26 November 2009

One potato, two potato, three potato, four...

There's a paddock on the right of our driveway that has been growing a lovely crop of gorse since we have lived here. Every year it gets slashed and a couple of times we've had a groomer in but we have never gotten on top of it.

We have never planted it out because we've never had the water or the need for the extra space, but this year we have and we do.

A potato crop is a great way to start off new ground as it breaks up the ground as the potatoes grow.

A potato crop is also a great way to out compete the weeds because they grow a dense ground cover smothering them.

First Dave passed down and created each row on his tractor by ripping and rotary hoeing and then Bren went behind on his tractor and using an angled grader blade dug the trenches.

Wearing apple picking bags full of seed potatoes and potatoes from last year's crop, we walked along the trenches dropping the spuds in and kicking in dirt from the mounds on the sides to cover them.

The whole of last Friday Bren, Liam, Andy and I dropped and covered, dropped and covered.

We planted 20 varieties of potatoes;
Pink Fur Apples,
Ruby Lou,
Royal Blue,
Dutch Cream,
Pink Eye,
Red Star,
Up To Date (Scottish variety 1894),
Purple Congo,
and a couple of unnamed, unlabelled surprise varieties.

On Saturday it was Bren, his Dad John and I, and after lunch we realised we were racing against the clock to finish the job before the rain came. We changed the process at that point to me and Bren sitting on the back of the ute that John was driving. He drove up and down the rows and we dropped the spuds in and the occasional one through the car window (by accident).
It is such a great feeling to be covering up the last row as the rain sets in. And then to sit inside enjoying the rain and the feeling of a job completed.

The spuds will grow in that paddock for the next five months. As they come through the soil Bren will drag more soil off the mounds getting rid of the weeds on the mounds and on the growing potatoes.

You keep covering potatoes as they grow through the soil so they keep putting out roots. On each root they put out on their way up to the sun they grow potatoes, so the more times you cover them, the more potatoes you reap.

So we'll see you back here in late Autumn and because of the wonderful (and very handsome) list maker, we'll know which variety is which.


Leonie Guld said...

My very first job after school was as a potato picker!!! I'll look forward to watching your spuds grow......gee I would love to give you a hand picking....but I think that weekend I am booked up to have my nails done!! ;)

Tammy said...

That is a LOT of potatoes! Good luck with it all, I can only imagine the satisfaction of finishing before the rain on a job of that scale!

eddy carroll said...

That post was just fantastic.
Bring on the purple congos
I love your Blog XXXXXXX

oh my god the word variation word is Diecaste!!!
Am I being too random linking a 'Die cast' reference
to planting potatoes, hmmm maybe! oh well..

Tracey said...

I really enjoyed reading and looking at your photos this morning. Just discovered this blog actually. Good luck with the taters x

ps: 'magnerdo' is my verification word, how funny