Planting Hydrangeas And Sowing First Swift Potatoes

June 8, 2010

Image by sleepyneko via Flickr

The most magnificent hydrangeas I’ve ever seen are in the gardens of Cornwall, where the climate and soil type are perfect for these beautiful flowers to thrive.

Unfortunately,  I live at the foot of the South Downs where the soil isn’t conducive to growing hydrangeas, but this doesn’t prevent me from growing them in large pots filled with ericaceous compost!

This week, my hydrangea Paniulata Vanille Fraise arrived, in a small pot covered with cellophane to keep the plant moist.  

I prepared a pot, filling it carefully with ericaceous compost and will pot on once the hydrangea is larger. 

The Hydrangea Paniculata Vanille Fraise is white and conical shaped.  As it flowers, the petals gradually turn pink, and by autumn the petals are a rich raspberry colour with russet undertones.

Planting Swift Potatoes

I chitted my swift potatoes a month ago and 3 of the chits are now 2.5cm long. 

Today I’ve taken my patio planter, filled it with 10cm of general purpose compost  and planted 3 seed tubers with their eyes looking upwards.  I’ve then covered them with 5cm of compost and watered until the compost is slightly damp. 

When the shoots have grown 7 cm high, I’ll add another layer of compost and leave the tips of the shoots just showing and will continue to do this until the shoots are 3cm from the top of the potato planter bag.

I’m also equipped with a good supply of straw to protect them on evenings when frost is forecast.

This first early variety should be ready to harvest in 9-10 weeks time.  I’ll plant the next batch of chits in a few weeks once they’ve reached 2.5cm long, repeating this process at intervals over the next couple of months, to ensure a continuous supply of delicious homegrown new potatoes.

Happy planting!!!

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