Sunday, 8 March 2015

"The Grand Old Duke Of York". Planting Early Potatoes. Blog number 400.


It's a glorious sunny Sunday morning here in West Cork.  I noticed the buttercups and the Docks are starting to push through the soil I prepared for the spudatoes last month.  So we decided to plant our Duke of York 'First Earlie's today.  We bought a bag of seed potatoes from Lidl a month ago and chitted them in the front room in an old baking tray.  We planted a few of them in the polytunnel a few weeks ago and I noticed today they are just pushing through the soil today.

 Weird shadows?  Me leaning on the rake and the photographer taking the picture.  Bantry Bay in the background.

 Me raking the soil back.  We are only having 3 or 4 twenty five foot long rows of early potatoes this year.  Last year we cut the plot down by thirty percent.  A medium sized plot that's easily to maintain is a lot easier than a large plot full of weeds.  They involve work though and we are in our fifties.  My mum and dad aren't around here any more to have a share of the harvest.  So we just grow enough for the four of us.

If you go in Aldi you can buy vegetables for 39 Cents.  I see they are 39 Pence on the English television adverts.  I always thoughts Sterling was stronger than the Euro?  At that price it hardly makes them worth growing des it?  But you can't beat your own  fresh grown vegetables.
 The first greeen potato stalk sprouting in the poly-tunnel.
Onion sets planted next to the path to make easier weeding.
 Onions and shallots growing in old plastic baths.  Notice my straw path next to the poly-tunnel?  It's got a cardboard mulch under it and it stops me from strimming the plastic on the poly-tunnel.
Have you planted your seed potatoes yet?  Traditionally the potatoes are planted in Ireland on St Patrick's day.  The cows also go out to summer pasture.  We just go off the weeds growing and the weather.  If we get any frosts we can soon cover the potatoes up with old straw or soil.

14 comments:

  1. Crikey, we haven't even bought our seed potatoes yet, let alone planted them! But we had decided to take it easy on the veg front this year so we can get other things done, well....that's my excuse and I am sticking to it!

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  2. I think you have more than enough to on your smallholding Vera. Tending to your livestock and your on going house renovations. I don't think it matters how much you grow. Just grow what you want and enjoy your country surroundings. I miss my allotments in England. You could always have a laugh and a joke and meet folk who would talk a good allotment. Thanks!

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  3. Your growing season looks to be well in front of ours.

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  4. I say plant something before the weeds take over Cumbrian. They are a first early (Thompson and Morgan) seed potato from Scotland. We often find that when our potatoes are ready for eating in June or July. It's too hot and you don't really lots of potatoes. So if we stagger the planting times we should enjoy them more. I believe West Cork farmers use to harvest them at Christmas too. Must save some seed potatoes and plant some in the tunnel in September. That would be great for Christmas dinner. Mind you I would like to go abroad for Christmas or somewhere where there is something going on! thanks!

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  5. Tradition about here is plant potatoes on Good Friday, albeit the date varies. You are brave to plant so early. Perhaps you don't get late frosts to nip them off like we do.

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    1. We are on the Gulf Stream Rachel and you would be amazed what plants survive here on the West Coast of Ireland. I will look out for frosts and earth them up or cover them with straw if we get a frost. Thanks!

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  6. cracking views from your place, does being so close to the coast mean your less likely of frost? I've got one bed ready to plant with potatoes and as you've got yours in I might do the same, although it's early I might put some flease over them if it drops cold. I would have left it later but you've encouraged me to risk it!

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    1. We got it bad in 2010 Kev. We couldn't get out for a week because of the snow. I just wanted to stagger the growing season instead of getting a glut of potatoes when it's too hot to be eating them. You could plant some potatoes in a big plant pot in the greenhouse. Thanks!

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  7. We've got Red Dukes... grown them for years now... all Dukes are wonderful floury spuds...
    I'm tempted to get ours in... they have good sized chits...
    but we are in a frost-pocket and the ground takes a long while to warm up...
    and plant too cold and they get a check...
    and take a long time to get away again...
    bonne chance with yours.

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  8. Hi Tim. Not familiar with Red Dukes. Will check them out. Do you have a greenhouse or a poly-tunnel? I have even been known to plant some potatoes in a plant pot in the window. Thanks for reading and commenting on my blog.

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  9. We have some White Duke of York for some of our first earlies, described on the label as a waxy potato, I do hope so otherwise they will end up in the pigs, neither of us like flowery potatoes.

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  10. We find the Irish seed potatoes are best steamed or else they just go to mush Anne. I like the 'British Queen' potatoes. If didn't like 'Rocket' new potatoes when we grew them. They tasted soapy but we grew them in soil that was quite clayey. Taste matters so much doesn't it?

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  11. I planted some of my potatoes in bags a few weeks ago, I have to find room somewhere to plant the rest, I think I got a bit carried away with the chitting! I love the onions in baths

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  12. Hi Chickpea. Yes the onions in the baths. It's easy to weed them and you can sit on the rim. I think raised beds are great when you are getting older. Thanks!

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