Author Topic: New potatoes for Christmas - failure  (Read 1293 times)

JanG

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New potatoes for Christmas - failure
« on: September 30, 2020, 06:36:26 »
I’ve never tried a second crop of potatoes before. This year I thought I’d try Charlotte which has had such a good press here. I planted them in potato bags, perhaps rather early - forgot to note but maybe beginning of August, maybe earlier. They grew a fine head of top growth rapidly but then fell prey just as rapidly to really bad blight by mid September.
As I’ve had very little blight otherwise this year I was quite surprised. They are now a sorry sight and I imagine there’s very little there. Certainly won’t be worth hanging on till Christmas.

I guess the only thing to do is cut off the little bits of top growth which remain and hope I get one or two littleuns for seed potato for next year.  But that’s probably hopeful as they might be blighted, might have different dormancy pattern?

I wondered whether anyone else had run into big blight attacks with second cropping potatoes. Seems hardly worth trying again but I gather people do second crop potatoes successfully?

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New potatoes for Christmas - failure
« on: September 30, 2020, 06:36:26 »

ancellsfarmer

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Re: New potatoes for Christmas - failure
« Reply #1 on: September 30, 2020, 08:04:04 »
I fear that we are bound to fail. In fact we are lucky to get any potatoes or tomatoes at all. The article below shows what is done to produce potatoes commercially. Even these processes do not guarantee to produce a crop.
None of these products are available for amateur use, even if one considered them desirable. In fact, its enough to put one off completely.
https://www.fwi.co.uk/arable/3-fungicide-strategies-fight-resistant-potato-blight
Freelance cultivator qualified within the University of Life.

picman

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Re: New potatoes for Christmas - failure
« Reply #2 on: October 02, 2020, 10:09:48 »
My first time trying late planting of pots so bought 9 each of Charlotte, and Maris piper. £6 ! ( looked a bit shrivelled ) planted in poly tunnel on 11 Sept as i took out the tomato 'trees' that had been so good this year . Charlotte were up fast and are looking good, but no sign of the others ! ... not good to follow pot after toms , hopefuly worth the risk ..   

JanG

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Re: New potatoes for Christmas - failure
« Reply #3 on: October 02, 2020, 17:03:08 »
Polytunnel and a bit later seems promising to me, picman. Will you cover them with fleece or some such when there's a likelihood of frost?

My thinking behind growing in bags was to do with being able to move them somewhere sheltered when there's a risk of frost but in the meantime they seem to have been more vulnerable to blight.

A grim picture, ancellsfarmer! Without any chemicals I usually get reasonably decent potatoes and I am close to lots of farm potato fields. Perhaps I was naive to try Charlotte, which has only average blight resistance, at this time of year. Ah well, if I get a few for seed I'll be happy. To be investigated tomorrow.

BarriedaleNick

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Re: New potatoes for Christmas - failure
« Reply #4 on: October 03, 2020, 10:14:44 »
I have always been really skeptical of Christmas Potatoes and I don't really see the point.  I think it is just a marketing ploy to get us to buy more!
I'll still have earlies in storage for xmas and I will have PFAs and my maincrop all bagged up too.  So aside from the freshness angle I dont see much point and just today I have seen two pics of rotten blighted spuds from new growers on FB asking what went wrong.
It's just the wrong time to grow spuds.  It's wet and humid and almost perfect conditions for blight..
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saddad

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Re: New potatoes for Christmas - failure
« Reply #5 on: October 03, 2020, 13:16:56 »
Many varieties also " improve " with time in storage...

picman

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Re: New potatoes for Christmas - failure
« Reply #6 on: October 05, 2020, 13:19:51 »
The Charlotte in poly are doing well , the maris piper i think have been lost .. still no sign . Yes JanG I will keep an eye out for frost and fleece them, poly can be a few degrees warmer than outside for a few hours. 

JanG

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Re: New potatoes for Christmas - failure
« Reply #7 on: October 05, 2020, 16:45:15 »
Looking good, picman. What a lovely neat polytunnel.

I turned my  blighted Charlotte second cropping potatoes out today onto a newly established bed which will benefit from the compost. I think the potatoes must have had about two months growth from mid-July till mid-September.
Not a huge return for £6 for the seed potatoes and half a bag of compost but considering the short growth period, not too bad a crop. But certainly not for Christmas. Not even made it for Hallowe'en!
But enough for seed potato for next year if the out of season dormancy doesn't create problems.

Obelixx

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Re: New potatoes for Christmas - failure
« Reply #8 on: October 05, 2020, 18:11:29 »
Are you all growing potatoes for Xmas to save money or get better flavour?

If the former, just make sure you buy some a week or 3 before Xmas before prices go up.  If it's for flavour, I'd suggest Pink Fir Apple over Charlottes.   Don't bother here.   We don't have a traditional Xmas dinner having decided long ago that beef or turkey are just dull so we have a duck breast with red wine and juniper berry sauce and I buy - shock horror - a bag of frozen dauphinoise potatoes to eat with them.  It all lasts just one meal so no endless recycling of turkey and stuffing as sandwiches, curry, soup.........
Obxx - Vendée France

JanG

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Re: New potatoes for Christmas - failure
« Reply #9 on: October 05, 2020, 19:48:21 »
I tried just as an experiment because I was curious to see how it turned out. I'm not actually bothered about new potatoes at Christmas as I so much enjoy roast potatoes.
Having said that I have just enjoyed a meal with some of the very small new potatoes shown in my photo.

picman

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Re: New potatoes for Christmas - failure
« Reply #10 on: October 05, 2020, 21:15:55 »
Obelixx  Cost or flavour.. well both really , and experiment i guess not done it before but it takes little effort and could be rewarding , i agree about traditional Xmas dinner, your duck and and berry sauce sounds delicious.
JanG , my poly is not usually 'neat' but thanks. It makes sense to keep it as productive as possible, both winter crops and early sowing , we had some lovely 'winter imperial' lettuce last Jan Feb, until the green fly invaded .. Temperature control in poly is major problem . plants don't like 70 c changes.between day and night..   

JanG

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Re: New potatoes for Christmas - failure
« Reply #11 on: October 06, 2020, 05:32:10 »
Yes, I certainly agree about making polytunnel productive in winter. They’re brilliant for different green salad leaves, mustards, Mizuna, endive, chicory etc. I’ve become keen to test quite a lot of over-wintering lettuce to see which does best in my polytunnel - and sown at which time. I’ve not tried Winter Imperial though. Must add it to the list.
Last year, mine all rotted too soon. Think they were too big when the coldest weather came.
Sorry, thread drift here.

Digeroo

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Re: New potatoes for Christmas - failure
« Reply #12 on: October 26, 2020, 16:02:20 »
I do like the sound of that duck.     
I sometimes do a whole salmon.  One year I went to sainsburys to find a major lack of Turkeys or chickens and not much else.  Except they had whole salmon at half price, so I went with that, and it was lovely.  We had it will all the normal trimmings included the bread sauce and it was great.  There was not much veg either but I found more than enough on my plot.