Our tattie field is ready for the next year.
Now that the tatties have been harvested, we thought it would be a good idea to plant our next crop. Having dug out all the roots from the potato plants we decided to give Brussel Sprouts a go.
We prepared the soil and planned out where each plant should go because just like our tatties the sprouts need space to grow. Fingers crossed they give us a yield as high as the potatoes.
Having waited patiently for nature to take its course, we are pleased to announce Borestone Primary has harvested our first crop of potatoes!
It was hard work however we all cooperated as a team and by the time we had finished we managed to dig up over 36kg of tatties. Our buckets were full to overflowing.
We were quite surprised at how many we had been able to produce. Amazingly we were able to sell some to the staff, give some to the school kitchen for use in our school meals and still have enough for doing some cooking in class.
We managed to make 2 different soups and wait for it…2 delicious cakes. None of us had any idea you could make a cake with potato and we thought Miss Sewell had lost her mind. Although having tried them we do now have to admit they were delicious. Visitors to the Food for Life event in Stirling on 29th September may be lucky enough to try the recipe for themselves.
Having waited patiently for a few weeks, we are delighted to report the first signs of real growth. There are a couple of rows of small potato plants beginning to break through!
Our next job will be to pull out the weeds that are also popping through as we don’t want them to have a negative impact on our crop.
Now that the seed potatoes are securely bedded in, we thought it would be a good idea to find out about the bugs and diseases that may attack our first crop.
Boy, there are certainly a few potato pests to look out for! First of all there is potato blackleg.
This disease causes black rotting at the stem base. If we do not remove the affected plants in time it could lead to rotten tatties!
Then we came across potato blight. This disease is common in warm, wet summers and a brown watery rot will appear on the leaves and stems.
If that wasn’t enough our new crop might also be attacked by potato rot! Potato rot can happen if we harvest our crop from wet soil.
Finally we have to keep an eye out for slugs and snails. During our research we found out that broken up egg-shells are a natural way of keeping these pests away. Miss Sewell spoke to the school kitchen and they have agreed to give us the egg-shells they usually put into the recycling.
With all the warm weather we had been getting it was necessary to keep our tatties well watered. Unfortunately the field is almost 100m from our outside tap so a few trips with the watering cans were required. Each day the tatties drank up approximately 150 litres of water. And believe us…150 litres of water is extremely heavy. Thankfully mother nature has helped out recently.
Having carried out the maths calculations and prepared the land we were ready to plant our chitted potatoes. We worked as a team to dig a 12.5cm deep trench.
Finally the time had come to plant. We carefully placed the potatoes into the soil, leaving the necessary 30cm between each tuber. Our tatties need space to grow you know!
Having added some compost and bedded them in we gave our plot a final rake. It was hard work however we were pleased with our efforts.
Having ploughed the field, removed weeds, de-stoned the soil and given it a once over with a rotavator we were ready to carry out some important measurements. If our tatties had to be planted approximately 30cm apart with 75cm between rows how many could we fit in our plot? Thankfully our learning in maths came in useful and by working out the area we managed to come up with a plan!!