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Glasshouse Early Potatoes, Home Guard

It’s quite important for gardeners to be able to compare how’s yer man’s doing versus your own. In the very nicest way of saying, at least it is for me. On that note this quick video was recorded Monday 9th in a friend of mines glasshouse in North County Dublin. The variety of spud is Home Guard.

I have grown my own spuds before. Inside and out. Never in raised beds. For tidyness sake, sometimes in pots. But, maybe blessed by where I live geographically, the people I know and the things I do in my spare time that are guaranteed to be garden related in some format or other, I’ve decided not to grow them this year.

Being quite honest, 10kg of Roosters costs about €3 off any supermarket shelf and I eat potatoes them by the truckload. In context 10kg might do me for weeks, at a push. And I simply cannot grow them quick enough to fill my belly. That is very simply the logic behind it.

Below is Damian, in one of the fields not too far away from my house. We were checking the field grown spuds. As one does on your weekends 😉

field of potatoes

David Rodgers of Rodgers Potato Growers

My interview with David will aired on The SodShow this Friday 11th November.

The #SodShow. Friday 11th November. Irish Garden Radio & Podcast (mp3)

On Wednesday 9th I made my way to the Rodgers potato yard to meet and interview David Rodgers. David’s Dad, Joe Rodgers is the gentleman and the name that appears on the many bags of poatoes sold all over the country of Ireland.

With audio sometimes it’s a good thing to help paint the surrounds in which our conversation took place and just what will create a certain amount of ambient noise in the background on Friday’s on air interview.

There are also these images….. if you have never seen it before, take a closer look and see just how tall the crates are stacked !

To give you a taster, this was just one field of the Rodgers rooster’s that I did a short video of back in July 2011.

For the home or more domestic potato grower there are some topics that have been covered on The SodShow previously. That said I still wanted to personally hear and highly recommend David’s thoughts on chitting, cropping, flowering and his advice for the grow your own potato folk.

The following are those parts of the interview and also them that will not air on Fridays show.

Potato Growing Advice (mp3)

Potato: Rooster

I’ve spoke about potato growing before here on the blog. I was out walking a lot over the weekend [july 9th] and of the many fields I met, this one filled with rooster potato.

With some just about to enter flower stage, I thought it may be of interest to those who growing their own were maybe looking for a good comparable, or as was pointed out to me for those who have not seen a potato, in this case a rooster in flower.

 

rooster flower

A little bit of work yet to go…. and if you have read this far you deserve some trivial potato trivia, courtesy of A Guide To Vegetable Growing, the book I got free from Teagasc.

Potatoes are a half hardy crop that hail from south America and first reached the [Ireland] shores around 1586.

In the words of Michael Caine, not a lot of people know that.

potato rooster

Sonairte Potato Day – Sunday 6th March 2011

Sunday 6th March 2011 saw me head with fellow spud lover Tricia Sheehy Skeffington to Sonairte in Co. Meath. I’ve been there before, many many times and Sunday is supposed to be my day off, but I just couldn’t resist when I heard what was on offer.

Listen!

I met many wonderful people there and want to save and savour some of the audio, particularly the chat I had with the wonderful Laura Turner, were it is one might say of greater interest for The SodShow this Friday.

But the day was a lot more than just the 100 plus varieties of potato on show. It was a lot of listening and watching and learning.

Listen!

I also met the gentleman, gardener and potato expert that is Dermot Carey who was responsible for the largest Irish private collection of potatoes still grown in Lisssadell House. Dermot was also doing working demonstrations on the lazy bed method of growing.

Another great Sonairte day out for €3. I also bought some spud seed and some [more] onion sets.

For more information check out www.sonairte.ie and don’t forget to tune into The SodShow this Friday to hear my chat with Laura. Well done Sonairte and thanks Tricia. Really Enjoyed that 🙂

Potatoes

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I grew these potatoes some months ago from seed. I think it was about €2.50 for a half litre pot of seed. I simply popped them twice their depth below the surface.

Mine came into flower and passed that point some time ago, but I had potatoes that I had got locally and so I didn’t bother lifting these at all. Until now. I was quite pleased with the crop. I didn’t mound the soil to get more or any of that molarchy. I just planted and left them.

I did run into one problem that was the common potato scab. It’s a scabby patch that appears on the outer skin which disfigures the spud. It’s not a major problem for me or the potato, although if you saw it in a supermarket potato I’d be very surprised. It’s caused by the mycelium producing Streptomyces scabies [the 2nd part of that name alone makes me shiver]. This comes as a result of light soils with a high lime content and also from low moisture levels  usually from a hot summer, which we had spells of this season. I’ll just peel them to be honest and next year I’ll plant a resistant variety.

After that, not much else I can add. It is very much a case of just pop the seed twice its own depth below the surface of the soil and keep well watered.

Of course if you have any questions, simply leave a comment below.