Desiree in da haus

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And so, it’s potato time again.

Not being a horticulturist, I couldn’t tell you if they are seeds or not. What I do know is that although you can grow potatoes from regular potatoes you buy in the shops, it’s recommend to stick to a specially cultivated “seed potato”.

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These, as you can see, are Scottish certified Desiree. Boring, I know, but this is the fourth year of growing this variety.

It’s generally a good cropper.  The tubers are fleshy but not floury with a good red skin. In my experience, I’ve never peeled them. You can boil or bake with the skins on and I’m sure we’ve had them fried too.

The only possible downside is that as a main crop potato, my Desiree tend to succumb to slugs and eelworms if the weather gets too damp around June or July. So, in the last two years, I’ve tended to lift a bit early before the potatoes reach maximum size.

Around here, growers will tell you that we suffer from blight. Now, I’ve learnt that what might look like blight is in fact, the tops of the potatoes dying off naturally.

My advice is to cut of the tops as they die and get manky and mushy. Leave the tubers in for when you’re ready to lift. You will have to deal with slugs, so don’t leave them too long.

I had a good think about using nematodes to control slugs this year. These are slug parasites which kill off the beasties without harming your crop or poisoning your soil or other wildlife. But, nematodes are expensive and unless you get the timing and mixture right, they are not the best control.

My potatoes are now chitting. The clock is ticking. I’ve got about 5 weeks to dig my plot.

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