Planting potatoes: Orla and Ratte

Planting potatoes: Orla and RatteI’ve been planting First Early potatoes. Always an exciting time – it means Spring is minutes away.

This year it’s Orla (a trusty favourite – early, disease-resistant, tasty) and Ratte. OK, so Ratte is strictly a maincrop potato, but you can harvest it as a second early if you plant in March.

Lots of folks hereabouts dig trenches and lay old newspaper and grass clippings underneath the spuds. The idea is to help conserve moisture. Frankly, I can’t be arsed; life’s too short. So I stuff them in with a bulb planter.

It does the trick, because I always get a great crop. But then, I dig in shit loads (literally) of manure and compost over the winter.

Either you go with the swings or the roundabouts, I guess.

5 Responses to “Planting potatoes: Orla and Ratte”

  1. Paul Says:

    I did the trench with newspaper thing last year and although got a decent crop I think I could live without all the work involved this year so perhaps I should have a think about doing it they way you do…

    Does the bulb planter get them in deep enough to not need earthing up till the shoots show, or is it best to mound it up a bit at planting time to save a job later?

  2. Soilman Says:

    You still have to earth them up, Paul. I earth up gradually – as the first shoots emerge, I pull a little soil over them until they show again. Then I earth up a bit more. Etc.

  3. allotment blogger Says:

    Or, like us, you can do both! We trench on 201 and bulb plant on 235. The reason is that 201 hasn’t been much dug, so it needs all the soil improvement it can get, but 235 has been rotovated three years in a row so it’s good soil, well turned and the spuds don’t need the mulch trench to help them grow.

  4. Deborah Says:

    At last the veg plot is secure and “WATERSHIP DOWN ” RESISTANT…..we hope!!I do love bunny rabbits having had house bunnies years ago , but we do not want these little furry things eating our produce. The satkes were placed all around about 16 I think then the trench was dug, the chicken wire placed very deep down…as SOILMAN recommended we then heavy stones just odd bits we found in the woods at the rear of the veg plot some needed smashing with a mullet….once the stones placed lots of soil….then it was pressed down buy Robs big feet and “Hey Presto”taaaaadaaa…..I must say it was hard work but the potatoes . onions and peas at least have a fighting chance of survival….woe betide any furry bunnies animals who enter the plot…….

  5. Soilman Says:

    Deborah hi

    Well done! Hope it keeps the little bastards out!