Thursday, 7 June 2012

The First Of The Year

My mum and dad came for dinner on Sunday, roast beef and Yorkshire puddings, so I decided that I would empty out one of my potato containers so that we could have some lovely new potatoes alongside the beef. Ideally, I would have left the container a little longer to allow the potatoes more time to grow, but I was very happy with what I found. They did for Sunday dinner and the rest were eaten last night with pork chops. I usually plant two or three potato tubers in each container, and when I weighed what I harvested, I found there was around one and a half pound. I started off with a three kilogram, or six pound six ounce, bag of tubers which cost around £3.00, and I've still got fourteen potato containers in various stages of growth to empty, so I don't think I did so bad with this one seeing as how I emptied it early. They were absolutely delicious, cooked with mint and drizzled with butter, it won't do my diet any good though.

I managed to get to the allotment for a short time over the weekend. The weeds have been enjoying the weather, even if we haven't, the plot is in a bit of a state to say the least. We really need to put some work in. The sweetcorn - Sweet Bounty got planted out, and there was a little space left at the end of the bed so I planted two courgettes there. The varieties I've gone for this year are Soleil, a yellow variety and Mikinos, a green one which I haven't tried before. I finally got the onions - Bedfordshire Champion which I started off from seed planted out. I'm a little late with these but they have two chances, either grow or don't. They look to have put on some growth in their cells though, so I'm keeping my fingers crossed. The beetroot which I sowed direct quite a few weeks ago never germinated. I think the seed got washed away in all the rain, so more has now been sown, and only a few of the carrot seed which was sown in the old bath on the plot has germinated, so more of that has been sown too.

You may remember that I sowed some carrot seed in containers and overwintered them in the greenhouse, hoping for an early carrot harvest this year. The tops never seemed to grow very much, and I didn't really hold out much hope for what was happening under the soil. I emptied the container out at the weekend and the carrots which had managed to grow were tiny, certainly not big enough to eat, so the rabbits got them. They enjoy the tops so they had a tasty treat. As the saying goes, you win some, you lose some.


  1. Those new potatoes look great to me. I'm tempted now to test out one of our bags as the tops are enormous and taking up lots of space.

    As soon as the rain stops we intend to sow some beetroot too.

  2. So true...and every year there seems to be a few crops that do really well and some that suffer.

    I've filled an old storage bin with compost this year and sowed my carrots inside back at the beginning of April. All looks well and I hope the Carrot Root Fly is fooled into leaving their destruction elsewhere.

    Your new potatoes look really delish by the way! Well done!

  3. The carrots we sowed in our ptato sacks didn't grow either and just produced teeny carrots

  4. It seems to be one of those years where it is not all good.

    I have never sown and lost so many seeds as I have this year.

    My strawberries also seem a lost cause and my over winter onion have massive tops but very little under the soil.

    Oh well onwards an upwards!

  5. I bet those new potatoes were GOOD! Mine are just beginning to produce flowers, so hopefully it won't be long before I can harvest some.
    My first little tomato fruits have formed now too, so things are slowly beginning to happen.

  6. Mmmmmmm - what a treat Jo. Glad to hear that your early planting and furtle produced such positive results.

  7. I'm starting to think its better to wait for warmer weather for many sowings. Its always fun to try to get earlier harvests. Your potatoes look really good, I can't wait to harvest!

  8. Nice to have early spuds Jo. Hope the weather improves soon for all the summer crops!

  9. Those potatoes are making my mouth water. I wish we'd planted some now.
    Love from Mum

  10. Twice so far my carrot seeds have been washed away by the rain. With the weather there is not a lot getting done on my allotment.

  11. Those potatoes look good. We had our first strawberries yesterday, they were lovely.

    I'm so pleased we didi all our hard work whilst the weather was good.

    X x

  12. I think I'd have waited a little longer to empty out the container if my parents weren't coming for dinner, Martyn. They were a tasty treat though. I'm going to wait now before harvesting more.

    I had great success with the carrots grown in the old bath last year, Tanya. No sign of carrot root fly at all. Good luck with yours.

    I wonder if it's worth trying again, Sue. I'm a sucker for never giving up, so come autumn, you might find me sowing carrots again.

    My strawberries are one thing which seem to be doing well at the moment, Wigglywoo. I thought the frost might catch the flowers, but it didn't, and now I'm just waiting for some fruit to ripen.

    The potatoes were delicious, Mark. I always look forward to the first potato harvest of the year. Your tomatoes are doing so well. Mine seem to be a way off even producing flowers, never mind fruit.

    It was a treat, Anna. I'm looking forward to emptying the next container now, but I'll wait a little while longer to allow the potatoes to grow a little more.

    I think later sowings usually catch up, Kelli. I hope so anyway otherwise I'll be without tomatoes this year.

    No improvement in the weather today, Damo. The rain woke me up in the night, and it's still ongoing.

    You'll definitely have to grow some next year, Mum. There's nothing quite like home grown.

    Hope it's third time lucky, The Cookie Jar. My allotment is really suffering this year. It seems when we get a bit of decent weather, we've got something else on, and then it rains when we're free.

    Your strawberries are early, Please may I. I'm waiting for mine to ripen, but without any sunshine I think I'll have a long wait.

  13. Your potatoes look wonderful. How big was the container for these? and did you have to fertilize it?

  14. Hi Jo, I did think about emptying out our potatoes that I've grown in an old compost bag but decided against it! So they are left to get a bit more plentiful (hopefully!). I am disappointed with the carrots I planted too, I wonder what has gone wrong this year? Last years were superb.As you say, you win some, lose some.

  15. AnonymousJune 09, 2012

    So true, I had a problem with seeds I planted earlier in the year - tomatoes and courgettes they just didn't grow. I replanted the courgettes in pots in my potting shed and tomatoes in the kitchen and both have grown. I'm in envy of your 14 containers of potatoes, I have only one on the go but it does look promising (fingers crossed).

  16. Well done those potatoes look great. I've sown two lots of carrots in containers so far and look like I'm going to have to do them yet again! Even I'm beginning to get the summertime gardening blues!
    Flighty xx

  17. Your potatoes look great Jo. You've certainly done well there. My sowings are gradually germinating but everything is so behind. I live in hope for a longer period of settled weather soon!


  18. The container I emptied was a bucket, a little larger than a normal household bucket, Becky. This year I've also used some purpose made potato bags which my dad gave to me when my parents moved from their house to an apartment without a garden, but you can use anything really, even old compost bags. The only thing I add to the container as they grow is more multi purpose compost mixed with home made compost, and I make sure they're well watered as containers tend to dry out much quicker than the ground.

    I hope you get plenty of potatoes, Anne. I think you're doing the right thing waiting for a while, I'm doing the same with the rest of mine. I can hardly get any carrots to germinate this year, never mind grow.

    Thank you for visiting and leaving a comment, Shirley. I'm having problems getting most things to grow this year, we just don't seem to be getting any warm weather which really brings them on. I'm sure your potatoes will be delicious, there's nothing quite like home grown.

    I think everyone's having problems with germination this year, Flighty. What we really need is a good few weeks of soaring temperatures to get everything going.

    It's such a funny year for gardeners, Jeanne. We're still getting lots of rain and cool temperatures which isn't going to coax the plants in to growing, plus it's bringing the slugs out in droves too.


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