May V: First Harvest of Foremost First Early potatoes grown in pots…

Back in late February, I planted four single tubers in black pots with the aim of harvesting one pot a week in the month of June.

This week saw the first Blight Alert issued, courtesy of 2 days of unusually warm and wet conditions.

This morning I saw the odd brown patch on the odd leaf, so I did a test harvest of one pot to see if the crop was ready.

The result:

1.92lb from just over 30 tubers.

About five minitubers had not developed fully, suggesting continuing growth would have increased yield, however in general, the size of the first early potatoes was perfect.

Having sown around 25th February, a harvest on 19th May is an 83 day harvest, a day shy of 12 weeks.

The pots were kept inside until shoots emerged around the spring equinox, after which they lived happily outside (as we did not have a single frost from then on).

The conclusion is that new potatoes can be eaten in May in NW London, provided the pots remain indoors for four weeks to initiate growth.

Author: Rhys

Rhys trained as a research biologist, working for a decade in the cancer research charity sector, before completing an MBA and working in management consultancy, technology transfer and early technology investment spaces, mostly working with UK academics to turn their scientific discoveries into value for society. AS a younger man, he was fascinated with mountains, both climbing them and ski-ing down them. Whilst living in Scotland, he completed a round of (then) all 277 Munros, the independent mountains over 3000ft originally complied as a list by Munro. He also spent his holidays representing the Ski Club of GB, as a Representative and Party Leader between 1990 and 1997. During that time, he found to his bemusement that he was able to predict, without understanding fully why, to a remarkable degree of accuracy, when good snow conditions would occur in the Alps, gaining an unworthy reputation for predictive genius in 1990 when predicting the evolution of the 1989/90 winter in Wengen, Switzerland for his CEO boss. He used this skill for the next seven years to ensure that he enjoyed powder snow pretty much every time he went ski-ing. An MD student he was training in Oxford also impressed his wife by taking Rhys' advice about when to take her to Italy in the mid 1990s! In recent years, Rhys has turned his mind toward how to grow prize tomatoes, winning several prizes in local and London shows and has, in the past 3 years, moved toward taking over a 50 square metre urban vegetable patch, which he has turned into a no-dig area since autumn 2014.

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