Down on the Allotment

Matron grows vegetables and fruit in a courtyard garden. Which edibles will tolerate less than ideal growing conditions. Discovering how veggies can grow in partial shade.

Sunday, October 04, 2009

Blighty Potatoes

It's not all bad news by any means! I have a lovely clump of garlic chives which is flowering and setting seed right now. Garlic chives are a flatter version of regular onion chives, they are lovely in a salad or a potato salad.
A few weeks ago I chopped the tops off all my Sarpo Axona potatoes as there were the first signs of blight. I have left the whole row in the ground and it has been completely dry here for the last few weeks, I thought I would lift them. Only a couple of potatoes had been blighted. Here you can see the inside of the potato has gone creamy yellow and very soft. The smell is horrible, a sort of rotting drains smell!
Happily, all the other potatoes appear fine. I dried them thoroughly in the sunshine for a couple of hours and put them in paper sacks in the dark garage. I will check them every couple of weeks but I'm sure they will be fine. These Sarpo Axona potatoes are 'blight resistant' so I can only imagine that another variety would have been blighted much more.
Finally, I dug up a bit of a horseradish root this week. We have had no rain here for quite a few weeks and it has been warm and sunny. The ground was like concrete and I was only able to dig down about a foot. Nevertheless, this will make lovely hot, hot sauce!
Thank heavens for blenders and food processors nowadays. Can you imagine using a hand grater to make horseradish sauce! Please don't even think about trying that!


At 2:17 PM, Blogger Bangchik and Kakdah said...

Looking at the abundance of chives flowers, some may just ask if you really grow them for flowers... Nice potatoes you have there... Cheers ~bangchik

At 7:21 PM, Blogger Vegetable Heaven said...

Easy way to lose fingernails I reckon. I'm not a fan of grating even soft stuff, though I do it. Can't imagine trying it with horseradish. I expect I'd cut myself and the juice would hurt!

At 2:27 AM, Blogger Ribbit said...

MAN! I've wanted to try to grow horseradish for some time now. Do you think it's worth it?

At 3:03 AM, Blogger Gardeness said...

I planted potatoes for the first time this year (in a bucket). Thanks for showing the blight so I'll know what to look for!

At 7:51 AM, Blogger Matron said...

Ribbit - once you have planted it it will never go away so plant it in a permanent place. The roots can easily go down 2feet so be prepared to dig when you want some. It is worth growing because the strength of fresh horseradish is never found in ready made preparations.

At 11:10 AM, Blogger Scarlett the Heavenly Healer said...

You were lucky with the potatoes if only a couple were blighted. I had to cut the foliage of my maincrop early to avoid the blight which had decimated all but one variety of my tomatoes. It meant small potatoes, but thankfully unblighted.
Horseradish tip for those with small spaces - contain it by growing in a big pot sunk into the ground, like mint, as it will send out new shoots all over the place and spread madly. I'm still digging out horseradish shoots 2 years after removing the main plants. They are delicious and full of flavour though!

At 3:15 AM, Blogger Sue said...

You have pretty garlic. I need to get mine planted, too. I just replant what I picked after separating the bulbs. I grew horseradish in my first big garden, not realizing how much it was going to spread. I don't remember if I actually used it or not.


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