Posted in : 2010 Season
Disclosure : I technically have a financial interest in @link JBA Seed Potatoes. Basically I bartered my time for running their adwords campaign for potatoes. Obviously I'll send the taxman 17.5% of these potatoes.
Based on the fact that each bag had at least 5 seed potatoes in them ... don't make me do the maths I don't have enough fingers and toes to count ... anyway, that's a fair amount of seed. Each of them needs to be planted 10 -> 18 inches apart, depending on whether they're first/second earlies or maincrop. So, I'm looking into this big bag that, amongst other delights, contains 26 bags of spuds .... and I'm looking at my tiny little 13'x4' spud bed in the corner ... and I'm thinking, "fuck me" ... crude I know, but my brain was a smidge busy taking off mental shoes and socks so it could compute every possible planting pattern ... "how the fu..." words failed me at that point. Now I just know that you're thinking "it's your own fault you dumb blonde, you knew how big your space was when you bartered", but it's not my fault!
My dad, and several other old buggers, hammered that one into me and I'd like them to know that I took it on board. So, ages ago, I measured my bed space, and then I measured it again, and then I checked I didn't have to tape back to front, took off my shoes and socks, and borrowed an extra pair of hands and I came to the conclusion, eventually, that I'd need about 30 seed spuds to fill it. 30, "thirty", 4 hands and 2 feet ... and a spare finger to point with ... 30. Rather than tax my poor brain by trying to choose a couple of the huge selection of varieties that Iain supplies I came up with a cunning plan, I'd send him a description of my potato bed and leave the decision to him. He is the potato expert after all. So I sent him the following email :
Damn, giving blondes choices is never a good idea, I spent all day staring at varieties
How about I describe the bed I have for them and then leave the choice to you? After all, you're the expert
The bed they're going in is often waterlogged until the tail end of april so I usually just grow first earlies ( pentland javelin last year ) so that I can still follow them with my leeks. This year I'm liable to grow my leeks elsewhere so it's not as important and I could possibly get away with trying some maincrops. The bed's about 15' long and tapers from 6' wide down to 4' wide, so I was only aiming at 2 rows.
For my christmas spuds I'm going to be growing them in one of the undercover beds so it'll be a lot drier and much warmer and I have plenty of fleece. I'm only going to grow a single 15' row though.
We pretty much eat potatoes any way they can be cooked and we have no problem with funny coloured food
As I said, the bed is usually waterlogged until the end of april, so I'm in absolutely no hurry for them, it'd only mean that I'd need somewhere to store them, and you have much better facilities
Let me know if that's ok with you and I'll send you the delivery address of the field
And this is what turned up :
It's a good job Iain threw in some of his potato planters and polypots otherwise I'd have spent a fair few days digging up the rest of the field to fit all these spuds in. Of course it now meant that I needed the odd bag or two of compost and I was going to need to mix up about 180 litres of compost/fertilizer ... that's a hell of a lot of mixing, so I cheated and threw it all in the cement mixer, in 3 batches, and let it do all the hard work.
So, four hours later and I've planted up the planters, the polypots, the two 13' foot beds ( I decided to reduce the size of them and run a path along the back ) and I've decided to sacrifice the squash bed and plant an extra 13' row instead and I'm feeling a tad knackered from the exertion. I didn't need to take off my shoes and socks to realise that after my valiant effort and the sacrifice of the squash bed, and including the planters and polypots ... I'd managed to plant less than half the spuds but at least I'd got some of every variety planted
I really can't wait until I start harvesting, I've never had such a variety of spuds before ... mainly because I only ever need 30 bloody seed potatoes ... anyway, I'm spoilt for choice and I can't wait to see the difference. Worth every minute of the time/expertise I bartered, and then some. Life's not about money and I hope the taxman enjoys his 17.5% of my spuds
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This is a diary of all the vegetables I'm growing.
With a tad of luck this will help me learn from my mistakes