Thursday, 28 July 2016

Potato Day Interim Report

Wednesday was another not too bad sort of a summer's day but nothing special although we did have a little light rain through the night.

Our potato Day trial is now one third completed as Orla and Vivaldi have both been lifted.
The planting times for these potatoes is in the table below.

As the potatoes were planted under weed control fabric they've had no special attention since they were planted back in April. The other varieties Amour, Blue Belle, Setanta and Valor are maincrop potatoes and have been left to grow on until their haulms die back.

Here is a general description of Orla and Vivaldi.
Orla (First Early)
This first early potato has good foliage and tuber resistance to blight. It produces creamy skinned, pale yellow fleshed, oval to round potatoes. It can also be used as a second early or early main crop variety.

Vivaldi (Second Early)
This variety sounds too good to be true. It produces a high yielding crop of potatoes that are lower in carbohydrates and calories than other varieties. As a baked potato they are considered to be good enough to eat without any butter. They have a light yellow skin and flesh with a unique velvety texture.

The haulms on Orla were the first to turn brown followed shortly by Vivaldi. Vivaldi may have been affected by the hot dry spell over the last few weeks although the remaining maincrop varieties are still growing well. The yields from the two varieties are listed below.
We've taste tested both varieties and found them to be very good. From our limited cooking of Vivaldi I think it is more likely to boil down in the water when cooked than Orla but carefully timing how long the potatoes are cooked for can limit this problem.
Personally I think Orla lived up to its description the best. Some of the potatoes were fairly large which you could consider either a good or bad thing depending on how you want to use your potatoes. I might try to bake a couple of the larger potatoes as a test. The larger potatoes also back up using this as an early maincrop variety.

I was surprised when I added up the harvested weights to find that Vivaldi was the larger of the two but not by very much. It produced some decent sized potatoes but nothing as large as some of the Orla specimens. We will have to bake a couple of the larger potatoes to test out how these taste without butter.

Both varieties had some slug damage but nothing more than I expect from potatoes growing on the plot and not enough for me to think that either of them is particularly attractive to slugs. After all most things on the plot have suffered from slug damage this year.

The bottom line is I'd grow both Orla and Vivaldi again if I can decide which other variety not to grow and obtain some tubers in a suitable quantity.


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