Wednesday, January 8, 2014

Potato fail! :(

After happily getting a few potatoes around the edges of the plants for three weeks or so they were increasingly becoming glassy after cooking. Very frustrating as it can't be detected by eye before hand. I think the reason for my 'very early' varieties of swift and desiree turning bad was leaving them in the ground after the leaves had wilted due to blight.

Wilted desiree tomato leaves

They then started to grow again and at that stage the sugars turn to starch I gather (These early types need to be eaten as soon as possible as well, they do not keep).

Note to Nigel, plant late potatoes next year, then steal small ones for Christmas and leave the rest to develop later. That way we get a good harvest (hopefully) that will store for a while.

I found a way to detect the potential glassy ones from a Dutch potato chip site, they suggest a bath of 153gsm/1L water. The glassy ones will float, the others won't! I found the concentration a bit strong, even my sample test potato (known to be good) floated as well. I added more water till the good potato sank and the others floated. Skim off the bad ones, keep the sinkers.

Blurry photo of floating bad spuds
Out of quite a large harvest

Swift and desiree potato harvest
 There were a grand total of three that were OK.  :(


However the strange (Urenika) dark purple /black potato plant in the old garden is growing well, this one seems to need a long growing season. Waxy young, floury old. Had one tonight, very nice, very purple when cooked.

All lessons to be learned I guess. :)

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