This is the journal of my endeavours to grow a range of fruit, veg and flowers from seed, grow organically, and my attempts to create a personal paradise with 1/2 acre of maintained gardens and 1/2 acre wild meadows. Northern Ireland's average daily high temperatures are 18 °C (64 °F) in July and 6 °C (43 °F) in January. Soil type: Clay

Sunday, 3 October 2010

Autumn Harvest - Chard, Potatoes, Spring Onion

Today Northern Ireland was sunny and warm... about 16°C/61°F. Shame I have a cold & couldn't get out and enjoy the weather as much as I would have liked! I'm eager to dig over a new bed to grow potatoes come St Patrick's Day (the day the Irish sow potatoes).

There's still quite a bit of harvesting to do. I planted Chard seed outside back in May and it has produced leaves thoughout summer. (pictured above).

Variety: Chard Bright Lights, Mr Fothergill's, 150 seeds, £2.29. The pack says the chard will die down in Winter and come up again in Spring (for another crop) before they run to seed. How exciting! 

This week I harvested bag grown potatoes. Instead of buying the potato grow bags I used two old compost bags; folded the sides down & planted about four tubers in each bag (back in April). I  folded the sides of the bag back up as I earthed up the poatotes as they grew. I didn't get a very big yield from my bags (yield pictured from 1 bag). In fact, I would only get about two meals for 4 people.

Variety:  'Maris' Peer Seed Potatoes, Homebase, 2 kg bag for £3.49.

Picture below, I cut my spring onion back 4-6 weeks ago and am getting masses of regrowth, some of which is flowering (the flower petals look great scattered on salad).

Irish restaurants serve "champ". This is mashed potatoes with about 1/3 cup of chopped spring onion or chives. Yummy!


  1. Not being a huge fan of mashed potatoes, I did love "champ" in Ireland, as the spring onions elavated them to a delicious category! You idea to plant potatoes in old compost bags was great. That would work nicely for folks without much land.

  2. O love the mashed potato variant! I happed by from Blotanical and hoovered up that tip

  3. Why do you say remove the centre of nasturtium flowers? We have always eaten them whole (carefully washed first)

  4. Hi Elephant's Eye, thanks for your comment. I've been doing some research on the web about edible flowers and some articles suggest a few people may have flower allergies, and more prone if eating the pollen or inner bit of the flower. I generally use the whole flower as decoration (which I don't generally eat) and scatter petals into the salad, etc (which I would eat). Good to know you eat the whole thing!