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Potato Harvest Results & Moon Magic

Potato Harvest Results

I cleared the first of the deep raised beds over the weekend This was planted up with Charlotte, a waxy salad potato and Arran Pilot my favourite first early. I’d already had about 3Kg from the bed and the remainder was just over 9Kg so that’s 12Kg from a 10’x4′ bed 3×1.2M.  A quick bit of maths tells me that’s 3.3Kg per M2 which is a very respectable result in terms of yield for early potatoes.

The Charlotte were all reasonably sized for a salad potato but the Arran Pilot have more variance ranging from egg sized to quite a large baking potato size. I must have let them get a bit too dry at one point as they’ve got a few with splits but still perfectly edible. I think I had one throwaway from the lot.

It’s such a pleasure to report a decent crop rather than be moaning about how the plants have drowned or withered under blight. Talking of decent crops, just finished the rhubarb which has gone on longer than expected. I love that mixture of tart and sweet with a traditional rhubarb crumble and custard.

We’ve been busy on the web site as well. The latest addition was a completely re-written series on potatoes. It’s such an important crop that I think it’s worth covering them in depth, especially the dreaded potato blight.

If you go to this page How to Grow Potatoes there’s a list of all the other articles on potatoes including how the show growers go about it.

Lunar Gardening

There’s a lot more to go on from ourselves but I’ve popped up an article that was sent in about Moon Planting. the author admits she has had a range of reactions ranging from polite head nodding to belly laughter. I felt it was worth pointing out that gardening by the moon, moon planting etc. was the norm in most of history. Even just 50 years ago it was a brave farmer who planted when the phase of the moon was against him.

Lunar gardening and planting may seem to be just new age nonsense or old time superstition on the same level as angry gods throwing thunderbolts but, to my knowledge, there has been no long-term (5 year +) trial. Which™ carried out a one year trial in 2003 on a limited range of crops that showed no difference in planting on Good or Bad days but I would not consider that conclusive proof either way.

The ideal trial would cover a wide range of plants over a number of years and rotating positions to average out factors such as weather and rainfall. But that’s a big, expensive task and who is going to pay for it that doesn’t have an axe to grind?

Regardless, just because you cannot understand how something works, doesn’t mean it can’t work. For example: how does electricity get through solid wires? Most of us don’t know but we accept that it works and I’ve never seen an electron, although I’ve had a few shocks in my time!

Personally I’m agnostic about gardening with the moon and zodiac. I very much doubt it has any benefit but I don’t have the evidence to say it’s bunkum either. In fact, if you think it makes sense and is helpful then I can’t see it doing any harm either.

Lunar or Moon Gardening

Posted in Allotment Garden Diary

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May 2019
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