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Should i get them off.

Posted: Wed Apr 19, 2006 5:06 pm
by oldherbaceous
Put two rows of early potatoes under two twenty foot hoop and polythene cloches, they are now about four inches tall. In another week they will be touching the top. My dilemma is whether to take the cloches of now and ridge them up, as i would normally do when they are four inches tall, or leave them for another week until they are touching the top.
It won't be possible to ridge them and leave the cloches on, because if you dont bury the sides of the cloches they blow away on our allotments, as they are very exposed. Any thoughts would be gladly appreciated.
And no comments about serves yourself right for putting them in so early .

Kind regards doesn't no everything Old Herbaceous.

Theres no fool like an old fool.

Posted: Wed Apr 19, 2006 5:54 pm
by Compo
Take the cloches off
Earth them up
Standy with some protection if frost is imminent
Thats all you can do really

Any other ideas??

Posted: Wed Apr 19, 2006 6:13 pm
by tony s
The weather forecast for most parts is neither frosty or very hot for the next week or so. I would leave the cloches on until the haulms are filling it or we get a hot day - cloches can get very warm indeed in strong sun. But leaving them on in this average weather will bring on your spuds that bit faster and a very early crop is what you are after.

I never earth up potatoes, but do plant them quite deep- about 9 inches. They seem happy with this and I dont get green potatoes.

Earthing up your plants might just slow them down a bit too - without it the tops can grow freely and they can then start bulking up.

Why not experiment - leave one row be and earth up the other - If there is any difference at all once you start lifting, you will know what to do next year.

Posted: Wed Apr 19, 2006 9:04 pm
by Allan
Compo, you will need a chemical for your tea, aqua pura or H2O and it won't hurt you as long as there is nothing organic in it or you bring it to the boil first.

Posted: Wed Apr 19, 2006 9:48 pm
by Geoff
Instead of taking the polythene off completely try pulling up the sides and bunching it with string tied so you can quickly put it back if frost threatens.

An alternative protector

Posted: Thu Apr 20, 2006 9:05 am
by peter
Mow the lawn or allotment path and collect the grass.
After earthing up sprinkle the grass, as thickly as you please, along the ridges to achieve a light fleece effect.

When the potato shoots come through they push this lightweight "thatch" up from underneath and it acts as a biodegradable frost protector.

Regards, Peter.

Posted: Thu Apr 20, 2006 6:29 pm
by oldherbaceous
Thank you very much gentlemen. This is what i love about the forum, you get lots of different answers to each question. I think i will experiment a bit and try a few of the different ideas.
Once again thanks a lot.

Kind regards Old Herbaceous.

It will either rain or get dark.