Frosted potatoes

Frosted potatoes

Ever seen a properly frosted potato haulm? You have now.

This is the wreckage of last night’s sub-zero attack, which has blackened and destroyed every bit of potato leaf above ground – on our whole allotment site. Nobody’s escaped.

Now normally I wouldn’t be too worried. We’ve had late Spring frosts before, and the potatoes – albeit damaged – have always shrugged it off.

This year, though, I confess I AM worried – very worried. The potatoes had been fighting to put on any growth in the cold weather, and this is the worst frost damage I’ve ever seen. If they do manage to regrow, I’m assuming the plants – and therefore the tubers – will struggle to reach a decent size.

And another thing, now guaranteed: we’re going to be digging the first new potatoes MUCH later than usual.

This year is just weird. Definitely the coldest, bleakest growing season I’ve ever known.

16 Responses to “Frosted potatoes”

  1. Magic Cochin Says:

    I’d remembered to earth up but the tips of the largest plants got nipped all the same – those Ice Saints got us this year Soilman!

    Our young Sweet Chestnut has had all the tips of it’s new shoots cut back too.


  2. Tanya Walton Says:

    I know what you mean SM…luckily my potatoes are only just starting to come through so haven’t been hit by the frosts yet…however plenty of stuff has…..where’s the global warming when you need it!!

  3. Damo Says:

    I thought mine had bad frost damage but nothing like that. It’s going to be a very late season and if we don’t have a mild Autumn like last year it may be a much shorter season than usual.

  4. Greenmantle Says:

    Oh quit grizzling… I’m still waiting to put mine in!

    Should have the gorund ready this weekend with a bit of luck. At least frost won’t be a problem.

  5. carrie Says:

    damn it – where’s this global warming – eh?? I’m still in bed with the flu too grrrrrrr!!!

  6. The Idiot Gardener Says:

    I’ve been away for a week and returned to frost damage. Mine are in buckets as I didn’t have time to prepare the ground, so they’re nowhere near as bad as yours. I’m hoping they will survive!

  7. Cazaux Says:

    So sorry to see your crop in such a bad way.

    I may give up for this year. I’m moving house in a few months so it will be difficult anyhow but this season has been a total shitter. Can’t beleive I was pulling baby carrots, beets, eating salads and mountains of spinach this time last year. This years early carrot and beet sowings all failed. Now my potatoes as knackered and all Ive eaten is a few lousy radishes and a paltry spinach harvest.

    I blame Gillian Duffy. Its clearly that old bigots fault.

  8. Soilman Says:

    Cazaux: I’m also feeling like giving up this year. I can take the odd failure – and God knows, I always have to – but this season nothing’s going well. I guess we’ll have to just lower our sights for 2010 and try to be grateful for any crop that survives…

  9. Ruth Says:

    A sad, sad sight. I noticed some frost damage on mine earlier this week, so earthed them up some more but haven’t had the courage to go and look at them after yesterday’s frost. Will see tomorrow – hope yours recover, but you’re right, everything is going to be late this year. This time last year the lettuce was growing strongly, ready to eat at the end of May, not this time. And I still have cloches on the spinach and radish bed. Glad I sowed my beetroots in pots in the shed. Good luck with the spuds.

  10. Ian Says:

    Glad I found your post: thought I had blight already…..
    Weirdly, the damage (not nearly as bad as in your piccy) seems to be confined to ‘Desiree’. The Arran Pilots and Mayan spuds I’m also growing appear unaffected.

  11. Matron Says:

    You are not the only one Soilman! Silly old Matron left all her tomatoes outside overnight. Come over and look at the carnage!D’oh!

  12. blenky Says:

    water water water thats what i have done this week and they have come back

  13. Christina Says:

    Oh no, that is horrible and so disappointing! Nature can be such a bitch.

  14. Debbie Osborn Says:

    Yes I have last year and I’ve learnt my lesson, being extra cautious this year!

  15. TopVeg Says:

    Hi Soilman

    Have they come back yet? After 10 days Chris has some new leaves on his frosted potatoes

  16. The Garden Smallholder Says:

    The tips of my earlies got frosted but have recovered. Since then I have been covering them over at night with large pieces of cardboard, seems to be working so far.