As you might have guessed from the few entries in the diary this month, things have been really hectic behind the scenes and the next week doesn’t show any signs of being quieter.
First of all, our daughter and family are moving from Yorkshire to half a mile up the road from us here in Wales. So they’ve come over here a couple of times looking at houses and bringing bits over including two semi-feral cats who are now living in our cow shed.
We kept them in large dog cages for a few days so they could get used to our house cats and vice versa. Since we released them we’ve not seen them at all but the food we put out vanishes by morning. They’re lovely cats but definitely not lap cats. If you don’t handle cats as a kitten they never become tame.
We’ve not had the time or perhaps the energy to do half what we planned when we moved here. I think I have to admit my stamina isn’t quite what it was 30 years ago! However, my son-in-law, Gary, wants to help out and is planning on keeping a couple of pigs here so perhaps we can catch up now. Self sufficient with a little, or a lot of, help from our relatives.
By combining resources we should be able to achieve more than we could separately.
Lady Balfour Potatoes
This year has been the first when I’ve grown Lady Balfour potatoes. They came down with blight before the Mayan Gold which was surprising as Lady Balfour are supposed to be resistant. Probably it’s a new strain of blight. The tubers aren’t badly effected and the yield was pretty fair.
What’s really disappointing is the amount of slug damage. In similar beds I’ve grown Mayan Gold, Charlotte, Arran Pilot, Sarpo Mira and Lady Balfour. None of the others have had any significant damage but Lady B is a slug magnet. Not on my grow again list.
Sarpo Mira Potatoes
The Sarpo Mira have been badly affected by scab but that’s only skin deep. It just means they need peeling. Mainly they’ve avoided tuber blight but one plant was hit. Attempting to lift the tubers they turned out to have the consistency of thick custard and that unmistakeable blight stench that gets into the back of your nose and throat.
Yield is fantastic with Sarpo Mira. A real banker – which isn’t an insult in horticultural terms. It means a crop you can bank on. Derived from the days when banks were known for honesty and integrity, which I’m old enough to remember.
Raised Bed Growing Potatoes
When growing normally in rows you insert your fork in at the side and lift the tubers but with the raised beds it’s hard to get the fork in without spiking tubers. And they’re always the best ones you spike!