Tag Archive: potatoes

Trying Second Early Salad Potato Jazzy and Old Favourite Maris Piper 2018

It’s well into April and we are only just starting our potatoes. First Into the allotment were some Maris Piper bought from Lidl. 20 seed potatoes were put into the allotment on 1st April, after chitting at home. We have another 12 waiting to go in. Maris Piper are a Main Crop popular English potato grown since the 60s, They are purple flowered and are one of the most well known and most popular varieties on sale today. More Maris Piper potatoes are grown than any other variety in the UK. This variety has a golden skin and creamy white flesh with a fluffy texture.  This makes it a versatile all rounder, great for chips and roast potatoes, but also good for mash and wedges. Update 22nd April and the last 12 Maris Piper have been planted at the allotment.

Today we bought Second Early Salad Potato  Jazzy. This is new to us and looks very good. 29 seed potatoes cost £3.99 from Highdown Nursery  in Sugarloaf Lane, Norton. The producers guarantee 35 potatoes per plant when grown in an 8 litre bag. However there are reports of up to 80 potatoes per plant. The small waxy tubers are said to be more versatile than Charlotte with good flavour. Good for boiling, mash, roasting or steaming, this new second early variety has been awarded an RHS AGM for its superb garden performance. Second early crops can be harvested approximately 13 weeks from planting when the foliage begins to turn yellow and die back. The first single potato was planted into a black flower bucket on 18th April. Two more black buckets prepared today Friday 27th April.

Plant potato crops from March. Prior to planting, chit the seed potatoes by setting them out in a cool, bright position to allow them to sprout. When growing in the ground avoid planting in soil where potatoes have grown for two years in succession to reduce the risk of disease. Prepare the planting area in a sheltered position in full sun on moist well drained soil. Dig in plenty of well rotted manure. Place the seed potatoes 4″ deep.  When shoots reach 8″ earth up the soil around the shoots leaving just a few cm of green growth showing. Repeat this process after a further as required.

Where space is limited, try growing potatoes in potato bags on the patio.

  • Fill an 8 litre potato bag to just below the top of the bag with good quality compost mixed with some well rotted manure.
  • Carefully plunge a single chitted potato tuber into the compost with the shoots pointing upwards at a depth of 5″ from the soil surface.
  • Place the bags in a sunny position and water regularly to keep the compost moist.


Rob and I have been watching a chap on YouTube whose channel is called ‘Home Grown Veg’. He recommends growing potatoes in plastic shopping carriers inside black cut flower buckets. We are definitely having a go at this this year.

  • Making sure that the containers are clean and have sufficient drainage holes fill the carrier bag, which should be inside the bucket, one third full of multi purpose compost.
  • Put one seed potato in and fill the bucket up to one inch from the top.
  • Water well at this stage.
  • Leave in a draught free sheltered place outdoors for ten weeks.
  • After ten weeks, lift the carrier bag, roll down the sides, the soil should hold together by the roots, then harvest what potatoes you can find.
  • lower the bag back into the pot.
  • Repeat this at 13 weeks.
  • The third lift will probably be the last one.
  • Remember to keep the used compost, revitalising it with fish, blood and bone, and use the same bag and pot to grow some leeks in the same way.

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Climbing French Bean Purple Cascade 2017

22nd March and I have put some seed potatoes, Maris Piper, into a growing bag in the garden. We shall probably grow in a small way this year as the allotment needs a lot doing to it to get it ready. It has been quite neglected whilst we have been looking after Adam so this year may be spent just getting it back up to normal. I also sowed just nine broad bean stereo seeds in modules. We bought an oblong planter from Wilkos and I have sown Carrot Early Nantes into it and put it in the garden. The bean seedlings are also in the garden in a large 50cm pot. They are Climbing French Bean Purple Cascade and I have popped a few French bean Dulcina around them. Update 5th May. The Purple Cascade have suffered from the cold spell and I have replaced the seeds today. The other beans, Blue Lake and Borlotto are still in modules awaiting a decision as to where to plant them. Update 5th May. These Blue Lake and Borlotto have also been reseeded.

