Archive for the ‘Earthing up’ Category

GROWING POTATOES IN A SMALL SPACE THE EASY WAY – THIRD WEEK IN MARCH 2010

The satisfaction and taste of freshly harvested new potatoes is exceptionally good. So good that this year I have bought another four potato growing bags from the garden centre. This means a little less space on the sunny patio. I think I can live without the space but not without the experience of unearthing home grown potatoes. This is to me the ultimate in ‘convenience food’. As each potato bag is ready it can be tipped over and the crop harvested just before cooking, meanwhile leaving the other grow bags in situ.

I am hoping the reputation seed potatoes have for dealing with strong compost mixes is deserved, as I have half-filled each grow bag with well matured home made compost and some soil. Three seed potatoes are placed in each bag with growing buds pointing up. They are buried but only just. As they grow I will fill the bag with soil and compost , bit by bit until the bags are full. This is called ‘earthing up’. I trick the plant into creating more tubers as the soil level ALMOST buries the plant stems each time soil is added.

The lesson I learned from last year is to water each grow bag whether it rains or not. Potatoes need to be kept moist to swell the tubers. In spite of last year’s wet summer, the soil in the bags at harvest time was very dry and almost powdery. Is leor nod don eolach, mar a deirtear!