2021 Potato Harvest

It is 26 January 2022: a dry sunny day with just a little bit of winter warmth (9 oC at midday). Time to dig up the final row of potatoes from the Spring 2021 planting. These are Sarpo Blue Danube, an early maincrop variety. 

Sarpo Blue Danube Potatoes

In 2020, I planted two varieties of potato: Sarpo Una (second early) and Sarpo Axona (late maincrop). This took up too much space in my kitchen garden so, in 2021, I decided to go with just the one variety, Sarpo Blue Danube. Over the years, I have tried many types and varieties of seed potatoes but these Sarpo varieties are superior, in my opinion, because they have excellent resistance to blight and disease and the tubers store really well whether left in the ground or stored in the cellar in hessian bags.

My Blue Danube seed potatoes (1.5 kg) arrived from D.T. Brown in mid-January 2021. These were placed on a tray lined with newspaper and left under a table in a light coolish room to chit. Planted out on 1st April after the first application of Nematodes (slug control); 3 x 2.4 metre rows with 7 to 8 seed potatoes per row. Planting the potatoes consisted of digging a trench about 15 cm deep, placing the potato in the trench, covering with sieved garden compost, and then with garden soil to form a ridge about 10 cm high. When the potato shoots appear, cover with more sieved compost to protect from late frosts, enrich soil and increase the soil volume for the potato tubers to develop. May, June & July 2021 had reasonably rainfall so there was no need to water the potato crop. There was some foliage dieback in one or two plants but this did not affect the tubers.

The first potatoes were harvested on 2 September 2021 and the last potatoes harvested on 26 January 2022. Total yield was approximately 35 kg (77 lbs). The seed potatoes cost £5.95 and the value of the crop, based on equivalent organic potatoes from Sainsbury's on 26/1/22, was £31.50. [Note: 35 kg of non-organic potatoes from Sainsburys would cost £12.60].

Finally, a word about the potatoes! Some potatoes exhibited a little bit of scab but this was largely cosmetic and was removed during peeling. Flavour was excellent. These potatoes are best suited for mash, roast and chips/wedges. They show excellent dormancy (i.e. very reluctant sprouters) and can be stored above or below ground. 


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