mtp

Christmas Potatoes in January

Today, I finally dug up my Christmas Potatoes! I know, I’m a bit late but unfortunately I fell into the very trap that I warned against when I planted them back in August. Back then I said, “Just remember to dig up your Potatoes ‘before’ Christmas Day if there is frost forecast. You wouldn’t want to put in all that effort only to be foiled by a solid, unworkable soil on the big day!”

What with the snows the week before Christmas and the freezing temperatures to keep the snow on the ground, when the big day did come around there was no chance of home-grown Potatoes for us.

But today, I thought, I wonder what the crop is like under there and so I dug them up. The yield and size of Potatoes was disappointing. Only a tiny trough-full from a row about 2.5 metres long. And about a third of them were invaded by wire-worm or rotten. But the ones that did make it onto the plate were, if I might say so, rather yummy.

It may have been that tasting something out of season made me feel like I was indulging in some kind of forbidden luxury, or that they actually did taste amazing! I don’t know. All I know is that I couldn’t eat them quickly enough.

That said, I’m not sure I’ll be growing them again. The time, effort, garden space and brain space that they took up for what were meagre pickings at the end of it was not worth it. Maybe, if I had a larger garden, or a greenhouse… but until then these will be my last Christmas Potatoes.

11 Responses to “Christmas Potatoes in January”

  1. Undergardneron 10 Jan 2011 at 10:04 pm

    They were great :)

  2. Jenwrighton 11 Jan 2011 at 7:35 pm

    Oh if only you’d dug ‘em up earlier-put them in old biscuit tin and buried them in the gsrden sbout 18″ deep(don’t do metric, you work it out!)you’d have had bootiful new spuds for Crimbo!

  3. KatieLovesDogson 12 Jan 2011 at 12:26 am

    I don’t have much luck with potatoes either. I don’t think that I water them enough.

  4. McPixelchickon 12 Jan 2011 at 10:47 am

    One tiny trough today… more next time. Don’t loose heart!

    I thought they looked fantastic and its a lovely picture.

    The magic of growing your own food fills my soul with a kind of awe and gratitude that money just can’t buy!

  5. Janet/Plantalisciouson 12 Jan 2011 at 4:31 pm

    Shame to get such a poor harvest after so much work. Have you come across people chucking a couple of organic slug pellets into the planting hole with each potato tuber to ward off wire worm? A couple of people on our allotment swear by it. No idea myself, only got my plot two weeks ago!

  6. Malon 12 Jan 2011 at 11:16 pm

    Oh, you are so brutally honest (and highly esteemed for that).
    We have our own potatoes (parsnips and brussels too) every Christmas from our stored crop. I’ve never felt the need to actually insist on digging them up on the day. I fear the weather in the UK will have disappointed a lot of people who bought into the patio planter wheeze promoted by the seed merchants this year. You did well if yours were edible at all after those low December temperatures. And if you crave that ‘new potato’ flavour on Christmas Day, grow some Pink Fir Apple, lift them in the autumn and store them somewhere dark and frost free for the big day.

  7. Debbieon 14 Jan 2011 at 9:36 pm

    Mine were a disappointment this year and as that’s the second year running I have also decided not to do them in future. Concentrating on chitting my seed potatoes now ready for planting at Easter.

  8. Rob Clackon 17 Jan 2011 at 12:17 pm

    My Christmas potatoes were simply delicious, though the crop was not huge. I grew T&M Vivaldi and they were the tastiest spuds I’ve eaten! I did make the mistake of growing them in bags in the greenhouse, which was too hot for them early on and they put up vast amounts of greenery which then collapsed. This year I’m going to start them off outside and put them in the greenhouse when the weather starts to cool off.

  9. Johnnyon 19 Jan 2011 at 8:32 am

    Try growing them in containers. I use 5 gal buckets and I plant a whole potato. As the plant grows I’ll add more soil, so start them out about half full. If needed, I’ll cut the bottom out of a second bucket and add the ring on top the first to keep the plant hilled up. You end up with quite the variety of sizes of potatoes. Stacking automobile tires works good too.

  10. Growing Vegetableson 19 Jan 2011 at 2:09 pm

    I am sorry that you had ucha bad crop of potatoes for your “Christmas Day meal” even if it was a bit late. Unfortunately the growing conditions in the UK do not provide a suitable climate etc. to grow potatoes over winter, s the soil becomes very wet and ideal for the wireworm and slugs to thrive. I have however sucessfully grown them over winter in containers with treated composted so that there are no slugs etc in the compost.

  11. Taniaon 01 Feb 2011 at 2:26 pm

    We’re lucky to have a small polytunnel at Blackbirds so I’m going to try some in the tunnel next year.

    The feeling of digging your own on Christmas morning must be fantastic! and I’d never thought of giving it a go until I read your post.

    Thanks so much.

    Best wishes,

    T.