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!
The beetroot that was sown in the Plot 14 days ago is just emerging. The variety sown was Bulls Blood. The leaves of this variety are as valuable as the beet. The leaves can be eaten in salads, and are very colourful. The leaves can also be steamed and eaten hot.
The temperatures have been unusually cold so it took 14 days for the beetroot to emerge 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 planted one row of Nandor carrots in the Plot.
Nandor is a first class F1 carrot variety which produces high quality carrots.
Nandor carrots are:
- very uniform and stumpy
- with a clean, smooth skin
- a deep orange colour
- cylindrical roots 15 – 18 cm long and 2.5 – 4 cm in diameter
- strong in the top
- easy to pull out of the ground
- resistant to carrot fly
Nandor carrots taste sweet and have a wonderful flavour. They are very good cooked or eaten raw in salads.
The latin name of carrot is Daucus carota. Nandor is a popular variety of carrot.
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.
These broad beans planted in The Plot 62 days ago are looking healthy.
The Express Broad Beans were planted at the start of March. Some of them rotted off but most of the broad bean seedlings are growing well after 62 days.
The Chef planted a row of Meteor broad bean seed today.
Following the disastrous progress of the Express broad beans, the Chef planted another row of broad bean seed. But this time he used the variety called Meteor.
The Express broad beans were planted 9 weeks ago. Another sowing now will give a spread of harvesting, so that he can enjoy cooking fresh beans over several weeks.
Lets hope the Meteor Broad Beans planted today get off to a good start and have some sun, so that they do not rot off like the Express broad beans did.
One row of beetroot was sown in the Plot this morning.
The seeds were sown:
- in a shallow row
- 1cm deep
- 15cm apart
The seeds were covered lightly with soil and watered in.
The variety of beetroot was Bulls Blood, a heritage variety introduced in 1840 which has:
- vivid burgundy leaves
- baby leaves which add colour to salads
- fat round purple beetroots
Bulls Blood beetroot seeds are available from the Telegraph Garden Shop.
Planting beetroot now will ensure a supply of beet for summer salads