This week has been all about planting potatoes! On the 16th March we got the bed dug over and ready for the tatties and then on the 17th we planted them. We chose the 17th as it was St Patrick’s Day and there is a tradition to plant potatoes on that day in Glasgow which has been brought over by Irish people that have lived here. A different tradition that may have been followed by other First World War plotholders is to plant potatoes on Good Friday; there is not really a religious reason for this, it’s just that it is a day that most people have off work! The problem, of course, is that Good Friday moves around but St Patrick’s Day is nice and static.
Unfortunately for us, it was a colder than average St Patrick’s Day with a good sprinkling of snow throughout the day. We drank plenty of tea and ate chocolate Guinness cake (not a First World War recipe but very comforting) to keep us going. First, we dug a narrow trench to put the potatoes into, piling the soil to one side to use later. We were very neat about it and used a line of string! But it’s fine to freestyle too! Some gardeners create a ridge and plant their potatoes into that instead but we used the method of planting into a trench which will become a ridge later on. Whichever way you do it, as the potato plants grow, they should be covered over a few times so they have plenty of deep soil to grow in to.
Next we put the potatoes into the trenches and covered them over with about four inches of soil. This should be enough to protect them from frost and snow. Because we have several types of potato we drew a map as we went along to keep track of what was there. It will be exciting to see the plants grow!