We have just returned from a week away and rushed to dig up our potatoes. I'm not totally sure there's any hurry - I can't find any recommendation for how long you can safely leave them in the ground - but I'm pretty sure they stop growing when the foliage has died away and I know slugs get hungrier later in the season, so it seemed a good idea.
So here they are; 22lb of Charlotte potatoes (and we've already dug a few up remember) and 24lb of Melody.
This is from 14 plants of each type, so that's about 1.7lb per plant. Does that sound reasonable? I was kind of expecting more, but it's still quite a lot of potatoes so I won't complain! I tell you what; it's not as easy and rewarding a task as I've been led to believe. While seeing perfect white potatoes pop out of the soil as you dig is pretty cool, I seemed to spend a lot of time not finding any. Perhaps I just expect too much!
We have one more double row still to dig (we were short of time) so there will probably be another 24lb or so in a few days! They'll be sorted into different sizes and we'll see how long they can last us! We'll eat any damaged ones first, then all the bite-sized baby ones, and try to store the bigger ones into the winter for baking and roasting.
I am still confused that the Melody potatoes died back so early; the seed websites insist they are maincrop but I'd really expect them to mature later and end up bigger than these. Damn Suttons for not sending me what I ordered! Next time I will order earlier!
It's amazing how much things can grow in a week; we picked our first runner beans today. They were tiny when I last saw them and now they're the length of my forearm! And delicious, by the way!
Our favourite nasturtium has decided it's taking over the path (sorry, Terry) so I'll have to start cutting it back quite dramatically, and some of our borage plants are turning into enormous bushes! We had to cut one in half just to get at the potatoes!
Unfortunately not everything is so positive. The weeds around the strawberries are now so prolific I can't actually see the strawberry plants anymore, and our tomato plants have all succumbed to blight and will have to be destroyed. This surprised me, since the potatoes showed no signs of it, and if I truly am more organised next year (here's hoping) I'll take more precautions against it. Of course, a greenhouse would be ideal... I won't get too upset anyway; since they were planted so late I wasn't holding out much hope of a decent crop.
Would've been nice though! Ah well; you win some, you lose some.