THE SPUDS IN OPW WALLED ORGANIC GARDEN LOOK FAR BETTER THAN OURS! – 4th wk in May 2014

'Casablanca' can be first early potato or left in the ground as a maincrop. Here the OPW Walled Garden shows the plants at their best.

‘Casablanca’ can be first early potato or left in the ground as a maincrop. Here the OPW Walled Garden shows the plants at their best.

This is a difficult blog to write. I’ve just been to Bloom in the Phoenix Park. The ‘Casablanca’ potatoes in the OPW Walled Organic Kitchen Garden are a picture of health, weed free and in lovely straight rows. On the other hand, here in Tacumshin, our ‘Casablanca‘ potatoes sown in  ‘Aran beds’ or ‘lazy beds’ are struggling. Lack of water could be a factor. Another factor could be that we did not plant into the soil but instead laid the seed on the strimmed grass and turned another sod of grass upside down to cover the seed potato. The dense grass roots are slow to break down in these near drought conditions. We will get a crop. However it  may include more small potatoes than we would like. Nonetheless, the digging to harvest the crop will loosen the soil to help make it friable for the next crop, probably a green manure.

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One response to this post.

  1. Posted by kathryn on July 2, 2014 at 9:35 am

    Hi Trevor – I learned the hard way that spuds in lazy beds need something to root into – not a lot but something. As Dermot Careyn recommends I now put a line of compost or manure down on top of the strimmed grass before I set the seed potato down on top and turn the sods over. And even then the ones in nice well manured soil like that in the Phoenix Park are always going to be better than the ones that have had to struggle. But struggle makes for better flavour and yours won’t have been sprayed with fungicide – the Phoenix Park ones are sprayed because it really doesn’t look good to have dying potatoes in a demonstration garden. Don’t know why they don’t just use the Sarpo varieties to avoid blight

    Reply

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