Friday, 25 March 2016

Potato Planting

Potato Picking at Shillington 1910 [Z1229/41]

Saturday 25th March 1916: Yesterday evening Mr. J. Slack, of the Woburn Experimental Fruit Farm, gave a lecture about the rotation of crops to an interested audience at the Leighton Buzzard Institute. He explained that the secret of getting the most out of the land was "judicious manuring", and allowing plenty of space between rows. Planting early potatoes between rows of spring cabbage not only saves space but the sheltering cabbage protects the young potato plants from frost. Sowing a few peas in amongst the potatoes was also recommended, as the potato plants provide support for the peas and if sown together it is still possible to hoe between the rows. When questioned on the best method of planting potatoes, Mr. Slack said there was little to choose between planting when the ground was dug or leaving it until later. He did not recommend using a "dibber", except in very light soil, as it tended to harden the surrounding soil and made it hard for the roots of the potatoes to expand; it also allowed water to gather in the bottom of the hole and rot the tubers.

Source: Leighton Buzzard Observer, 28th March 1916

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