Harvesting Anya Potatoes etc

I suppose the great news of the week is the suspension of Aminopyralid based herbicides. Not an outright permanent ban, but a positive step forward for us gardeners.

Unfortunately, I do not think we can trust manure until 2011 or even 2013. Assuming all the farmers who have stocks of this stuff are notified and stop using it, a big assumption, then it is still going to be in the chain. I don’t know if the farmers get a refund on returns, but if they don’t then I reckon they’ll use up stocks. After all, it’s an effective product for them and we know farmers have been very hard pressed financially.

Anyway, assume no more Aminopyralid is used from now on. Hay will be harvested and used next year. Herbicide will be excreted into manure and this can then be stacked for a three years before being safe. So, we need to be really careful until then.

Some people seem to assume I’m some sort of expert – I’m not. I just spent some time researching this problem and bringing it into the light. The only advice I can give is to try and check the provenance of your manure, which is far easier said than done, and to test by growing a tomato or potato in the manure before spreading it over your plot. Not so easy in the autumn.

On the allotment front generally, the news isn’t so great. In the parliamentary debate on 22nd, Ben Chapman summed it up with “There is certainly no evidence from my own constituency or from research that I have conducted that there has been a widespread, consistent attempt by local authorities to provide new allotments to keep up with demand.” Hansard

Back on my plot, the last couple of days have been spent harvesting. Got the garlic up which is generally lovely. Good sized bulbs despite the garlic being struck badly with rust at the end. I think I should have got them up a week or two ago, because a few had rotted. Some of the rotted have a white mould on them. I just hope it isn’t ‘whiterot’ which I think I’ve got on the other plot as some of the onions were affected.

Apart from a lot of weeding, boy don’t they grow? I got a fantastic crop of carrots from my blue half barrels. Left the tiddlers to carry on growing but still ended up with 3 carrier bags full. 1 per half barrel. Not bad! I’ve grown a French variety called Touchon (bought in France) and I’m really pleased with them. No idea if they’re an early or maincrop but they’re nicely shaped stump carrots and of a good size.

I’ve been harvesting my Anya second early potatoes. Now last year was awful, blight hit the potatoes and the crop was poor. This year has been my best ever so far. From 4 rows (60 foot row total) we’ve had 2 wheelbarrows full. I don’t know the weight – but maybe 50 Kg.

Few damages, the slugs haven’t been bad at all this year (so far). Anya store well but I can see us giving a load away. Val spread them on the lawn on an old shower curtain to check them and remove any that would not store, before bagging up for the shed.

Larry gave us a load of paper sacks, I think he gets them from a chippy, which will help as we’re going to run out of hessian sacks. Only trouble with Anya is that they are small potatoes and productive, so harvesting is hard work to make sure no travellers are left in. My sciatica has returned.

Photo Below: Val sorting the potatoes – more in the photographs section.

Val Sorting Potatoes

Val Sorting Potatoes

Posted in Allotment Garden Diary
16 comments on “Harvesting Anya Potatoes etc
  1. Cawdor says:

    Anya look great John, i love these potatoes, nutty flavour and fantastic in salads. Mine this year were not great the tops died off early either due to lack of watering or not enough fertiliser so the spuds are small but lovely all the same.


  2. Cawdor says:

    Me again, do you store your carrots and if so how as i find with mine that they go soft and rubbery quite quickly after lifting when stored in the fridge.


  3. nickyveglover says:

    your potatoes look great well done.

  4. Tracy says:

    Wow what a harvest. Mine have done well too

  5. keith says:

    just started harvesting Wilja got five rows on plot first row looks good

  6. John says:

    Cawdor – although you can store maincrop carrots in damp sand or peat, we tend to freeze the early crop. I like making a carrot mash in bulk and freezing that. Takes little room and saves time when cooking.

    Take a look at http://www.allotment.org.uk/allotment_foods/

    There’s some articles on storing the surplus there

  7. Valerie says:

    Help! How can I grow carrots successfully. Our allotment is heavy clay. How do you grow them in barrels? What mixture of soil, compost, sand ect., do you use? Do you replace it each year? How deep are the barrels?
    PS our cabbages are doing well under an environmesh tent, only pest to get at them are the slugs!

  8. Jill says:

    Have just harvested my anya potatoes, good amount. Will grow again next year. Unfortunately the slugs got alot of my marfona spuds and king edwards are small. Will try Sarpo blight resistant ones next year as had to get them up early due to blight.

    Has anyone tried international kidney?

  9. John says:

    Valerie – barrels are about 2’6″ high and filled with the municipal green waste compost with seeds sown over and sharp sand (the stuff they use for concrete) scattered over the top to hold the seeds in place.
    Replace every couple of years but a good dose of Fish, Blood & Bone before sowing.

    Jill – the Anya were pretty undamaged by slugs and Sarpo Mira seem too tough for them as well. I grew International Kidney a few years back. Wasn’t too impressed. I think they prefer the Jersey soil and climate to give of their best.

  10. Tony says:

    CARROTS !! CARROTS !!DONT TALK TO ME ABOUT CARROTS.. i DONT KNOW WHY BUT MY ALLOTMENT WILL NOT GROW’EM. Out of 1 row I’ve got 10 AND THE OTHER ROW AINT MUCH BETTER!!!I didn’t have any luck last year either, Blitherin carrots, I love em AND I ALSO B******** HATE’EM !!
    From now till next spring, I will research the problem and I think by then, I should be able to get an ‘ology’ !!!

  11. Ron says:

    I have grown anya potatoes this year, for the first time. Most of them had pink colouring inside, which stemend from pock marks on the skin. there was also a distinct earthy odour when peeling. I don’t know if they’re fit to eat, but have decided to dispose of them. Any ideas on what may have gone wrong?

  12. John says:

    No real idea Ron – sure it wasn’t blight?

  13. david says:

    hi have planted anya for the first time
    they have grown well but do they have flowers?
    if not when are they ready to harvest?
    regards david

  14. tony says:

    hello, same question as david about anya potatoes. mine are about 2 feet tall and are looking decidedly tatty now but no flowers. are they ready to be pulled?

  15. ronald potts says:

    when do i know wen my potatoes are ready thanks ronnie

  16. John says:

    Generally when the flowers are in bloom on the plants – read up more on potatoes here: http://www.allotment.org.uk/vegetable/potato/

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