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Welcome

Sow The Seed follows the ups and downs of me, Helen and my husband, Simon - a couple trying to live a simpler life in south-west Wales.

I hope this blog will not only be a good reference and diary for us over the coming years, but will give helpful advice and tips for people trying to do the same thing, or dreaming of doing the same thing.

Find out more on how we got here.

What’s Happening Today

Tasks: Sowing; pruning; weeding; pottering

Harvesting: Cucumber, lettuce, radishes, strawberries, broad beans, potatoes

Eggs this year: 394 (hens) 317 (ducks)

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Posts Tagged ‘potatoes’

Blighted Maris Piper (foreground) health Sarpo Mira (background)

Blighted Maris Piper (foreground) healthy Sarpo Mira (background)

It’s not surprising given the damp weather we’ve been having the last few days that some of our potatoes have succumbed to the dreaded blight. This is nearly 3 weeks earlier than last year, but thankfully this year I took precautions. As well as the usual varieties I like to grow – Charlotte for salad potatoes and Maris Piper for all round main crops, I also planted some Sarpo Mira and Axona varieties. Both of these are said to be less susceptible to blight. Looking at the plants they do seem to be holding up to their claim, as there doesn’t seem to be any sign of anything looking like blight on the leaves…in fact they look very healthy.

The Charlotte potatoes should be fine, as we are eating those now, but the Maris Piper potatoes won’t have grown to their full potential (usually you wouldn’t harvest these until late August). So I’m now keeping everything crossed that these new varieties continue to perform, and we’ll get a few potatoes for storing over winter.

First of many...I hope!

I just managed to sneak the first harvest of new potatoes into April. These are the potatoes in bags I planted in the polytunnel back in February. They haven’t produced the most abundant crop, but there’s enough for a meal. Now the potatoes in store have just about run out, it’s good to be able to run seamlessly into the new potatoes. Definitely an experiment I will try again next year.

 

This year's crop in the making

It’s been a busy few weeks. The start of spring means things are starting to happen in the garden, and there is a flurry of activity at the potting bench. The recent warm weather has seen shoots appear where they should and shouldn’t have. So it’s now the start of the battle against the weeds and slugs to make sure the garden is as productive as it can be. I usually start my morning rounds off now with a slug hunt, some of which are fed to the chickens, and the rest are given a salting. As long as I keep up the routine for the next few weeks I should be able to keep the worst of the slugs at bay. I’m also leaving a few strategic pieces of wood and rotten vegetables around the place, as the slugs will hide under the wood once the sun comes up, and also gravitate to the smell of the rotting vegetables so can usually be found in its vicinity. Read the rest of this entry »

Potatoes in bags

We’re still clearly in winter, as we managed to get down to -3C yesterday. However, generally the days seem to be getting warmer, as well as longer. So it seems about the right time to plant some early potatoes, albeit in the polytunnel. I’ve had my seed potatoes chitting on a cool window sill, and sprouts are beginning to emerge. I didn’t want to put any potatoes directly in the polytunnel beds, as potatoes are the same family as tomatoes, so don’t fit in with my polytunnel rotation plan, so I thought I would give them a go in bags. Read the rest of this entry »

Chitting potatoes

Wilkinson wouldn’t be the first place you would think of to get seeds and the like, but in the last few years the amount of aisles devoted to gardening in these town centre stores makes it as good as any other garden centre chain. It might not be the best place for the “proper” gardener, but if you are looking for ordinary seeds and gardening paraphernalia then you can’t beat it. Read the rest of this entry »

Potato harvest

The good spell of dry weather we had over the bank holiday weekend came just at the right time for harvesting. Not only was the local farmer able to cut his wheat field at long last, it was also the perfect time to dig up both the onions and the potatoes. Read the rest of this entry »

Blighted leaves

It was inevitable given the weather we’ve been having this summer. While many have been basking in glorious sunshine (and wishing for rain), here in south-west Wales we’ve been hoping for a few good days of warm sunshine to remind us that it’s summer. Actually it hasn’t been quite that bad, it’s been warm(ish) but it has rained quite a bit, and warm and wet only leads to one thing…blight! Read the rest of this entry »

Modified version of the Summer Polaroid Pics template