The Mains of Drum

Tasty Tatties

Published 15/03/2022

Spring is here and the days are slowly getting longer, it's now time to start thinking about....potatoes!
Humble as it may be, the potato is very good for you and a great addition to any meal. We now have lots of seed potatoes in stock; earlies, second earlies and maincrops.

Before planting you need to "chit" your potatoes. You simply stand the potato in a tray or maybe an empty egg box, with the bit showing the most eyes/shoots uppermost. Leave them in a cool but light position, 4-6 weeks later the little shoots 2-3cm will be showing.
Potatoes require lots of sun and a deep, rich soil so they will appreciate plenty of good garden compost or well rotted manure. Dig trenches 15cm deep and spaced 60cm apart. Sprinkle fertiliser into the trench and plant the potatoes 30cm apart with the shoots facing up. Maincrop potatoes 38cm apart. Keep your potatoes well watered especially if we have a hot, dry spell. Once the shoots have grown to around 15cm, you will need to "earth up" around the plants. Use a rake to draw soil up around the shoots until just the tips are showing. You'll need to repeat this process 2-3 more times during the crops life.

Earlies can be lifted when the flowers start to fade. Cut off the foliage and use a garden fork to gently prise up the potatoes. Maincrop potatoes are lifted when the foliage turns brown and starts to die down. These potatoes are suitable for storing.

Don't have space to grow a crop of potatoes? Earlies can be grown perfectly well in containers. Most problems associated with growing potatoes can be avoided by rotating crops. Slugs can be a nuisance as can blight, a fungal disease prevalent during long spells with high temperatures and high humidity. As soon as blight gets hold affected plants should be lifted as soon as possible. Removing and destroying foliage meantime will help and any bad potatoes can also be destroyed. Do not put any of this waste on your compost heap.

If you need any further help or advice just pop out to the garden centre.
Looking forward to seeing you all soon!

Other Articles

The Mains of Drum

Perfect Poinsettias

Red, white, pink, orange and various shades in between, add a lovely pop of colour to our houses in winter. These plants like a warm room away from any drafts.

View Article
The Mains of Drum

The Wonders of a Winter Garden

Create interest in the garden in winter. From winter scent to evergreen plants, a guide from our Plant Team on utilising your garden over winter.

View Article
The Mains of Drum

Create a stylish winter wreath

Winter is a wonderful time to get creative. As the days are short and cold we tend to spend more time inside and less in our gardens. For this project you can bring a little bit of nature inside, or hang it on your front door. You can take cuttings from the garden, forage for foliage, berries, and cones (if the weather permits!), or buy real or artificial foliage and flowers instead. It's up to you what you want to include on your wreath!

First off it's best to go with a theme. Are you wanting a traditional wreath, with red, gold and green? Or maybe something more modern like silver, blue and green? Or you could even go rustic with a simple green and brown colour palette. There's so many different options to suit every taste.

Next decide what kind of wreath base you want to use. You can use rattan (like I have here), or a base with wire and moss. Moss is a good option as it holds moisture, keeping your wreath fresher for longer.

Once you've decided on a theme and you have your base, it's time to choose what foliage, flowers or fruits and decorations you want to include. Make sure to have plenty of foliage, as this is the back bone of your wreath and what makes it look full. There's no right or wrong combination, so just experiment with what you think works well together, and have fun!

Stick the stems into the base until they are secure, or for extra hold you can use a little florists wire to keep the stem in place. Work your way around the wreath ensuring there is a balanced amount of foliage. I tend to add odd numbers of things as this works best.

Once you're happy with the foliage you can start to add in any cones, berries, dried flowers and fruit. You could even wrap around a small set off lights, which will illuminate your wreath and add a bit of festive sparkle. Finish off by adding any bows (you'll need something at the top to hang the wreath from, but you can also add for decoration).

And voila, a festive wreath! Mist the foliage each day to keep your wreath fresher for longer, avoiding the berries, dried flowers or fruit. And for those of you who don't feel so confident making your own or simply don't have the time, we have a lovely selection of pre-made wreaths in store now in a range of styles and sizes.

View Article