The potatoes have taken over the asylum

On Saturday I answered the door to the delivery I'd been waiting for, my potatoes and onions. I'd expected them to arrive well before Easter but there'd been a delay, so I was impatiently waiting for them to arrive. You're right I could have spent that time productively preparing a space for them on the allotment, but without them actually being here the urgency didn't seem to be there. Plus while I knew what I'd ordered, I had no idea how much space they'd take up. And of course, I already have a list of jobs to do as long as my arm...

Now they're here that urgency has increased and finding a weed-free space on the plot has moved up a little on my to do list. There's still some time though as there's some chitting to be done, and thankfully that's a job that they can get on and do themselves without any intervention. Phew.

Finally my potatoes arrived on Saturday

While I was unpacking my haul, MOH asked why I'd bought seed potatoes instead of using ones from the greengrocers, which is quite a good question. And the short answer is for their success rate, these seeds are more likely to be disease-free and more likely to crop well. Potatoes from the greengrocers (or the supermarket) might grow as just as well, if they sprout (chit), but it's not guaranteed. So it's a game of percentages really.

And this year I seem to be playing a high percentage game as 4kg of seed potatoes is really rather a lot. We eat potatoes, obviously or else we wouldn't be growing them, but as each potato will yield at least several potatoes, we could be eating a lot more than we usually do this year.

I have four varieties:

  • Jazzy, a salad potato which the website says has "enormous yields" - a second early.
  • Pentland Javelin, a waxy new potato which I can expect to grow more slowly than other first earlies according to the website.
  • Sarpo Mira, a late maincrop variety which has pink tinge to the skin and is a good all-rounder.
  • Belle de Fontenay, an old French salad potato from the late 1800s. And there's a lot of these already (they're the small ones in the front of the picture below)
So it was the time to get chitting my seed potatoes

Last year we grew potatoes that you can't buy in the shops and that was the plan again this year. I wasn't expecting quite so many of the Belle de Fontenay as looking back the order says 16-18 tubers. I've easily double that, in fact there's twenty plus in the photo below and I've another eggbox of the mini-barbapapas.

That's a lot of potatoes now, let alone in a few months time...

I'd been saving egg boxes but was woefully short of them, as I found out with these potatoes

Ah well, there was only one thing for it, and that was to get chitting.

the start of it and it wasn't too bad

And that's when it became clear that i) we hadn't eaten enough eggs or saved enough boxes and ii) the potatoes had taken over the asylum, and the conservatory.

And then the full extent of my potato count became clear

Now *all* I need to do is find that weed-free space, but on the plus side potatoes are great soil improvers and we could do with that on the plot. So here's to eating plenty of potatoes later in the year!