To celebrate National Potato Day, we asked TeamGIB member Mike - how he had got on this year growing the nations favourite vegetable Mike said:-
"I think most people have found that this has been a very different type of year to normal for growing potatoes.
I planted Charlotte seed potatoes in March and apart from a small amount of frost early on, with no late frost and a decent amount of rain, I have harvested a very good crop of potatoes since June. In fact, they have been so good that many of the crop were larger than I would have preferred for new potatoes. The flavour has been great though.
In April I planted the second early type of potato called Kestrel and my main crop Cara. They have progressed well, again benefiting from no late frost.
The other thing making the year so different has been the lack of rain. Even though I have been watering, the Kestrel died down much earlier than I would usually expect. I haven't started lifting them yet, but this can be done anytime from now. If lifted in August, you might as well lift the potatoes and use them straight away. I would wait until September/October to lift potatoes for storing in a cool, dry, frost free place for use through the Autumn/Winter months.
My Cara potatoes are still in leaf as I have been able to keep them watered. Cara is a good variety if you suffer drought conditions. I will wait for them to die down and lift them, as suggested in late September for storing. Although the drought conditions have certainly made things more difficult for potato growing, one of the benefits has been no potato blight has appeared yet this year. This disease can rapidly kill the leaves and stems and can get down into the potatoes if the foliage is not quickly removed and disposed of away from your plot.
I chose the particular varieties of potato as I find the Charlotte is a good new potato both for salads and with a roast meal. Kestrel is great for mash as it doesn't go too watery when boiled. Cara I always use for baking and roasting. All have a great flavour."
Thank you Mike - now all we need is lots of recipes using potatoes so we can use up our crop!