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
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!
TopVeg dug these new potatoes today.
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.
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.
The largest plant in the Maris Bard potato row had a little potato the size of a marble.
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!
These photos are from the TopVeg garden this weekend.
The beetroot that was sown 5 weeks ago has come through & is looking healthy.
The leeks were sown at the same time but took a long time to germinate. They are now a couple of inches high.
The brussel sprouts have two true leaves.
The pigeons and rabbits have been kept off the sprouts with netting.
The potatoes have grown really well.
The potatoes were earthed up in the TopVeg garden this weekend.
The Vivaldi Potatoes that were planted on 30 April have emerged in the Plot.
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.
The Vivaldi potatoes have emerged as the weather is warming up so we hope they grow well.
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
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.
The Chef has ridged up (or earthed up) the first lot of potatoes that he planted in the plot.
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.
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.
It has taken a month since planting for the potatoes to reach this stage.
Even though the Maris Bard potatoes in the Chef’s Plot are out, he will still keep them covered over with fleece.
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.
The Chef was impatient, the potato seed was becoming wizened, so he planted his potatoes in the plot.
The Chef worked on the soil to warm it up. In the morning, he dug a 4″ trench when the sun was shining & covered it with fleece. By 3pm the soil had warmed up to 7 degrees.
So, he planted the seed potatoes in the bottom of the trench and covered them with a thin layer of soil. Fleece was then placed over the top of the planted potatoes to keep the warmth in.
One row of Maris Bard potato seed was planted about 12″ apart. About 15 tubers were planted altogether.