COVERING PLANTED POTATOES WITH FLEECE PROTECTS AGAINST FROST – 2nd wk in April 2013

Potatoes are not hardy enough to tolerate frost. This year the cold spring has delayed the start of outdoor potato planting. Chitting seed potatoes in old egg boxes on the windowsill both avoids the outdoor frost and gives the potatoes a head start by triggering the growth of the first shoots before these seed potatoes are planted

With my small garden, potatoes are now growing in bags which were left inside a sliding door kitchen window, until danger of frosty nights has passed.  At that point, out they will go to grow on, flower and be harvested on the patio. The potato bags will benefit from regular watering and occasional earthing up just like potatoes in the open ground.

Meanwhile, in the 2 acre walled organic garden in Sonairte up the road in Laytown, Co. Meath, the potatoes have been planted in this year’s potato plot outdoors. Although the garden is south facing and sheltered, the Sonairte gardeners have taken precautions to protect the potato patch from frost. Fleece is a good investment in Sonairte not just for this job. Fleece, if treated carefully, can be re-used again and again, to protect against carrot root fly, cabbage white butterfly egg laying or indeed bird attacks on strawberries. Of course, cardboard, old carpet etc will protect potatoes just as good as fleece in a small area. www.sonairte.ie.

Veronica and Adrian in the Sonairte walled garden protecting the seed potatoes from ground frost. Visit the garden for free Wed - Sun each week. Volunteers also welcome. www.sonairte.ie

Veronica and Adrian in the Sonairte walled garden protecting the seed potatoes from ground frost. Visit the garden for free Wed – Sun each week. Volunteers also welcome. http://www.sonairte.ie

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One response to this post.

  1. Posted by Aine Neville on April 17, 2013 at 9:50 am

    Fleece advocate extraordinaire Dermot Carey recommends using soil around the edges to batten down the fleece as opposed to rocks or stones – he says they will tear it more easily.

    Sharpes Express planted in Curracloe outdoors under fleece on the 2nd March are starting to break through the soil.

    Reply

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