1 Potato, 2 Potato, 3 Potato……80!! …

Well, as you may have guessed our main crop of potatoes have now been planted and yes there were 80!! We have 2 beds now filled with early and main potatoes and if we get a good harvest from them, this will be enough to last us till early next year. Ian was born on Tristan da Cunha, a small island in the middle of the Atlantic known as the Remotest Island in the world. Everyone on the island is given a plot of land known as the ‘patches’ and the main crop grown is potatoes, so as Ian was planting potatoes with his grandad as soon as he could walk, our potatoes get done pretty quickly and grow good enough to make his grandad proud!  Again this year we have tried some different varieties, just to see what they are like. We have a row of Roosters, a row of Pink Fir and a couple of rows of International Kidney otherwise known as Jersey Royals. We did grow some of the International Kidney last year and, yes, they did taste like the Jersey equivalents, and boiled then covered in butter they were gorgeous.

   

There are also plenty of peppers in the greenhouse, all sorts of varieties from plain old Bell peppers to Ring of Fire Chilli peppers. After last years disappointing crop we have covered all types this year and so far they are all coming along well. Some were grown from seed but I did buy some of the more obscure varieties.

  

The tomatoes and cucumbers are growing well in their greenhouses and the outdoor cherry tomatoes which I put in hanging baskets are nearly flowering already so fingers crossed the weather holds. Ian also erected our sweetcorn cage. We have a problem with a nearby badger set and a couple of years ago we discovered they rather enjoy sweetcorn! I had gone down to water and all the sweetcorn was ready for picking but as I was in a hurry I decided to come down the next day to pick them. Big mistake as the very next morning we went down and every single one had been eaten by badgers. They lean on the long stalks to get to the cobs. I could have cried, it was our first time planting them and the last thing I expected was to find them all eaten! Of course, as soon as it happened everyone began to tell us of the badger sett in the area!! I wasnt the only plot that had all the sweetcorn eaten, nearly everyone that had grown them suffered the same fate. So last year we built a stake and chicken wire fence and, along with my smelly rhubarb leaf mixture that I use for the cabbages, it did the trick. We are still eating some of the cobs that I blanched and froze last year and they are still as good, so we have sown some more this year and they are nearly ready for going out. They are in the cold frame hardening off along with the squash, courgettes and some french marigolds.

    

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