Monday, April 22

You don't need to break your back

At last we have made a start on planting our potatoes. Quite a few years ago we decided that digging trenches just wasn't how we wanted to pass a day on the plot. We grow quite a lot of potatoes and digging trenches can be back breaking work. 
It seems from reading other people's blogs that we are not alone in this decision. Those of us in the non-trench digging club seem to have a variety of methods of planting seed potatoes so here is a short video we took last week to show how we plant ours.

We decided to keep in the mutterings and silly bits so you could have a giggle.

We get our potatoes planted much quicker this way and don't suffer from backache afterwards. 

Below is a compilation of just some of the potatoes cropped last year - not an ideal potato growing season but proof that this method works.

PS Don't forget the competition to win a fire pit - more information here (I do hope you manage to take part as I am looking forward to reading your stories - I'm not judging so I can just enjoy)!


Copyright: Original post from Our Plot at Green Lane Allotments http://glallotments.blogspot.co.uk/ author S Garrett

29 comments:

  1. I enjoyed your potato video. Did you earth up straight away after planting the potato approx 6 inches deep?

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    1. Yes but it's only earthed up a little Kelli - we will continue to earth up more as the shoots come through.

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  2. Thanks for sharing your video. I planted my potatoes yesterday.

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    1. We have some more to plant yet, Robin maybe tomorrow

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  3. I gave up planting potatoes Sue. 2 years of blight affecting the whole crop just took the enjoyment away. This is the 3rd year of no potatoes now and we have a couple of new beds in a less sheltered area (slightly better breeze) so next year I think we'll give it another go.
    Thank you for sharing your video.

    Linda

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    1. That's one reason that we grow first and second earlies, Linda. They have usually produced a crop before blight attacks.

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  4. Excellent. Eat your heart out Monty Don. I planted mine in the same way when I grew them on the plot, but as you know, I'm growing them in containers again this year. Actually, I've got a few Desiree to grow at the allotment as I've heard they may not get attacked by slugs quite so much as some of the other varieties. We shall see.

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    1. I have been on Gardeners' World once, Jo but it was pre Monty Don days!

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    2. Just read your reply to Mark, so now I know.

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  5. Really enjoyed your video Sue. I must plant out some potatoes soon too. I am trialling seriously growing them over winter this year. I grew a few last year with reasonable results so hopefully I should get some decent crops.

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    1. It's strange to think that you grow your potatoes over winter, Liz

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  6. I don't grow my own potatoes but have wonderful memories of watching my grandfather digging the trenches for his potatoes faithfully each year. He would always have a long soak in the bath afterwards. He was a big workhorse of a man but it always took it's toll!

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    1. We'd have a problem there, Angie as we have a shower not a bath! Can't really soak in a shower!

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  7. I generally agree with everything you do, but not on potatoes. I dig over, manure and plant my potatoes all in one, a couple of rows at a time. It's hard on the back but worth it. Besides, how did your potato bed get so weed free and manured if you hadn't done the back breaking work before you came to start planting??? Also I'd pop some grass clippings or compost in with those spuds. There's no "correct" but I'm sticking to my lazy, all in one, way. - Also I mound them only when they show through - as that disrupts the weeds that have started by then. - Otherwise we do it the same way!

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    1. Funnily enough there weren't many weeds, Mal. We don't use manure at all since our problems with it a few years ago. Some of the beds had green manure on over winter which had died down but other than that it was either blood, fish and bone or chicken manure pellets sprinkled on. As for digging I'm afraid it was mechanical. Each to their own eh?

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    2. That makes sense in terms of land management, because it can be a battle. I thoroughly enjoyed the video, but one artistic point: Martyn seems to have missed out your top half!

      ps How's Trigger?

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    3. I'll leave Martyn to comment about Trigger!

      As for the video if he had included the top half it would have been censored. He was confined to focusing on the subject!

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  8. Loved the video...so nice to see someone else looses things in the garden right under their own nose!! I do dig a trench for mine but I don't do any initial earthing up but wait for them to grow and then do this. I also use manure with my potatoes.

    Maybe I will give this a go next year...I do have a bulb planter so wouldn't even have to dig a hole!

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    1. I thought people would like the out takes Tanya

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  9. Great video, however a smaller plot at times seems an ideal option. Potatoes in tubs here only.

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    1. We often have some in tubs too for some extra earlies, Jo but haven't goy round to it yet

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  10. Last year I grew potatoes in big buckets, it was a good idea, but I put too many bulbs per bucket and all my new potatoes grew very small small.

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  11. I'm another advocate of growing spuds in tubs - but that is mainly because I have little space available. I also recommend growing early varieties, because as you say they usually deliver their crop before the blight strikes - or at least the worst of it.
    Didn't know you had been on Gardener's world. in what capacity was it?

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    1. My GW appearance was back in 2007. A researcher and cameraman spent the morning at the plot filming an interview with me when we had our manure contamination. The four hours of filming was was cut to 4 minutes in the last show of the season. At this time I was on local radio too quite a bit and also our local Politic's Show. The main aim ways to publicise the manure contamination problem as it was countrywide.

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  12. I'm another one for growing my potatoes in pots, Sue (they went in at the weekend), but that's only because they started to take over my garden and were springing up all over the place! Even now, when I think I've got rid of every last one in the ground, another few seem to reappear each year. You had a wonderful crop last year, so your method clearly works, and there's nothing like the taste of a homegrown spud :-)

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    1. No matter how hard you try one or two always seem to escape being dug up don;t they, Paula.

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  13. I've always gone for trenches and potatoes were the first veggie (after tomatoes) that I grew and have been precious about them ever since! I guess they have no idea if they're in a trench or not though really?! I planted some in sacks this year in my greenhouse and they seem to be doing ok but the others are in the traditional trench! We use a mattock to do the job in no time but it is hard work and your method seems just as good! Who knows what I'll try next year as a result?! Thanks for sharing!

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