Update The Blue Lake and the Borlotto are also in a large planter and we have put in a silver obelisk bought from Wilkos for a little support. 24th March and the last four Maris Piper potatoes plus one Vivaldi are now in a big growing pot. First batch of Peas Ambassador have gone into a tray today after being soaked overnight. 29th March and the peas are germinated and have been put in the plastic greenhouse outside to grow on a bit. Laura and Glenn went to the pound shop today and bought three packs of seed potatoes. Two were early, Maris Piper and Pentland Javelin, and one Charlotte, was a second early. They seem good value at £1 for eight decent sized seeds in each bag. The Charlotte and the Maris Piper were planted at the allotment today, 2nd April, and the Pentland Javelin have been put into a raised bed at home.

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Ready for Season 2011 – Sean 40 Today

We have started to think about the new season. I know it is too early yet to sow seeds and I am determined to be patient. First thing on the agenda is to get the seed potatoes and start them chitting in egg boxes on the window ledge. I am sticking to earlies only again this year and planting them all in bags. My favourites from last season were Vivaldi, grown from potatoes bought from Sainsburys and Sharps Express, bought as seed potatoes from Focus. I am just growing those again this season. The second task is to get the parsnip seeds in in February if we have a fine dry day.

I intend to have another go at onions from seed as I have good seed left. Last years were not too good and got neck rot and went soggy before we could harvest them. I am not sure what I did wrong but will have another go.  I have Onion Ishikura, Ailsa Craig and a Sweet Spanish Onion. My instructions say sow very thinly in February under cloches or March to April out in the open. Ishikuri are salad onions and are meant to be harvested as spring onions, when they are about six inches high and pencil thick.  Ailsa Craig and the Spanish Onion are mild cooking onions which stay in the ground longer and are harvested when they have formed a large bulb. I have just read that the Ailsa Craig are known as Winter Onions and so should have been sown in the winter ready to grow on and harvest the following Autumn.Because of Christmas, very bad weather and flu I haven’t been to the allotments for a few weeks so I am looking forward to my first visit of the year. I am sure there will be lots of tidying up to do but hopefully a few nice surprises too.

Happy Birthday Sean. 40 today!!!!!!!!!

Strawberries, Salad and New Potatoes

Once again I have brought home a large bowl of strawberries and a couple of massive butterhead lettuces. I also managed to get enough potatoes Sharps Express for a meal tonight. The potatoes have been slow to grow as we had a cold start to the season followed by a very long dry period. The tops are looking green, lush and healthy but few potatoes up to now which is bad news in one way but good news for my belly because I can’t resist freshly dug potatoes.

A Few Hours At The Allotment

We spent a lovely few hours at the plot this morning and caught up on loads of jobs. We put in the last of the potatoes which were the second batch of Charlotte and British Queen. We planted up the three courgette plants All Green Bush and put a polythene cover over until the plants are a bit hardier. I had left a tray of runner bean plants White Lady in the fruit tunnel to harden off and I noticed that most of them had been eaten by something so I am putting another batch in today to try and catch up. Into the brassica tunnel we put twenty five cabbage Greyhound plants, thirteen cauliflower All The Year Round and ten onion Marathon. Onion – The regular consumption of onions has been shown to lower cholesterol levels and blood pressure  helping to prevent atherosclerosis and diabetic heart disease, and therefore reduce the risk of heart attack or stroke.





A greyhound cabbage from last year

Seed Potatoes

I chose Focus to buy the seed potatoes this year and have limited my spending to £10. They look in good condition and I am pleased with the varieties I chose. I plan to chit them on the window ledge and plant from March to April in bags except for the main crop which will go in the ground. We should have a seccession of potatoes to last until late August. I am giving Rob the important task of labelling and planning the harvest.

charlotteCharlotte are salad potatoes which we have grown many times before and have always had a good harvest. They are good for salads, boiling and roasting and will store well. They are great dug up early as small potatoes but can be left in the ground to grow on a little too. I bought two bags of these. They should be ready to harvest in fourteen weeks from planting.




Sharps Express are a first early and are best boiled or steamed. They should be ready to harvest in ten weeks.

