It’s time to think about potatoes. I know, they belong to the vegetable plot, and that means digging and hard work, but, think again my friends. These are just EASY PEASY.
- Buy them – Believe it or not I found some Pippa potatoes (For those of you who are new to my blog, Pippa is the apple of my eye, number one, 18 month old grand-daughter) – I have searched for Pippa plants with minimal success. So these salad potatoes where a complete surprise and a definite MUST have from Pennard Plants. What better than a nice chunky seed potatoes for a toddler to hold and pop into the ground and observe them grow, wait patiently, then eat.
- So I have taken 5 seed potatoes to Manchester and popped them on top of a couple of old toilet rolls cut in half (couldn’t find an old egg box) and left them on the window sill to chit – (another word for to grow those long sprouty bits that grow when your potatoes have hung around in the bottom of the fridge) I know, I am the mother-in-law we all love to hate. I have kept 5 here so I can play as well.
- Gather some deep pots / vegetable grow bags / flexible plastic trug. This way you can keep them on your patio / nearby and when they are ready, just tip them up and you will find every single scrumptious one. In the vegetable plot you always miss one, then that grows right in the middle next years line of peas or lettuce. Annoying!
- So, when the potatoes have some shoots, grab a deep container, vegetable grow bag or even an old compost bag (you can get rid of the advertising by turning it inside out) and pierce a few drainage holes in the bottom. Put some compost in – about 15cm (6 inches). Then pop one or two potatoes in each bag / container. If you are using old potatoes from the bottom of your fridge, and some are quite large – cut them in half or quarters – just make sure they have a shoot.One per bag leaves plenty of space for growth, and no more than 5 per bag.
- Cover the potatoes with some compost, and water.
- Every time you see some green leaves appear, cover them with more compost (earthing up) Repeat until the bag / pot is full. Watch, make sure that the bag doesn’t dry out – potatoes need water to grow. Pause and ‘hygge’ as you observe the plant growing – admire the pretty flowers, but leave them on the plant – they aren’t good vase flowers.
- Soon the leaves and plant will begin to droop and go yellow and look sad …..ahhh …bracadabra
- Tip the bag/pot out on an old plastic tablecloth/newspaper, and discover those delicious fresh new potatoes.
- Simply wash and cook – boiled salad potatoes smothered in butter – what a delight.
Hygge – enjoy the moment.
What varieties could you choose? – 304 at varieties.ahdb.org.uk.
I’m planting Swift and Kestrel in my vegetable plot as part of the bird theme.