Saturday, 28 January 2017

A Cold Week But We've Some Seed Potatoes

It's certainly been a cold week even allowing for the fact it's late January.
Temperature Records 22-28 January 2017
Although Thursday didn't have the keenest frost of the week, it did have the lowest average daily temperature of the month just managing to creep up into positive territory at 0.2°C or 32.4°F. Friday didn't do much better averaging 0.3°C which is 32.5°F. Friday night into Saturday morning brought to an end a run of six consecutive nights of sub zero temperatures. That last happened in January 2012.

The first part of our potato buying plan came to fruition on Thursday with a visit to our local (Horticentre) garden centre where we found our seven planned carefully chosen main varieties.
There's a little bit of space left at the bottom of the table as we plan a return visit at the weekend when the garden centre has its annual potato day event. We plan to purchase enough tubers of six different varieties to fill one of our smaller beds.
This is how our small bed of testers looked last year at the end of June. We are hoping to do something similar this year to see if we can fine some different varieties to grow. Last year Armour was one of our testers and it did well enough for it to be added to this year's main crop. I've just emptied the sack of last year's Armour crop which was stored in the garage since being lifted in the middle of August last year.
From the look of these there doesn't seem to be a problem with the keeping qualities of this variety. Our seed potatoes for this season have joined last year's crop of potatoes stored in the garage. They've gone into a potato sack and they will be stored in the dark and hopefully frost free garage until the end of February when they will be set out to chit in the greenhouse.


  1. Despite misgivings about buying so early I have bought in Epicure and Winston this week. (I seemed to remember your favourable comments about Winston and checking today I see I should expect damage to these before any other variety. Also the internet is very snooty about lack of taste and texture!) Epicure I got before it sold out, having missed out in previous years, hence the reason for the early purchase. Today at exorbitant expense I have ordered Ballydoon by post as I haven't found it anywhere in years. That's more than enough first earlies!!!

    1. I'd never heard of or seen Ballydoon for sale Mal. Must be a true Scottish variety.

    2. Sometimes called the Ayreshire Potato (but supposed to be popular in Ireland for making "champ")

  2. I love your tester bed ! Such a good idea, as there is no point growing sack loads of spuds which don't make the grade. Always good to try new varieties every season, too, but you have to kiss a lot of frogs ...
    We were down to -4.8 last night which was a bit unexpected, but luckily everything seems to have coped with it, in and out of the greenhouse!

    1. Only problem is if we get too many testers proving themselves we might have a problem choosing our main varieties. Still it's a nice problem to have. Our local garden centre stocks 50 varieties and all could be bought as single tubers over the weekend.

      We've missed the very low temperature of the last couple of weeks. Some sunshine would be good as we've had lots of very dull days.


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