is real and how much is wishful thinking!)
In other news, the Summer Savoy is starting to heart up very well, the onions are beginning to look like proper onion plants and the surviving courgette plant is growing like there’s no tomorrow – so we should eat well in a few weeks time…