November shoots

Some time back I wrote a post entitled Is it worth growing potatoes? My resounding conclusion was ‘yes’. Even though they are relatively cheap to buy, I like the fact that I know they will all get eaten, that it cuts down on our food miles and that that I can grow them chemical-free (check out my original post to get an idea of the pesticides that go into the spuds you are likely to get from the supermarket).

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Tiny potato shoots – I hope they survive

Anyway… this year, construction of the limery meant that I was short of growing space and so not all of the potato tubers that I had available were eventually¬†planted. Over the summer, the remainder sat in egg boxes on my windowsill and grew a few leaves, before starting to shrivel. Even so, they tenaciously held on and I couldn’t bear to throw them away. Finally, though, even I had to admit that I needed to do something with them. So, on Saturday when I¬†removed the no-longer-productive courgette plants from their large pots in the limery, I decided that the remaining compost may just be able to have a second life as a medium for growing potatoes. And so, I rearranged the compost and popped the somewhat shrivelled tubers in. The pots remain in the limery and I’m keeping my fingers crossed that these sad little remnants of this year’s planting will spring to life and provide us with a small crop sometime in the new year. Who knows? I could just have put the used compost and tubers into the compost bin, but I have nothing to lose in this experiment. I will be certainly be gloating if I can eat fresh Welsh new potatoes in February.

I’m also pleased to report that the limery is still proving its worth (all these pictures were taken today):

It may be the depths of autumn, but we have green shoots and reminders of summer.

Autumn Bounty

Despite a garden full of builders and no indoor growing space until late July, the autumn is proving to be bountiful chez snail. One of the raised beds spent much of the early summer completely covered in building materials, but clearly the tiny potatoes remaining after last years harvest loved the conditions. We went from this:

There's a bed somewhere under there

There’s a bed somewhere under there

to this:

Not bad in two months

Not bad growth!

in a just a couple of months. Resulting in this 615g monster:

Wow!

Wow!

and hopefully many more to harvest, as this was just one very close to the surface that Max would have ‘harvested’ otherwise. We will let them continue growing until the tops die back before we dig the bed over and can see our final crop.

Meanwhile, inside the limery, chillies and sweet peppers abound, tomatoes are ripening and we’ve had a couple of large courgettes from the plant sown in July,. I’ve potted up the plants from the courgette seeds sown in August and we are crossing our fingers for a few fruits from those a bit later in the autumn.

We are keeping our fingers crossed that the chillies ripen (they have started and the pyramid chillies are already hot) and that the younger courgette plants mature, but even if they don’t, we’ll have had an amazing end to the season, including a couple of months when we haven’t had to buy any sweet peppers.

As to future crops, we found this very promising ginger root in the local organic shop the other day:

It’s now been planted and we’re hoping for good things. In addition, the passionflower has taken off:

Up, up and away

Up, up and away

And I’ve sown some more lettuce in a big tray that can be brought indoors when the weather cools. So, no shortage of fresh goodness here.

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