Author Topic: Harlequin potatoes  (Read 7433 times)

Robert_Brenchley

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Re: Harlequin potatoes
« Reply #20 on: February 06, 2017, 18:43:46 »
Infected tubers are the way the disease carries over from year to year. After a fair bit of poking about, I discovered that they allow for up to 0.2% of infected tubers in certified seed, and so any large allotment site is always liable to have an infected spud growing somewhere. then it overwinters in volunteers, and, in potato growing areas, in farmers' outgrade piles. The solution is to be extremely careful never to let a tuber grow unless you've examined it carefully and ensured that it's blemish-free, and meanwhile hope your less careful neighbours have been lucky. The chance of that depends on the prevalence of the disease the previous year.

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Re: Harlequin potatoes
« Reply #20 on: February 06, 2017, 18:43:46 »

squeezyjohn

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Re: Harlequin potatoes
« Reply #21 on: January 07, 2018, 21:10:08 »
Just reviving this thread to say that once again I can't see Harlequin in any of the catalogues.  However, I got a really healthy crop of volunteer harlequins that sat growing under my garlic last year!  They were very healthy and vigorous and I have some tubers in prime condition which I am beginning to chit now to grow (in buckets) next year.

While this story of volunteers seems to be a successful one, I am going to be transferring all my potato growing over to strong plastic tubs (the sort nurseries use for trees) - simply because they are so much easier to harvest and get the whole crop without leaving lots behind in the soil.  I had an experiment with it last year, and it worked, allowing me to get the soil just right, and also it fits growing in no-dig beds better.  Pushing the tubs in to the ground allows water to come up by capilliary action and roots to grow down in to the bed while the crop stays in the bucket.

And fingers crossed ... I will have Harlequins this year ... along with Kestrels, Sarpo Mira and Inca Bella, plus some delicious first earlies.

Obelixx

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Re: Harlequin potatoes
« Reply #22 on: January 07, 2018, 21:23:48 »
Glad you got your money back.   I don't think it's worth taking any risks with blight and wouldn't plant any suspect tubers, no matter how clean they look but i've had some good crops form "volunteer" potatoes growing up thru the next rotation of crops.

Ratte is a very tasty potato.  Have to say we now prefer sweet potatoes so I no longer plant spuds but we do like ratte when an ordinary spud is called for..
Obxx - Vendée France

squeezyjohn

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Re: Harlequin potatoes
« Reply #23 on: January 07, 2018, 22:07:01 »
Well - I know the advice and I've always followed it up until now.  But I am really starting to doubt the cleanliness of commercial stock too so I find it hard to choose between them.

At least with my bucket technique I can monitor them more closely and definitely dispose of everything at the first sign of any blight.  Ratte were nice, but much drier flesh and smaller tubers than Harlequin which I thought were superb salad potatoes.

Obelixx

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Re: Harlequin potatoes
« Reply #24 on: January 08, 2018, 09:14:46 »
One reason I gave up growing spuds was the 3 year rotation in the fields behind us.  Blight possibilities were boundless.   I may try again here as it's all cattle and corn.

I find Charlotte are better than Ratte but, for some reason, hard to find the last couple of years.
Obxx - Vendée France

squeezyjohn

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Re: Harlequin potatoes
« Reply #25 on: January 08, 2018, 22:54:39 »
Blight for us clearly comes in on the wind.  The first couple of consecutively warm wet days & nights in the summer WITH WIND are when it hits.  Without fail!  It was July last year.  The tomatoes always go down first.

saddad

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Re: Harlequin potatoes
« Reply #26 on: January 09, 2018, 07:51:38 »
I agree... ,stopped growing outdoor toms.. never got a crop.

Vinlander

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Re: Harlequin potatoes
« Reply #27 on: January 15, 2018, 12:18:56 »
Have to say we now prefer sweet potatoes so I no longer plant spuds

Hi Obelixx - do you go for the white flesh ones that taste like potatoes but sweeter? Or do you go for the orange flesh ones which taste more like a second-rate carrot (as does squash).

Cheers.