Rocket is another old favourite also for steaming and boiling. Approximately eleven weeks to harvest.

British Queen is a second early and are best roasted, mashed or used for chips. They should be ready in thirteen weeks.

Maris Piper is a versatile main crop also good for chips, mashing and roasting. They should be ready to dig in twenty weeks.

Charlotte Potatoes

charlotte potatoes

It has been another beautiful day today and we popped to the plots to put in the first of the potatoes. We planted the Charlotte potatoes in the green bags bought last year from the £1 shop. We brought back the final four stalks of last years sprouts. There are four lovely Savoy cabbages almost ready so we left those for a little longer. I dug over the lean to borders and tried to dig up the mint that has taken over in there. We couldn’t  stay long as Rob was at work really early and needed a rest. There is so much to do and we have so many plans. Roll on his next holiday.

Garden Birds Brighten up A Grey Day

It’s grey, foggy and cold outside this morning so, after making sure that all the pets are fed and comfortable, to cheer myself up I have ordered the seed potatoes for next year. I am using Alan Romans again as we have always received reliable quality goods from them. I have ordered one bag of Charlotte, three bags of International Kidney and three bags of Vivaldi. We have grown them all before so no surprises. They are first and second earlies so they should be up before any risk of Blight. Despite the greyness of the day there was plenty of colour and entertainment in the garden this morning as the birds were busy feeding.



We’re Off!!

Today I ordered some cucumber seeds, Carmen, from Thompson and Morgan, as advised by a forum member. I also ordered cauliflower and tomato seeds to make the order worthwhile. The cucumber seeds are very expensive at £7.99 for five but on a special deal at the moment the most expensive packet of seeds is free so even with delivery charges it was a good price.


Cucumber Carmen A unique all female variety with resistance to all known strains of powdery mildew, scab and leaf-spot. Fruits are bitter free and produced in abundance – 50-100 per plant. Ideal for organic gardeners. Easy to train and day length sensitive. For maximum yield plant after 1st March. Sow singly from late winter onwards ½” deep in 3″ pots of moist compost. Germination usually takes 7-10 days. Transplant at the 2-3 leaf stage into 5″ pots and then into final position. Train up the main shoot to top of wire and then either pinch out the growing point or tie along the roof of the greenhouse. Keep moist but not wet, apply shading as required and provide a moist, warm atmosphere. Regular picking will encourage fruiting.


maxineRocketThe seed potatoes from Alan Romans arrived today and are now sitting in their egg boxes. This year we aren’t planting as many potatoes and the varieties we have gone for are Charlotte and International Kidney, both of which gave us a good harvest last year, and three we haven’t tried before, Rocket, Maxine and Annabelle. The Rocket were grown by some of the other plot holders last year and gave a good crop of earlies with a nice taste. Maxine is a nice looking bright red early Maincrop. Annabelle is a white early salad potato. We plan to grow all the potatoes in tubs this year and give them some cover too if we can, to try to avoid the blight which took most of our crop last season.

Things are beginning to get exciting now and I can’t wait to get some seeds sown. Hopefully tomorrow we shall be able to go and buy some compost and vermiculite. Watch this space……..

Solace and Mash

After a nasty bout of coughs and colds Rob and I didn’t feel much like plodding through the mud to take the chicken poo to the composters at the allotment. All the plots are mostly ‘put to bed’ now with some of the plotholders covering all with plastic sheeting. However our spirits were lifted by the site of burgeoning sprouts, hearting up red and green cabbages, new shoots from the broad beans and green healthy looking Parsley still there for the picking. Even the beds which we have been gradually topping up with our own compost from the ‘daleks’ were looking neat and satisfying.

mashRob set to and dug up a couple of fine parsnips and a couple of leeks to take home and make into soup. We shall soon be as fit as fiddles. The visit gave us both a boost and we began to plan for next year with new vigour. I see that Thompson and Morgan are selling the seed potato Vivaldi. I have already ordered my seed potatoes for next year but think I shall have to order some of them, they make the best mash ever. Now if I am planning on ordering more seed potatoes I must have been inspired as we lost almost our whole crop to Blight this year.


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