It’s been a while since I’ve blogged, so I thought I’d touch base on the ol’ dig vs. no dig potatoes experiment.
All the way back in April, I decided to test out how best to grow potatoes.
Dig or no dig – and you can see how I planted each sets of potatoes here.
To see the results of the experiment, click here – if you want to read how the experience was throughout the season, then carry on scrolling.
Sprouting and mounding
I have to say on first glance, looking at the two sides of the bed, there wasn’t much of a difference between the two sides of bed.
Both sprouted, roughly at the same time and both looked the same size more or less.
When it came to mounding up, I did however notice a difference in the style of growing (naturally).
For the dig potatoes, the earth felt sandy, was grey, more compacted and dry.
With the no dig side, I was taking compost out of the compost bin and sprinkling on top.
This was a much easier process as the compost was lighter, darker, and had a bit more moisture to it.
Generally, it’s good practice to mound up potatoes to protect the tops from the frost.
As the potatoes grew – so of course, did the weeds, and this is where it started to get interesting…
I’m not sure if the above photo does any justice – but the no dig, on the whole had much less weeds than the other.
It wasn’t completely weed free, but there were noticeably less weeds growing.
Something I did notice was that the no dig side did have a few sprouts of horsetail, which probably came from the compost heap.
These were easy to pull out as they weren’t too established.
The rain and the humidity brought signs of early blight, so to combat this, I chopped the tops off of the plants.
I also purposefully left the weeds in the ground, so that they could soak up any excess moisture.
I began to dig out the potatoes in September, and I was really surprised.
Dig potatoes – traditional method
The dug side, had completely rotted away, baring say one or two spuds, but the majority had completely gone to ruin.
I would imagine that this has happened because of the torrential downpour faced during the summer, whereby the spuds were just left to sit there in the water, which cultivated bacteria.
No Dig potatoes
The image below speaks for itself. The produce was far better and the spuds were far more numerous.
I was relieved to see this amount of potatoes, but at the same time, disappointed that I didn’t get a full patch of produce.
I guess this is a lesson learned and I’ll definitely be doing no dig potatoes again in the future.
This is just my experience and results of growing potatoes, so if you’re looking for a bit more information – this is a really good guide here.
What produce experiments would you like me to try next? I’d love to know in the comments below.