Friday, 25 August 2017

A Warm Snap

We had a little bit of August warmth late on Tuesday and into Wednesday. However, it wasn't sunny, just warm and muggy. On Wednesday morning we had a thunderstorm that deposited 14.8mm (0.58in) in less than an hour.
Temperature & Rainfall Records 19-25 August 2017
The warmer weather didn't last long as the thunderstorm cleared away the muggy conditions and we returned to rather cooler temperatures.

I find it a little bit difficult to understand how different varieties of potatoes growing alongside each other can produce such contrasting results. I lifted a row of Nadine and Orla earlier this week. There didn't look to be much difference between the two varieties when I lifted them but since they’ve dried off and been sorted out for bagging up for winter storage there's an obvious difference.  Orla certainly provided the heaviest crop but the potatoes were badly damaged by slugs and wireworms. At first glance Orla produced double the weight of potatoes compared to Nadine but once the crops were sorted out for winter storage Nadine was a clear winner with more undamaged potatoes.
Potato - "Nadine" A Good Crop of Almost Pest Free Potatoes
Potato - "Orla" Almost Every Potato has Slug or Wireworm Damage
Looking at the photos you can clearly see how much more damage has occurred to the potatoes in the bottom photo which are Orla. Nadine had some damage but nothing like the damage that occurred to Orla. To be fair to we grew another row of Orla in a different part of the allotment and it produced an excellent crop of undamaged potatoes. As we think Orla taste pretty good I'm not sure that we will be removing it from our planting list. I don't know why some parts of the plot are more attractive to slugs, but they are, and it's not always the same parts of the plot as the slugs rotate their favourite beds each year. I have to lift a row of Winston potatoes from the same "sluggy" bed and it will be interesting to see how they perform as I always consider them prone to damage from pests such as slugs and wireworms.

I've used a few of our damaged Orla potatoes and I think I'll keep the damaged ones in a separate bag. 
As you can see when peeled the damage isn't too severe and plenty of usable potato still remains. I may keep the largest of the potatoes to use up first. They won't be too much good for jacket potatoes though!


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