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 red onions on the Chef’s plot are showing a bit of growth.
The birds have been busy pulling the onion sets out of the row, but the Chef has pushed them back in. The birds will not be able to pull them out now that they have started to grow, as the roots will be developing in the soil and will act as an anchor.
The Chef dug up his lawn to make way for a vegetable garden. Now the red onions are showing growth his veggie patch is on the way.
Several gardeners have reported that their broad beans are rotting off.
Cold,wet soils are the problem. This is happening both when the bean has started to germinate & produced a root; as well as before the bean has started to grow.
To combat this, we are trying to keep the wet away from the broad beans.
TopVeg planted the beans:
- into a well structured seed bed that had been covered with a plastic sheet all winter. This kept the rain out, and the soil was just moist.
- The soil was loosened with a small three pronged fork and then raked level.
- The beans were pushed into the soil to about two inches, with his finger. The beans were pushed into moist soil.
- A plasic sheet was laid on the top of the soil to keep the rain off, and prevent rotting off
After three weeks the broad beans are almost through and so far they are not rotting off.
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.
The temperature in the vegetable garden is still cold. Yesterday, the soil temperature in the Chef’s plot was 2.4degrees C.
The seed potatoes are happier in the garage at this temperature.
So while the soil temperature remains cold there will be no work in the vegetable garden.
All work on the Chef’s plot has been suspended due to snow and frost. Sad when he is so keen and eager to get on with things.
The lawn is well & truly turned over and seed potatoes are chitting in the garage.
But the weather has dictated that work on the plot should be suspended until the snow & frost disappears.
The plot is waterlogged! 20mm of water was tipped out of the rain gauge today, and 12 mm yesterday. Last week spring seemed to be on the way as the sun and wind had dried out the soil. But that was a false start – it will be several weeks before the garden can be worked. It is unlikely that the potatoes will be planted in March.
The fleece covering the potato ground will keep the frost out, but unfortunately this rain has gone right through it – resulting in a waterlogged plot.
The Chef has moved the seed potatoes, from the spare bedroom, out into the garage.
The Maris Bard seed potatoes have been on a tray in the spare bedroom since the beginning of February. The room is very light and the potatoes are chitting.
seed potato chitting
But the chits will grow too long if left in the house and the garage is cooler. The seed potatoes are near the garage window where they will get plenty of light. The aim is to develop short, plump, strong chits that will help the potato get off to a quick start when they are planted in the ground.
The lower temperature in the garage will harden the seed potatoes off in preparation for planting.
The ground for the potatoes was covered with fleece the other day when the sun was out. The sun had warmed the ground and the fleece will keep the frost out. The Chef plans to plant the potatoes as soon as conditions allow. That is when the cold weather has passed and spring seems to be on the way. This should be in about two weeks.
The seed potatoes have been moved from the bedroom out into the garage, before reaching their planting spot in the newly dug up lawn!
The Chef is checking his onions daily to make sure that they are still in the ground. Until the roots take hold, birds can pull them out of the ground.
So in the first few weeks after planting the onions should be checked every day and pushed back into the soil if the birds have moved them.
The frosty weather is causing the Chef to delay planting potatoes in his plot.
They are much safer chitting on the window sill. If they get frosted their performance will be severely affected. So protect them from the frost and delay potato planting!