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Blackthorn Meadow

Potatoes

Potatoes are and have been a staple food in the British diet for some time. We chip them, boil them, mash them, roast them and even bake them. The main problem with growing them is that they are hard work and - unless you have a fuel-driven rotavator - involves a lot of manual digging which can be back breaking.

They come in several seasonal varieties:

  • First Early - Planted late March harvested June or July.
  • Second Early - Planted Mid-April harvested July or August.
  • Maincrop - Planted Mid-Late April harvested August for immediate consumption or September and October for storage.

Growing

Potatoes grow well in sunny positions. Soil should be dug in autumn and peat or compost added to the soil especially if the soil has not been manured for the previous crop. Lime should not be used. Around 6 weeks before planting seed potatoes should be placed on wooden trays containing a layer of dry peat to encourage chitting (small shoots).

Maintenance

Once the haulm (the green shoot that grows out of the potato after it has been planted) is around 9" high the soil needs to be earthed-up (built up around the plant) to a height of 6". Remove all weed growth from in-between your plants as they grow.

Harvesting

New potatoes from early varieties should be harvested while the flowers are fully open. The potatoes should be the size of hen's eggs.

Main crops should have the haulm cut once the foliage has turned brown and the stems whithered. Leave the potatoes in the ground for 10 days then lift the potato and leave to dry. Store in a wooden box if possible or allow to dry longer and place into potato sacks stored on straw.

Gardening Tips

  1. Only use disease free certified seed potatoes.
  2. Remember Green Potatoes are Poisonous so do not eat them.

Last Modified on: 05-12-2018

Forthcoming Events

Exhibition: Out in 1914 - Home at Last

Date:
01/08/2019 - 17/11/2019
Description:
The story of the 2nd Monmouthshire Battalion who departed for the First World War in 1914 and did not return from France until 1919

Family of Miners Exhibition

Date:
22/08/2019 - 30/12/2019
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A photographic exhibition by Walter Waygood documenting mining and miners of Blaenafon from the 1970s onwards.

Happy Hands Club at Pontypool Active Living Centre

Date:
21/10/2019
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Happy Hands classes are suitable for parents or carers to bring babies and children from newborn to 4 years of age. We have lots of fun singing, dancing, with sensory play such as bubbles and parachutes and lots more.

LittleHitters - Tots Tennis at PALC

Date:
21/10/2019
Description:
´╗┐Our aim at Littlehitters is to develop a love for the game and encourage a fun, friendly environment for children to learn and gain in confidence.
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