Potatoes

The two sets of potatoes seem to be doing well and I reckon the first crop (Golden Wonder) should be ready by Mid August – if the estimate of 16 weeks is anything to go by! They have been in the ground for 10 weeks now. I couldn’t really have planted them any earlier because of the frost. There’s lots of green growth above ground, but I wonder how much growth there is underground!

The other set (Nadine) seem to be quite a bit behind the first crop. This is a bit surprising as both were planted at the same time and they should take the same about of time to mature.

In hindsight, I think the potatoes plants were probably planted too close together. Re-reading the guidance – they should be 12 inches apart and 30 inches between the rows. Next year I think it should be one variety in this plot with three rows of better spaced plants.

The space to the right in the photo is occupied by some beetroot plants (variety: Bolthardy). I sowed them originally in pots in the greenhouse and put them into this spare space above a week ago. some of the plants looked a bit sorry for themselves when first transplanted, but it looks like all but two will survive.

Vegetable patch

Last year we cleared out some land to the side of the house to use as a vegetable patch.  It was hard work – the top soil was thin and full of large stones.  We had a go at clearing it and topped up the top soil from a left over pile of soil in the top field.  We had some success with it (the onions were very good, the cabbages were a disaster), but it was a really pain to keep on top of the weeds.

With the wall along the top field now being clear, we thought we might put some raised beds along this wall.  However, we thought it might be worth giving our original vegetable patch one last go.  This stretch of field is also under the trees that seem to stuck the water out of the ground – while they do provide some shelter, they take most of the water.  We had planted some onions in the original vegetable patch earlier the season, but then lost heart as the weeds took over.

We have been at home for the last week and decided to clear the vegetable patch up.  We had used a JCB earlier in the year to dig it over when we had a machine on site to fill in the ruts, so much of the soil was quite loose.  It still took Jo a lot of effort this week, but it does look good.

Jo has been digging over the vegetable plot over the last couple of days.  Much of it had been turned over previously with a digger, but some of it had never been dug before.

Jo has been digging over the vegetable plot over the last couple of days. Much of it had been turned over previously with a digger, but some of it had never been dug before.

This is the view from the other end and it is a big plot - 3m x 15m.  The potatoes that you can see in the middle distance were left over from last year - we have dug up some of the other left over plants and the potatoes are surprisingly ok.

This is the view from the other end and it is a big plot – 3m x 15m. The potatoes that you can see in the middle distance were left over from last year – we have dug up some of the other left over plants and the potatoes are surprisingly ok.

All Jo's efforts this week have made a huge difference to the vegetable patch.  We have had 2 or 3 dumper fulls of stone out of here in the last few days, not to mention the undergrowth and weeds.

All Jo’s efforts this week have made a huge difference to the vegetable patch. We have had 2 or 3 dumper fulls of stone out of here in the last few days, not to mention the undergrowth and weeds.

We managed to purchase some cheap patio slabs from a local supplier and have used these to make pathways between the beds.  If we decide to reconfigure the beds the slabs can be picked up and moved.  We aren't quite sure what to do with the one end of the patch so we have covered it with geotextile to keep the weeds down.

We managed to purchase some cheap patio slabs from a local supplier and have used these to make pathways between the beds. If we decide to reconfigure the beds the slabs can be picked up and moved. We aren’t quite sure what to do with the one end of the patch so we have covered it with geotextile to keep the weeds down.

New vegetable patch

At the weekend, we converted a bit of the bottom field nearest to the house into a vegetable patch.  It is only 6ft x 6ft, but more than big enough to grow some spuds – the first lot are already in.  However, it did take some time to tidy up this piece of land and move a couple of tons of top soil into place.

Since we had an 8 ton excavator on site to relay the top soil in the top field, it seemed like a great opportunity to increase the size of the vegetable plot.  Well, it is now 6ft x 40ft!

The original vegetable patch was 6ft x 6ft and at the far end.  Since we had an 8 ton excavator onsite to relay the top soil in the top field, it seemed like a good idea to make it a bit bigger.  It is now about 6ft x 40ft!

The original vegetable patch was 6ft x 6ft and at the far end. Since we had an 8 ton excavator onsite to relay the top soil in the top field, it seemed like a good idea to make it a bit bigger. It is now about 6ft x 40ft!