Wednesday, August 30, 2006

One potato, Two Potato.......Err, that's about it.

My Collins English Dictionary defines the word "disappointed" as “being saddened by the failure of an expectation”, and further goes on to describe the term "miffed", as “offended” or “to be in a petulant mood”. Clearly the compositors of said worthy tomb cannot be vegetable growers or there would surely have been a more unambiguous reference to potatoes.

Well there would have if they had dug up the rubbish I did today.

Being as I have finished all the earlies, and was reduced to buying potatoes in Sainsburys I figured I’d make a start on the Sarpo Axonna main-crop I have been nurturing all summer. The lush green haulms are not dying off yet, but they must surely have done all the growing they are going to do by now.

Last year I grew the sister variety Sarpo Mira, and they were a huge success…. Huge rows, huge tubers, huge smugness factor. The Axonna are supposedly similar in every way, apart from being more uniform of shape, and a bit creamier of flesh. The results however have been a “failure of expectation” .

Not many potatoes, weird shapes and quite small. It took four hills to yield enough reasonable sized ones to fill a carrier bag, where as twenty hills last year filled three large sacks. I mashed some tonight and although they taste OK – at least one turned out to have unpleasant stringy bits inside it. Thus I am now in a “petulant mood”.

The difference of course is undoubtedly moisture, or rather the lack of it.

Last year the ground was well manured, but this year in the absence of any spare muck I relied on grass cuttings and newspaper as a bottom mulch. Last year they grew smaller tops and put more effort into the crop….. Last year it rained.

I’ll get the rest of them up at the weekend I expect, and I suppose I should say in their defence that they have no damage on them whatsoever; unlike Ray’s rows of Cara, which looked a nice successful crop, but half of which were apparently nibbled or drilled.

Not even the slugs are fussed about my disappointing spuds.


Blogger she who digs said...

Oh dear, how sad. I could feel your disappointment/miffed-ness radiating from your words. You are right- there is huge expectation when we plant our seeds, and often again when the crop doesn’t turn out quite as we hoped, but I’m sure you have had lots of successes to focus on the positives??

11:58 am  
Blogger Allotment Lady said...

Sounds like you have dug them up to early - patience dear boy.

Leave them a while. I am just digging up the last of my earlies, through necessity for more to eat rather than the need to get them above ground.

The main crop is left until mid - late September - even October.

9:10 am  
Blogger Greenmantle said...

Possibly Al,..but they were a very early sowing, and I see looking back I lifted them in mid-Sept last year. I can'timagine they will suddenly bulk up much now. But anyway, I have dug enough to keep me going for a few weeks, so I'll be able to see what they look like hereafter.

9:20 am  
Blogger Matron said...

I sympathize with you! I grew Epicure, Nicola and King Edwards. Most were about conker sized and fell to bits on cooking. I grew a couple of King Edwards in a black dustbin and emptied them yesterday, they were OK. The very best of a bad bunch this year were NICOLA - very clean, stayed green the longest and were delicious. Recommend Nicola for drought tolerance.

5:22 pm  
Anonymous john curtin said...

I've got Sarpo Mira in this year so it'll be interested to see if they 'do'.

11:44 am  

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