London (change)
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12/03/2014 at 20:43

 Sharpes Express planted to-day under perspex roof light with glass panels at each end so as not create a wind tunnell. Also planted some outside. Everything then covered with hessian for frost protection.

We're off and running in the 2014 spud season.

12/03/2014 at 20:47

Our Rockets and Maris Pipers went in last weekend.  Don't know why the Maris Piper maincrop said to go in early March but the King Edwards Mid to Late April??  Presume slower growing. 

12/03/2014 at 21:52

We had a frost this morning and I was scaping frost of the car wind screen yesterday, me thinks I'll wait a little longer before planting out, it's tempting though. 

12/03/2014 at 22:08

We'll get frost till May Day at least so I'll have to use frost protection any way so might as well get started. All Sharpes were chitted for a few week so hopefully they will come in a bit before the end of June. home guard still to sow by Monday.

12/03/2014 at 22:10

Lovely set up there No Expert. Soil looks great!

12/03/2014 at 22:17

Black silty type. Gets very wet during heavy rain but this area was covered by the perspex sheet so it is fine.

Also it is a little on the Alkaline side, used some of my compost which has a large proportion of FYM in it plus a little potatoe manure.

12/03/2014 at 22:38

The time when frost matters is when the potatoes grow leaves out of the ground. If you plant too early and the leaves are up before the frosts have finished they will go black.

12/03/2014 at 22:41

If I was to wait for the threat of frost then I'd get no first earlies in at all.

Frost blankets at the ready. It's a bit of bother but it is gardening and I've waited a long time to much of that.

12/03/2014 at 22:43

here in North Devon, I planted out all my chitted spuds on Sunday. Despite tons of rain and heavy clay, they soil rotovated well on Saturday.


13/03/2014 at 11:07
Busy-Lizzie wrote (see)

The time when frost matters is when the potatoes grow leaves out of the ground. If you plant too early and the leaves are up before the frosts have finished they will go black.

...but they'll recover, and possibly grow quicker than the late starters.  Or will they?  I've only had this happen once, and I'm itching to get my Pentland Javelin in.  And Kestrel.....etc etc.

Which reminds me, I put the PJ in the greenhouse to chit a few weeks ago and although there are signs of growth the shoots are still tiny.  Could it be too warm in there?

13/03/2014 at 12:12

My gut feeling is that there won't be too many late frosts if the jet stream continues on its current path where it is sweeping up from the south-west.  Haven't heard that there is any expectation of a change in its course.  This comment will probably come back to haunt me - famous last words!

13/03/2014 at 12:23

I'm planting my potatoes in bags this year (first year growing them) owing to the vegetable garden not being ready (and wont be for a while) - I'm planting my first lot this weekend. I can't decide whether to keep them in the greenhouse to start off or put them outside and move them inside if the weather changes.

13/03/2014 at 12:57

Last year when frost threatened I just chucked more soil over our potatoes (took 'earthing up' a bit too literally) and then they just pushed on through when the frost had passed.  Maybe you could do that with bags.  I have never grown potatoes in bags but am eyeing up a builders bag we have here - one of those they deliver building sand in.  Looks like an enormous potato growing bag to me.  If they get warm in the greenhouse they might grow a bit faster than you want them to.  Also, the more soil and compost you put in the heavier they will get to move.  And I have used grass clippings before as insulation.  I am a bit rough and ready with potatoes, but they don't seem to mind. 


13/03/2014 at 16:06

Busy Bee thank you for your advice. We've got some builders bags I did think about using them to plant things in for this year until the vegetable bed is sorted until I realised that to move a ton of soil into the bags would cripple me. Perhaps I can cut them down or only half fill them...

We've plenty of last years grass clippings I can build around the bags if the weather turns bad. I'll be sure to remember that very useful tip!

(I'm not rough and ready - just clueless and ham fisted!)

13/03/2014 at 19:33

One year when my allotment was 10 miles away , and therefore too far to justify driving just to cover up my spuds, they were knocked back by a late frost in May ( Hampshire). They had been a good 8" / 20cm  tall, but they shot back in no time.

13/03/2014 at 19:37

I started my spuds off in bags in the g/h, but moved them out yesterday (I was fed up with tripping over them) If the forecast gets v. bad, will fling some fleece over them.

13/03/2014 at 20:22

 word of warning about builders bags, water your plants and it pours out of the sides. I built a portable raised bed with the cloth nailed to a frame to grow some deep rooted veg in, mooli. Not a good plan... but you can get cheap spud bags from Wilco which last for ages I've some 5 yrs plus old and still as good as the day bought.

I'm stuck between a rock and a hard place, having always grown spuds in bags, in the back garden, would have started planting out at the end of March but I've got an alotment now and first year can pick bags up and put them in GH if there's fret of frost but you can't pick up a rasied bed and carry it home......I'm happy to wait till April...   

13/03/2014 at 20:30

Planted my 1st earlies, Pentland Javelin & Vales Emerald in spud bags today. Put them amongst other large pots to keep them warmish. Any bad frosts / temp due/ I'll carry them into GH or shed overnight.

Waiting a week or so to plant 2nd earlies. Charlotte.

13/03/2014 at 20:35

Zoomer, when I had room I always planted 1st earlies into garden at Easter !!! Now that varies by blinking weeks. Toms always went into final pots in GH on cup final morning. Ditto.

Best we can do is guess

13/03/2014 at 20:40

Clari, veg / spud sacks, easily moveable 12" dia x 16" deep  couple of quid for 2, from Wilko / and other places, not GC's. !!

p.s. edit.  Either I'm dim or a genius  if they aren't going to be on "show" put drainage holes in bottom of  old multi purpose sacks, reduce height of them to about 16' and put spuds in them. Think I'll do that with my carrots, will keep root fly off them.

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