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July issue of The Irish Garden








Johnplotman's Journal

Johnplotman's Journal

Last Post 9 days 18 hours ago

In the vegetable garden area this evening.

04 May 2010 22:28:53
Potato stalks [Solanum tuberosum.close to flowering.

Potato stalks [Solanum tuberosum.close to flowering.

This evening i went straight to check the pots in the herb house for watering,and then on to do some weeding in the tunnel.No rain today,but let it fall when we need it to.Earlier at lunchtime i had a quick check in the tunnel to make sure all was well.Watering will be done about 7am in the morning.For the next hour or so i will be back in the tunnel doing some work on the Sweet corn [Zea mays fam Gramineae] tubs.Some of them will need checking for being tied up this week.One group have been sectioned off to help with pollination when the time comes.Othere mixed with the potatoes.

Close to flowering on the potatoes stalks,Orla [earlies] in the tunnel.Pictured at lunchtime today.


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Jacinta Jacinta 04 May 2010 22:36:00

Can't wait to see mine flowering. One thing about growing them in bags is that they have to be turned regularly to even out the growth. Never noticed that before. At what stage, John, do I earth them up? The foliage is about 10 inches tall.


fran m fran m 04 May 2010 22:38:43

Looking great John.


Mairin Mairin 04 May 2010 22:58:22

I would have thought you should have earthed them up before this but shall watch this with interest.


Krista Krista 04 May 2010 23:11:09

When planting potatoes I had some second earlies left over. So I just stuck it the compost bag. Toped up 2 or 3 times. Flowers are going to open in the next couple of days. Now, how long do you wait after flowering to start checking for spuds?


Jacinta Jacinta 04 May 2010 23:26:48

Krista, I think when the foliage starts to die down, they are ready for harvesting.


Johnplotman Johnplotman 05 May 2010 09:03:51

Leave about 15 cm of the foliage for them to keep growing up Jacinta.Earth up each time to allow that much height.Ready when the flowers are fully open[or the buds drop],for harvesting.[June-July].

Main crop can be lifted from app August onwards,when the stems have withered.[For storage]


Johnplotman Johnplotman 05 May 2010 09:04:11

Thanks Fran.


Johnplotman Johnplotman 05 May 2010 09:15:57

The potatoes will have been earthed up at 2 different stages Mairin,and in some cases up to 3 times,once height goes above 15 cm.If allowed grow to full height,then growth stops.On the outdoor beds if the earthing up is not done then greening will appear on the potatoes [Glycoalkaloids] from sunshine where available to light,and leave them unedible..


Johnplotman Johnplotman 05 May 2010 09:29:44

Ready Krista,when the flower buds open,or as Jacinta mentiones when foliage starts to die down,[or the buds drop.] Earlies around June to July.Dont pull all out at once Krista if not ready for them.If very small potatoes are left untouched in the container they will stay growing.Sometimes here we just root into the compost and pull what is needed from them and get as much as possible from the container used.Damage the stalk and growth is finished.The potatoes from the container should be about the size of a hens egg.


Lìga Lìga 05 May 2010 11:54:19

Wow,John!!!That great,spuds in flower at begin of may!!!Well done!


Rachel Rachel 05 May 2010 20:51:26

Fine leafy growth!


Cloncaw Cloncaw 05 May 2010 23:56:49

Such a delight new potatoes straight from the garden, wish I had some that far on was thinking of moving some of my earlies in bags into the tunnel. Do you think this cause a problem having started them outdoors ?


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