Thursday, 2 February 2012

Murphy comes good

The Summer of 2010-11 was a bummer in our vegetable garden, due to too much water.   In particular we lost 2 plantings of potatoes due to them getting flooded.

There has been less rain this year and what fell was about the right time (November and December).  As a result we seem to have done well with the spuds (aka Murphys - due to some link with Ireland).  

Today I dug the first bed.  The secret to timing the digging is for the tops of the plants (the haulms) to have died off.  This means no more energy/starch going into thespuds but they won't - in the main - have started to be attacked by stuff.  This is what they should look like.

Some of the crop was not too far underground ..
.. thus facilitating the noble art of bandicooting. OK, those illustrated are pretty spuds but what does it mean?  I hadn't realised the criminal background to the practice but on reflection bandicoots are the Australian equivalent of raccoons who always look as though they are carrying loot!

Many of the tubers were well down however and as the tops were rather passed it I got stuck in with a fork and scored a nice haul.
I only skewered a couple and found about 2 others which were in poor condition.  This one was particularly munched:
On exploring with the aid of a knife it emerged that worms were the culprit.
Oh well the annelids do a good job with increasing fertility and soil structure so I guess we can afford to share a few spuds with them.

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