Monday, June 17, 2013

The potato harvest

The recent spell of wet weather followed by warm, humid conditions has not been good for our potato crop. We spray with a natural fungicide made from horsetail macerated in water. This is effective to a point but it will never be as good as the strong chemicals from a commercial product. We take this into account and expect that when blight hits, we harvest.

The potatoes will be dried off, cleaned and stored but the tiny new potatoes will be devoured within the first few days, absolutely delicious with a knob of butter and some chopped fresh mint.

If we harvest soon after the first signs of blight then the crop is unaffected and we can enjoy good quality newly dug potatoes. This year has been a successful crop with early planting in late February making a total of 16 weeks in the ground. The variety was Spunta and we planted 100. We have little choice here so we usually buy whatever seed potatoes are available from the local agriculture cooperative.

Elsewhere in the garden the Air Hyacinth is coming into blossom and looking great. We started out with one very small clump; a gift from a lady in the village. This has grown and been divided many times. They are the easiest plant to grow with little care apart from clearing dead fallen leaves that get trapped in winter. We have several large clumps dotted around and always try and split them and pass on whenever we can. My parents have one in the UK but they take it into the conservatory during winter as it would die given a hard frost.


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