I am confused. I don’t know if I am Arthur or Martha. I don’t know what I was thinking. This explains a lot but then also leaves me wondering. I have made a bit of a mistake with my spuds.
For the last few years I have had a system that works really well for me. Looking out over my garden from the shed end I plant my potatoes so the ones that come ready first are on the left. Normally the Jersey Bennes that are due out after 100 days are planted with enough time to grace the Christmas table dressed in melted butter with a flourish of fresh mint. What better way to commence the spud season and then as they are supposed to be small bite sized spuds that make wonderful salads on hot days, then we make our way through these tasty delights in time for the rest of the crop to come ready.
The next couple to come ready are normally 120 – 130 day ones that give a good chip or roast and good boiling and mashing so I can mix it up as the summer slips into autumn and I begin to get over salad and start seeking comfort food. And then finally the 140 day crop of good all round potato quality sees us into the depths of winter.
See how perfectly this all works? Well it should… until you throw me into the mix. The one real fallible step in the process. This season I don’t know what I was thinking. I didn’t even write out labels! You should always write out labels, things get forgotten. Especially on a crop of over 100 days. I knew in the back of my mind that I had blogged about the planting of the spuds and I even made a video for all the world to see. You can see this >HERE<
So come Christmas I harvested the first row as normal and they were the size to be expected. But they were a little floury and the skin fell off in the pot. They tasted ok so I put it down to seasonal variation and continued to cook them as a waxy potato and we continued to eat them in a mashy style.
Then 20 days later, give or take I dug up the next row, assuming I had the timing right and got a bumper harvest. They were huge although a couple of them were showing signs of resprouting. This I chose to ignore and just rubbed the buds off. I got two large sacks full and thought I should label the bag so I know how to cook them. This was a brainwave I had last season. I label the bag not only with the variety but how best to cook it. You can read about this >HERE<
With only a vague sense of which spuds were being stored in the shed I decided to double check my blog so I could make sure I was labelling correctly. These should have been 120 day Ilam Hardy I thought. But I’d just check.
Err wrong. For a start Ilam Hardy take 130 days. But that is the least of my problems. To quote myself: “I put them in, in alphabetical order in case I forget which is which. So looking out over the garden I have Agria – 130 days, Ilam Hardy – 130 days, Jersey Benne – 100 days and Karaka 140 days. (This is more for my benefit than yours!)”
Ok – Firstly looking out over the garden in which direction? This also means that that Jersey Bennes weren’t on the left hand side like expected but are possibly still lurking in the middle of the bed. No wonder the ‘Jersey Bennes’ we had for Christmas were floury. Does this mean I harvested my Agria or Karaka too soon and will now have a limited supply for the winter? Was it indeed the Ilam Hardy I harvested this week or was it the overdone Jersey Bennes? Should I just dig up the last middle row anyway? And should I wait the full 140 days before digging up the last row?
I guess the biggest take away from this is LABEL EVERYTHING! It won’t matter about the spuds all that much. We will soon figure out our waxy from our floury and our chips from our mash, but may not know its name. It will still be edible.
Come again soon – it is hot and dry and we are wishfully hoping for rain.
Sarah the Gardener : o )