PS. I believe that like squash, you can eat them raw, so can anyone say how the raw orange ones compare with raw squash? I will try the next time I see a small one available by the kilo - but it's purely academic - I can't be bothered with all that faffing about unless its better than raw carrot - I'll try to keep an open mind but I doubt it... I'm more interested in growing moderately challenging stuff that isn't in the shops for peanuts.
With a microholding you always get too much or bugger-all. (I'm fed up calling it an allotment garden - it just encourages the tidy-police).

The simple/complex split is more & more important: Simple fertilisers Poor, complex ones Good. Simple (old) poisons predictable, others (new) the opposite.

galina

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Re: Harlequin potatoes
« Reply #28 on: January 15, 2018, 13:11:35 »
I find it difficult to understand that Harlequin, a cross between Charlotte and Pink Fir Apple bred in Scotland, is just so difficult to get hold of.  It is a potato that generally does well and tastes good and gardeners are looking out for it.  But it is only available very occasionally.  http://varieties.ahdb.org.uk/varieties/view/Harlequin

I also keep a few of my own tubers, check them and will replace when they are available again. 

On potato days I have often seen blighted tubers in the seed potato bins.  You'd think the vendors would take them out, but it seems not!  Which means that there may well be good tubers that are already infected but not obviously so.  I have bought good tubers which I had to ditch later, because they showed signs of blight after I had them chitting for a while.  This does not happen with my own, carefully selected Harlequins. 

As I also grow tps originated potatoes which are not commercially available varieties, there is no choice but to continue with my own tubers.  I need to be vigilant, definitely, but there is no reason to go with fresh seed tubers every year, or do without favourites that are rarely available.  :wave:


Deb P

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Re: Harlequin potatoes
« Reply #29 on: January 15, 2018, 15:24:16 »
I agree... ,stopped growing outdoor toms.. never got a crop.

Strangely I rarely have success with outdoor tomatoes on the plot, but can grow them easily in my garden at home...? Must be more blight opportunities at the plot I think.
If it's not pouring with rain, I'm either in the garden or at the lottie!

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Plot 18

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Re: Harlequin potatoes
« Reply #30 on: January 15, 2018, 15:32:35 »
Quote
Although Harlequin went off the market when its owners stopped growing potatoes

https://www.bhgsltd.co.uk/maincrop-seed-potatoes-z-95.html?chapter=20

Wonder why they didn't sell the rights to supply it someone else?

squeezyjohn

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Re: Harlequin potatoes
« Reply #31 on: September 06, 2018, 10:18:17 »
Update:

Just harvested my harlequins which were grown in black buckets rather than the ground.  They grown were from volunteer potatoes that sprouted last year from the ones I planted in 2016.  Apart from a tiny bit of scab from the dry weather they are as clean as a whistle and not a spot of blight!  They are such a delicious potato!

saddad

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Re: Harlequin potatoes
« Reply #32 on: September 09, 2018, 21:53:09 »
They grew really well, heavy crop for me and great potatoes... was very disappointed when they disappeared...

cambourne7

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Re: Harlequin potatoes
« Reply #33 on: September 10, 2018, 09:18:43 »
We grew spuds in buckets maybe not enough planted and tiny crops so far my main crops are still growing late mains are still in flower and i have just topped the buckets up again. Courgettes in buckets was a fail and the plant will likly be ripped out in the next week or so. Butternut squash also in bucket has one beautiful fruit which i have not checked for damage as yet but the plant not looking as vigarous as it was. There going back into the beds next year.

squeezyjohn

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Re: Harlequin potatoes
« Reply #34 on: September 10, 2018, 10:46:04 »
I think to get the best crops from potatoes in containers, they need watering if the summer is dry.  I couldn't do this very much as there's no mains water on our site and we just ran out.  Also I think it's key to have lots of holes in the bottom of the containers and bury them a little in soil so that the capilliary action can take moisture from the ground up to the roots ... my best performing ones had roots that came out through the holes and in to the ground.  No potatoes will grow on these feeder roots though, all the crop stays in the bucket.