Down on the Allotment

What's happening down on the allotment? An intimate account of a passionate veggie grower.

Monday, February 18, 2008

A Prezzie from the Postman

Phew! my seed potatoes finally arrived in the post today. I ordered them through the Thompson & Morgan catalogue ages ago. My frequent complaint about buying seed potatoes is that they come in huge quantities. Fortunately I have a gardening buddy with whom I have swapped some tubers. I now have a nice variety - Rocket, Vitelotte, Nicola, Red Duke of York and International Kidney. All chitting in the shed.
Making good progress in the greenhouse are my Purple Podded Peas, a heritage variety which apparently grow very tall. I will prepare a large wigwam for them!
Still digging up the Jerusalem artichokes at the moment. They are almost impossible to eradicate once you have planted them. They are quite brittle as well, so when you are digging them up they snap into little pieces at the slightest pressure. Difficult to clean properly, but taste divine!

19 Comments:

At 8:42 PM, Blogger UKBob said...

Hi Matron, Glad to see you got your potatoes ok. You do tend to get quite a lot don't you. I'm growing a tall growing pea this year which is called Alderman, I'm wondering if to try a few growing up amongst the runner beans. I've sent you another invite to the secret garden let me know if you get this one ok will you. Can you check to make sure it doens't end up with the junk mail as the invite comes from blogger and not directly from me. Bob.

 
At 8:54 AM, Blogger Magic Cochin said...

Hi Matron - I'm so proud of the PPPs, yes they do grow tall. The parent plants of your peas were grown on two 6ft tall metal obelisks in the rose bed outside my studio. They looked fantastic, but soon out grew their supports! Another 3ft would have been ideal.
This year as well as my usual PPPs I'll be growing Victorian Purple Podded Peas from the Heritage Seed Libray and Clarke's Beltony Blue - an Irish variety (and a surprise packet from Daughter of the Soil in our seed swap).

Celia

 
At 1:15 PM, Blogger this is my patch said...

Hi Matron, I agree with you about having to buy seed potatoes in large quantities, but alas I have no-one to share them with. I look forward to seeing your finished product, on a plate, covered in melted butter, yummy! x

 
At 2:00 PM, Blogger Paul and Melanie said...

lol I know what you mean about potatoes, I think I've got a few too many as well... Those peas look good too, should get mine started at the weekend all being well... :)

 
At 9:48 PM, Blogger Evington Hilltop Adventures said...

Can you ever have too many spuds, nice choice of varieties too.

 
At 9:56 PM, Anonymous jdougan121 said...

I thought I had too many seed potatoes last year and gave some away, but having had to buy shop potatoes since just before xmas I'll be having a spudfest this year to get me through the year. The same goes for onions.

 
At 10:19 PM, Anonymous the homely year said...

Looks like you're making a good start. It's a great idea to share seeds and plants with friends and neighbours.
Margaret and Noreen

 
At 2:48 PM, Blogger glosterwomble said...

thanks for your comment on my blog matron, I love the home made label in your peas, it's a plastic knife isn't it!!?

 
At 4:06 PM, Blogger primrozie said...

The wigwam set up sounds wonderful. I don't have that sort of space, but I suppose I could do that in one of the raised beds. I just love to see spring garden all underway.

I adore Jerusalem artichokes. I naturalized them in the field ;) ....in other words, I just didn't dig them all up.

 
At 10:23 AM, Blogger Billie-Jean said...

Hi Matron
Wondered if you could give me some advise?
Last year I took runner cuttings from my Strawberries and planted them in a bed BUT I dont want them there now,do I re-pot them or just simply move them to thier final resting place? and when do I do it now?
Thankyou

 
At 1:37 PM, Blogger Matron said...

B-J ..now is as good a time as any to move them. They have a very fine hair-like root system and they do not like being waterlogged but go ahead and try. Give them a top dressing of bonemeal as well.

 
At 10:28 PM, Blogger Rob said...

Matron
You say that Jerusalem Artichokes taste divine ........but forgot to mention their antisocial side effects!!!!!!
Love the blog.
Rob

 
At 5:38 AM, Blogger Matron said...

Rob.. you mean fartichokes?

 
At 5:58 PM, Blogger Garrett Sawyer said...

Hi, I'm Garrett from Southern California. I've been reading your blog for about a week or more now. It's very interesting to read the opinions and whit of a British gardener. There are very subtle differences to every lifestyle in the UK and I just wan't to figure them out. LOL. Sometimes I just enjoy reading because of the different choice of words used. Ultimately though, I'm here to read about how you garden. Speaking of which...

I was wondering, whats the difference between a potato and a seed potato? I've never planted potato's so I wouldn't know. It looks to me those ARE potatos already and all you do is transplant grown potatos to produce more? am I wrong? lol. Help me understand.

 
At 7:42 PM, Blogger Matron said...

Garrett - thanks for your interesting question. I sometimes forget that gardeners have a language all of their own that can seem puzzling to others. 'pricking out' 'chitting' 'forcing' to name but a few. Seed potatoes are just ordinary potatoes that have been hopefully certified free of disease and stored properly since last year. You can plant any potato like this as long as you have managed to store them. Keep looking and you will see them chitting in the next few weeks!

 
At 5:21 PM, Blogger Pepette said...

Hi Matron,

My potatoes arrived this week too so need to lay them down to chit this weekend!
I am also planning to grow purple podded beans this year and looking forward to see how you get on with the pea variety ! I take it they can go in much earlier than beans?

 
At 6:02 PM, Blogger Matron said...

Pepette -yes early peas are fairly hardy and can withstand some cold. Broad beans are hardy too however dwarf beans and runner beans are not. I am just hardening off my peas and broad beans at the moment to plant them outside.

 
At 2:10 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I too had lots of potatos and onions last year, so gave lots away then ended up buying more! This year I will grow a wider variety, starting some from seed, Bedfordshire champion, some sets, and some autumn sown ones, I just hope I have enough space for other veg! Karen (Karenspaces live)

 
At 2:14 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hi matron, sorry its kbale.spaces.live.com, please take a look, Karen

 

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