How Are The Potatoes Doing?

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This year we have embraced growing our potatoes in open ground once more. It has been a summer of extremes with temperature cracking flags and rain washing the flags away - for those of you not Northern or unaware of what flags are, they are concrete stepping stones that you often find on pavements which are extremely heavy and thick (no jokes there about this being similar to being Northern, thank you). This rain has meant that the spuds have been well watered during the right time; this is when potatoes flower, when this happens water like mad every couple of days or every day if hot (always water in the morning, never at night as this encourages slugs and the plants won't take up the water at night either). At first we thought there were signs of blackleg but this wasn't, these were signs that the potatoes were dying back ready for harvest.

Potato problems

This reveals the level of stress plants have been under this year. In the potager, lettuce and chard has bolted because of the extremes in weather. Regardless of climate change we have to acknowledge as gardeners that we may have to change the way we grow and the things we grow to get crops. Even in the fruit patch the blackcurrants are showing signs of stress. I'll keep on watering this patch until the foliage dies back and then I will start harvesting around the first week of September, that's if we can get a few days that are concurrently dry.


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