Big Allotment Potato Update
Big update on the progress of my super early potatoes and how I’ve planted in the ground this year. I’ve planted lots of Charlotte and Arran Pilot in tubs on the patio at home and on Jennie’s plot. I’ve also planted Charlotte in the ground (with some chits removed) for baking potatoes, Sarpo Kifi for boiled potatoes for storage, and Sarpo Mira for baking potatoes for storage.
The tubs have turf at the bottom and a mix of manure and multi-purpose compost on top. The ground is well mulched with garden compost and well rotted horse manure, the potatoes planted 2 inches into the soil, with 2-3 inches of compost mulch on top. Once they breach the compost they will be mulched with well rotted leaves and maybe more compost.
If all goes as it did last year I won’t need a fork to lift them, my hands will be fine. I will be planting leeks, broad beans and other legumes in this bed later in the season.
If you are new to my allotment videos you might find a bit of context useful. We have three allotments in my family, mine (Steve), my wife’s (Debbie) and my middle daughter’s (Jennie). We also have a small kitchen garden at home. They are all managed in an integrated fashion, so don’t expect to see the usual mix of veg on each plot.
On Jennie’s plot, for example, we focus on potatoes, squash, alliums, and brassicas. This video provides an overview https://youtu.be/q1k-2vIoSQ8. I do an update of the allotments, roughly one a week, you can find the tours here https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PLFhKoRR-NiCJn5Y6rZf0RCCqycu3xvofX.
Our approach to allotment life is to: grow as much as we possibly can, to be self-sufficient in veg all year round and in fruit in summer, to give away our huge surplus to friends and family, and to have as much fun as possible.
My wife and I spend about 4 hours a day, 4 days a week on the plots (on average) and we keep nudging that down as we eliminate non-productive work: like grass cutting, weeding and watering as much as practical. We are both newbie gardeners, only starting the allotments in 2016.
I’m a bit obsessive about the nutrient density of the veg that we grow and making the plots easy to work because it’s through this allotment lifestyle and food that I’ve overcome a debilitating auto-immune disease.
I’m always aware though that it might not last so I make sure that I don’t work too hard, eat the most organic fruit and veg I can and design the plots so that I can still work them if I flare up again.