Friday, 18 September 2015
Thursday wasn’t bad. After another cool start to the day it wasn’t too bad although the morning’s short sunny spells disappeared altogether in the afternoon.
I decided it was about time I lifted our second bed of maincrop potatoes. I've been putting off lifting these potatoes for fear of what was underneath the weed control fabric. In some areas of the plot it's been a very bad year for slugs and I expected plenty of damage to our main crop potatoes thinking slug damage would be much worse underneath the fabric.
The potato tops have mostly died down. It seemed like that at each cut in the weed control fabric a nasturtium plant had grown through. The flowers were attracting a few bees but there was no way I could dig up the potatoes and save the nasturtiums.
I pulled back the weed control fabric and I've become accustomed to seeing a good number of potatoes on the surface of the soil but this wasn't the case.
The crop turned out to be better than we had obtained by planting more conventionally and even more surprisingly there was less damage from slugs and other pests.
I'd half expected the soil to be a bit wet for digging after the recent spells of rain but that wasn't the case and the soil dug over very nicely. All I need to do now is tidy up around the edges of the bed and replace the weed control fabric and the bed can be left over winter and it shouldn't need much preparatory work to get it ready for next season.
Out of interest the larger bed planted up conventionally produced a total crop weight of 36.4 kg against 38.4kg in the slightly smaller bed where the potatoes were grown under weed control fabric.
Posted by Martyn Garrett at 14:23