TopVeg – growing veg,fruit&herbs

July 10, 2013

Early Potatoes

Filed under: Chef's Plot, potato — TopVeg @ 9:24 pm

The Chef has dug some more early potatoes on the plot. He sent a photo with the caption “Two roots of spuds.Not a good yield”

Bard-early-potatoes-7July

Bard-early-potatoes-7July

At least the plot has produced some potatoes – the first crop after digging up the lawn.  Next year should be much more productive as the soil will be improved by the root activity in the soil and by the vegetation being returned to the soil.

The main crop potatoes look very healthy but the Chef is leaving them to grow some more & “bulk up”.  The new potatoes in the photo  have grown a lot in the last week and are much bigger.There are still two more roots of early potatoes to dig.

June 16, 2013

First New Potatoes on The Plot

Filed under: Chef's Plot, potato — Tags: — TopVeg @ 9:36 pm

Today The Chef harvested the first new potatoes on The Plot.  This is the first produce taken from The Plot, since The Plot was created on 16 March 2013.  On that day The Chef dug up his lawn to create a veg patch.  It has taken 3 months, but it has been worth waiting for!

The Maris Bard potato seed was planted on 2nd April.  The biggest potatoes harvested are about the size of a duck egg.  The photo has a 2 pound coin beside the new potatoes to show the actual size.

first new potatoes

first new potatoes

The Chef said ” Poor yield but excellent flavour.  The poor yield was not unexpected.  The number of tubers was poor.  There were only two or three on the largest potato plant.  This was probably due to too much apical dominance on the chitted seed.”

A new vegetable garden takes up a lot of time and is very hard work.  But now the first new potatoes have been dug on The Plot it all seems worth while!

June 13, 2013

New Potatoes

Filed under: potato — Tags: , — TopVeg @ 8:02 pm

TopVeg dug these new potatoes today.

NewPotatoMBard13June

NewPotatoMBard13June

The potatoes were the size of a medium hen’s egg.  All the potatoes were from one root.  This root actually had two more potatoes, which were eaten last week!

It has been a cold season and the potatoes have grown slowly, and are not very early!  These new potatoes were the variety Maris Bard which were planted at the beginning of March.

May 27, 2013

New Potatoes forming

Filed under: Chef's Plot, potato — Tags: , — TopVeg @ 1:53 pm

The Chef has seen some new potatoes forming in his vegetable garden.  The tiny white stems in the soil (stolons) are swelling at the end to form tubers.

new-potato-developing

new-potato-developing

The largest plant in the Maris Bard potato row had a little potato the size of a marble.

MarisBard

MarisBard

The plant next door had a new potato which was as big as a pigeon’s egg.

Click this link to watch TopVeg checking if his potatoes are ready to dig.

Now The Chef has a dilemma!  How soon can he dig them and cook his first new potatoes?  The Chef says he does not want to murder them, but hopes to harvest them in two weeks time.

The Chef is planning a gourmet meal, now that his new potatoes are forming in the Plot!

May 19, 2013

TopVeg Garden this weekend

Filed under: potato, vegetable gardening — Tags: , , , — TopVeg @ 9:09 pm

These photos are from the TopVeg garden this weekend.

The beetroot that was sown 5 weeks ago has come through & is looking healthy.

6wk-beetroot-seedling

6wk-beetroot-seedling

The leeks were sown at the same time but took a long time to germinate.  They are now a couple of inches high.

leeks-5wks-old

leeks-5wks-old

The brussel sprouts have two true leaves.

sprout-plant-5-weeks

sprout-plant-5-weeks

The pigeons and rabbits have been kept off the sprouts with netting.

protect-sprout-plants

protect-sprout-plants

The potatoes have grown really well.

7wk-potatoes

7wk-potatoes

The potatoes were earthed up in the TopVeg garden this weekend.

Vivaldi Potatoes Emerge

Filed under: Chef's Plot, potato — Tags: — TopVeg @ 7:33 pm

The Vivaldi Potatoes that were planted on 30 April have emerged in the Plot.

vivaldi-row-19may

vivaldi-row-19may

vivaldi-emerging

vivaldi-emerging

The stems will grow and the new leaves will get bigger, producing what is known as the haulm.

The Chef planted the Maris Bard earlier because it is an early variety.  They are getting a bit leggy, and this often happens when plants are covered up.  The Chef did cover the Maris Bard with fleece for a while to protect against the frost.

MarisBard-19may

MarisBard-19may

The Vivaldi potatoes have emerged as the weather is warming up so we hope they grow well.

May 15, 2013

Frost threatens Plot

Filed under: Chef's Plot, potato — Tags: , — TopVeg @ 9:27 pm

Frost is forecast and threatens to spoil the potatoes in the plot.

So the Chef covered his potatoes with fleece tonight.  This will trap the warm air that is around the potatoes and act as a barrier against the frost.  If the frosty air hit the potato leaves it will kill them

potato-plant-day-40

potato-plant-day-40

which would be a pity after all the tender loving care they have received to get them this far.

The Chef listens to the weather forecast every day so that he can take action to protect his crops if frost threatens the plot.

May 12, 2013

Potatoes Ridged Up / Earthed Up

Filed under: Chef's Plot, potato — Tags: — TopVeg @ 7:32 pm

The Chef has ridged up (or earthed up) the first lot of potatoes that he planted in the plot.

potatoes ridged up

potatoes ridged up

These Maris Bard potatoes were planted on 2nd April, 40 days ago.  The tops were 9 inches above the surface of the ground.  They were planted quite shallow.

It is important to get a good depth of soil over the seed potato, as the root ball will grow around this and push out stolons which form potatoes on the ends.  These new potatoes must have a good covering of soil to protect them from daylight.  If the new potatoes are exposed to light they go green, which renders them poisonous.

For more information on the reasons we ridge up potatoes click the link.  Ridging up potatoes must be done at the right time & carefully.

These Maris Bard potatoes will probably be ridged or ‘earthed’ up a little more in a couple of weeks by drawing more soil up the ridge.

May 2, 2013

Maris Bard Potatoes are Out!

Filed under: Chef's Plot, potato — TopVeg @ 9:41 pm

The Maris Bard Potatoes in The Chef’s Plot are out.  This photo shows the fleece pushed back to show the newly emerged leaves of the Maris Bard potatoes that were planted on 2 April.

potatoes-3-May

potatoes-3-May

It has taken a month since planting for the potatoes to reach this stage.

PotatoesPlot-3-May

PotatoesPlot-3-May

Even though the Maris Bard potatoes in the Chef’s Plot are out, he will still keep them covered over with fleece.

April 30, 2013

Vivaldi potatoes planted

Filed under: Chef's Plot, potato — Tags: — TopVeg @ 9:06 pm

The Chef planted his Vivaldi seed potatoes today.The variety Vivaldi is:

  • Second Early
  • known as ‘weight watcher’s potato’ – has up to a third fewer calories and a third less carbohydrate than most other varieties
  • known as the ‘butterless baker’ as its creamy texture and flavour mean that as a baked potato, it does not even needed butter to improve its flavour!
  • good boiled, roasted, baked or mashed
  • oval tubers
  • yellow skin
  • pale yellow flesh
  • resistant to scab.

He planted a row of  Maris Bard potatoes on 2nd April and they are still covered with fleece.  The fleece will keep them warm and protect them from any frost.

The Vivaldi potatoes planted today need some warm weather to get them going.

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