Slow painting

Sunday, 12 September 2010

Eeeew!




is the correct horticultural term, I believe, to describe the state of my potato crop this year. Nearly every tattie dug up is like this. Wormy, rotting, weevily, cracking leathery skins. The yield per plant is small, thankfully, because I have to dispose of this lot. This is the total from three plants:


The variety is Red Duke of York. I also planted Charlotte as a waxy salad potato, which has been nothing of the sort. The potatoes boil into soup before they're fully cooked.

Right now I'm in the huff with potatoes. Last year we planted Pink Fir Apple, which turned out to be a 'never again' variety. Fine if you have the endless time of the gourmet cook to negotiate the bumps and carbuncles when peeling. Not so fine that very many were rotten at one end, but subtly, below the skin, so that when you took hold of a potato it turned to liquid between your fingers.

So I'm giving myself a potato holiday next year. There's no law of allotment life that says you have to grow potatoes. When we took on the plot we decided at once that we would liberate ourselves from what seems to be an allotment law in these parts: thou shalt grow whopping cabbages that no-one is going to want to eat. Now we're going to enjoy potato freedom for a bit.

On a less curmudgeonly note: good luck to Michelle today in the Federation of Edinburgh and District Allotments and Gardens Associations annual produce show.

18 comments:

Nate said...

Eww seems pretty right - what a shame after all the work main/late season tatties take!

I didn't have much luck with my own this year either - I'm going to stick it out next year, though, and try growing some earlies (maybe Ayrshires as taste of home) in the hope that the shorter season means less things to go wrong! =)

RainGardener said...

I agree, perfect terminology. Whoa! That is horrible after all of your hard work.

Jacqui said...

Yes - eewww seems to be the potato verdict here too. Because of storage problems here, we grew earlies - International kidney, ad maris something (peer, i think) and charlotte. Totally unimpressive - exploded in the pan, poor yield, half eaten before they were dug up - etc etc. I also tried the chef's favourite a couple of years ago and found them a waste of ground. Never mind, next year we will be growing in different soil. xx

Croila said...

Oh no, what a shame! How disappointing. Erm, I think I've been a lot luckier with tatties this year I hate to admit. Those slug holes look horrible!

Jo said...

I grew some first earlies, Sharpes Express, and second earlies, International Kidney, in containers as well as at the allotment this year. There was little difference between the two ways of growing them, neither had any damage but I wasn't keen on International Kidney so will give them a miss next year. The maincrop, Lady Balfour, was grown at the allotment and had loads of slug damage so I'm on the lookout for something else to try next year. I've decided that I'm going to grow all my first and second earlies in containers next year, this will free up more ground at the allotment for maincrop. I can recommend Sharpes Express, I was very impressed with them.

Steph said...

oh dear. how frustrating. i'm about to dig up my 'rooster' spuds so i am hoping they don't look like that but i wouldn't be surprised if they do. i'm with you on the no-cabbage allotment. no spuds is fine too. you break the mould :)

Peggy said...

Hi Linda, what a dissappointment with the spuds, is it blight or just slugs?We just grew first and second earlies as we don't have the room and felt that they were more expensive to buy early in the season and as the spuds are cheaper later on it was not worth the hassle of spraying etc.Ditto on the cabbage!

Kris said...

Good grief what mess. That's the trouble with growing root crops. You can't see what's going on until you dig them up, else you could have cut your losses early and planted something else. But I do want to join the chorus and say: EEW!

L. D. Burgus said...

Potatoes are a lot of work to grow but they don't do well in my part of the state. My parents with my help as a kid, grew all our own potatoes and my brother and I dug them all. It was a lot of potatoes to feed a family of six. Kennebec was the name of our potato, nothing fancy, just a good potato.

Diana (Di) said...

Linda, what a disappointment to work on our gardens only to find this kind of thing... so sorry. And although our garden has yielded much this year, we too have experienced disappointment due to the colder than normal period, especially tomatoes.

This year I decided to experiment with potatoes and peppers in pots and use the raised beds for more of other items; regretfully growing them in containers was less than ideal and added to our work load.

Giving it a rest sounds good to me. We hope your week has been a good one and your weekend as well.

Tammie Lee said...

Ah, I am so sorry to see your yucky potato crop. Boo hoo!

dot said...

Thanks for your visit and comment. It's a shame about your potatoes. I love the little red potatoes and they seem to do fairly well around here.

EG Wow said...

Oh dear. What a disappointment! I hope there isn't something in your soil. I have a friend who was told not to plant potatoes where he had them last year for at least three years.

Paula said...

Bad year for tomatoes in the part of WA state I live. Nothing is worse than a rotten potato. Have you ever tried Yukon Golds?

RedPat said...

We were planning on growing potatoes in our roof garden next year but after seeing this, I'm not sure!
Yuck!

Luzia said...

Potatoe holiday for next year seems to be a good idea! Since 10 years I have a "Schrebergarten" in Germany. I tried to earn potatoes for the first 5 Years. After this time I go in potatoe holidays, too;-)) Hugs from Luzia.

Elettra said...

I see that the harvest was good, congratulations

Linda said...

Thanks for the suggestions about alternative varieties. I am tempted by Sharpes Express. Yukon Gold I know from the supermarket and liked very much. But I am going to hold strong and take my potato holiday. I think.