I can’t believe that it was seven months since I planted my main crop potatoes.
I will say one thing, what with my first early potatoes, second early potatoes and now these – I won’t be buying a potato from a supermarket at any time soon. Growing up as a child, my mother would make a point of saying she was using Maris Piper potatoes if she was a putting together a roast dinner – which left the impression that Maris Piper potatoes are farmers choice of spud. She’s not wrong.
Maris Piper have to my favourite type of potato – which is a weird thing to say about a spud because you wouldn’t think there’s much of a difference between the types of potato that are available in your local supermarket. There totally is a difference and each variety of potato is better for one job or another.
Maris Pipers are my favourite because they’re good for everything, they’re excellent mashed, roasted or chipped. The small ones will make for great new potatoes as well. Along with usage, they’re so reliable growing wise and have needed minimal care over the last few months. I think I weeded the patch once over the last seven months and even then it was to get rid of the bind weed and the larger of the weeds.
Digging up potatoes is easy as planting them. Even though at this time of year the tops of the plant has died off, you’ll still notice where the plants were in the patch.
Using a fork, you need to start digging about a foot or half a foot away from where you think the plant resided, this is to ensure that you don’t put your fork through a spud. Alas, it’s inevitable that you’ll do this, and it’s a real pet hate of mine, but the spud will still be good to use – just be sure to wash and use this casualty as soon as you can to avoid rotting.
After I’ve dug out my potatoes, I tend to not wash them and leave them in a tray to dry out. I’ve read that the mud when dried, will help with storage. I’m currently storing my potatoes in the shed, and I have very little worries now that the temperature has dropped for the winter. Try to keep your potatoes away from the light as you run the risk of them turning green, I usually keep mine covered with some black horticultural felt.
Hopefully, if we don’t experience a warmish winter, these potatoes will be good for the Christmas!