Tuesday, 12 February 2013

Spuds we like

Once again Stroud Potato Day (organised by Transition Stroud and Down to Earth Co-op) proved an enormous success. We managed to get to Merrywalks (where it was held) around midday by which time we'd missed the 'Sarpo' potatoes, but there were still plenty of varieties to choose from. Most of the potatoes are supplied by Dundry Nurseries near Cheltenham. Now that the Nailsworth Ironmongers has closed I was in despair over where to go for my seed potatoes but Dundry carries over 150 varieties of tubers to choose from. I'm going to be spoilt for choice from now on!

A simple guide to planting

The soil temperature should be at least 6°C (43°F). A good indication of this is when grass and weeds begin to grow, usually in March/April.
Place the tubers rose end up in the bottom of holes or trenches that are 15cm deep. The shoots and leaves of potatoes are frost tender, so be prepared to protect them with cloches or fleece if frost is forecast.
Earlies: Plant mid-March to the end of May with tubers spaced at 30cm, in rows 50-60cm apart.
Second Earlies and Maincrop: Plant mid-March to the end of April with tubers spaced at 35cm, in rows 75cm apart.

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