Posts Tagged ‘Maris Peer’

Our Seed Potatoes ready for chitting

Another great step here at the Eco-House, chitting our first potatoes!

We’ve been collecting eggboxes for a little while now so we’d be ready, and today I took the kids out to the Hulme Garden Centre in advance of this Sunday’s Potato Day. Here’s our haul, all ready to “chit”:

I got a whole range of different ones to try, to try and liven up one of our less exciting, but important, crops:

Swift – First Early

Pink Fir Apple – Salad Variety

Maris Peer – Second Early

Setanta – Highly Blight Resistant Maincrop

Kestrel – Second Early

Sarpo Mira – Blight Resistant Maincrop

Sarpo Axona – Blight Resistant Maincrop

Salad Blue – Blue-fleshed Salad Potato



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The yield from growing our own potatoes in containers

We’ve finally harvested the potatoes that we planted back in April – back before we even moved into the Eco-House. Having lovingly tended them for a very short period we then left them to be watered while we traipsed around the country for a couple of months. Now we’re settled we figured it was time to go back and harvest them!

Overall we didn’t do too badly for three smallish plastic bags. Here’s the resulting yield:

  • Carlingford: 1.7kg
  • Maris Peer: 1.5kg
  • Duke of York: 1.6kg

So, nearly 5kg of potatoes from an area of less than one square metre. It’ll be interesting to compare that with yields from our in-ground potatoes that we’ll be growing next year. If we were going to do it this way again, I wouldn’t bother with the kit – I’d buy some bags of compost and just use those. Just empty half the compost out, roll down the sided, punch holes in the bottom of the bag and put 2-3 seed potatoes in each bag. Roll up sides and add a couple of inches of compost each time you see shoots appearing – easy!

The best thing about it (other than just eating delicious potatoes) is how excited the kids get about them. By growing them in bags we had a bit of an advantage – we could tip the whole bag into the wheelbarrow and let the kids root through it looking for potatoes. They loved it!

Now we just have to decide if we’re going to try to grow some potatoes for Christmas.

While we’re thinking about it, here are some pics of the potatoes growing. I haven’t got any showing the “jungle” they had become before harvesting unfortunately, but here are some of the progress shots!

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Finally getting our hands dirty – growing our own potatoes

OK, so we don’t have a house yet, so no garden yet, but the gorgeous weather has got our green fingers itching. So we’re taking the “portable garden” route, and using containers so that we can start playing (& learning!). We’re not taking this incredibly seriously so we’ve just started at our local garden centre with a Potato Growing Kit, some strawberries and herbs. 

The kit cost £7, and had three plastic bags and nine seed potatoes that were already starting to sprout! Compost (peat-free) was another £12, so our total spend was almost £20.  There were three varieties in the kit – Duke of York, Maris Peer, and Carlingford – with three seed potatoes for each. We planted them pretty-much according to the instructions on the kit, but with a bit of our own creativity. One variety went into each bag, about a third full of compost. The kit then suggested filling the bags up to the top with the remaining compost, but we went for the quicker gratification that came from covering the potatoes with a couple of inches, and then planning to earth-up the stems as they grow.

After a couple of weeks we’ve now got leaves coming up from every seed potato! We’re all excited – it’s not a bad success rate so far so it’ll be interesting to see what sort of yield we end up getting – if any!

The other great part of this is how excited our eldest is about them. She’s only three, but she’s really enjoyed planting them, and now shows off the shoots to every vistor we have.

Photos of our efforts below . . . 

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