User Posts: Richard

Potato harvesters are a great way to save manual labour during potato harvest. Before the invention of the potato harvester, most people dug their potatoes ...

Onions are usually planted in spring as bulbs. They are usually ready to harvest in late summer / autumn. You can either harvest your onions when they ...

Maris Piper is a versatile potato variety that is excellent for making chips and roast potatoes. They are the most widely grown potato variety in the UK - ...

A year ago I was looking to buy a tiller to help me cultivate a small garden to grow early potatoes in. I have worked with many garden tillers or rotavators ...

There are many different types of worms in the world, but for the most part, when talking about the worms we find in the soil in our garden, allotment and ...

Carrots like all vegetables need a basic amount of nutrients to grow well. The majority of soils in home gardens, allotments, and in fields will require some ...

Rooster is the most popular potato in Ireland - In 2004 It accounted for 40% of the total potato crop grown. They are a dull red-skinned, yellow-fleshed ...

Russet Norkotah is the second most popular potato in the US. They are a russeted, brown-skinned early to medium maincrop potato. They are very attractive ...

Desiree is a red-skinned early maincrop potato. They are slightly waxy potatoes with a distinctive taste. They can be boiled, roasted, chipped and used cold ...

Kerr’s Pink are the second most popular potato in Ireland. They are mainly cooked as boiled potatoes but are good for roasting and chipping also. They are ...

Russet Burbank potatoes are one of the most popular potato varieties in the United States. They were bred by the US plant breeder Luther Burbank ...

Roast potatoes can go well with several dishes, ranging from barbecued chicken to pot roast, among others. While seasoning makes a tremendous difference, you ...

Many gardeners associate mushroom growth with dead and decaying organic matter and may even try to eradicate them from the garden thinking they are bad for ...

Blight is a common fungal disease that affects potatoes. It can destroy the entire crop in less than a week if left unattended. Unfortunately, there is little ...

Blight is a fungal disease that can affect tomatoes, potatoes and other members of the nightshade family. Early Blight is caused by the Alternaria solani ...

Potatoes are an easy-to-grow vegetable that can be planted in the early spring as soon as the soil can be worked. They typically produce well and provide you ...

There is a lot of confusion in mainstream circles over the difference between swedes and turnips. Swedes and turnips are just different species in the ...

Eelworm is a parasitic nematode that lives in the soil and feeds on plant roots. Its host plants are nightshades and they particularly like potatoes and ...

There is nothing quite like the creamy texture of a homegrown potato. The difference in taste between homegrown and store-bought is so dramatic, that I try ...

Potatoes are one of my favorite crops to grow in the garden. They grow easily, give bountiful harvests, come in fascinating varieties, and are much more ...

Potatoes grow under the soil - this means it's not convenient to look at them to see when they're ready to harvest until you actually harvest them. This is ...

If you love tasty new potatoes as much as I do you’d probably do nearly anything to improve their taste and yield. That’s why you owe it to yourself to try ...

So you live in an apartment and you want to know the best way to store your potatoes. Let's take a look at the options. What are the ideal conditions to ...

Do you know what size potatoes are when the plant begins to flower? Many people believe that when a potato plant begins to flower the potatoes are ready to ...

Gardening can be a challenge, but sterilizing soil has been offered up as a solution for various challenges. By learning how to sterilize soil, you can kill ...

Dandelions are perennial weeds that die off in the winter and return bigger and stronger than ever in the spring. The cheery yellow flowers quickly go to seed ...

If you have ever grown tomatoes only to discover they are suddenly afflicted with blossom end rot just as the fruit ripens, you already know how important ...

Vegetable gardening can be a fun rewarding hobby, but there can also be many frustrations. While cultivating our desired plants, we are also creating an ...

Growing a vegetable garden is a rewarding and relaxing pastime. However, everyone can agree that a green thumb may not come automatically to every wannabe ...

To get that perfectly formed carrot, it’s important to grow them in sandy soil. While sandy soil is best for growing carrots, it’s not a very common soil type ...

Soil pH affects plants’ ability to grow by making certain nutrients available or unavailable. This makes it in the best interest of gardeners to test their ...

If you’re looking for a crop to add sustenance to your vegetable garden, look no further than the mighty potato. Potatoes have been a dietary staple for ...

When you’ve been gardening for a little bit and have gotten a handle on the basics of seeds starting, transplanting, etc. it’s time to delve a little bit ...

Compost is sometimes referred to as ‘black gold’. Why? Because it is the best thing you can add to your soil. While other amendments only solve one or two ...

Learning how to make your own compost at home is one of the most beneficial things you can do as a gardener. Making compost is a simple process but there are ...

How long do potatoes take to grow? It’s safe to say that gardeners love to watch their crops grow. We wait patiently for each sprout to mature and produce ...

The best time to till your garden is in the spring before planting. Early spring is a glorious time for gardeners. Temperatures begin to rise, wildflowers ...

When researching about the perfect soil to use for your plants you might come across the term ‘soil water retention’. If you’re asking yourself, “what is ...

French fries are one of my favorite foods and something I’ve come to make regularly at home. Restaurant portion sizes sometimes just don’t cut it and not ...

If you’re new to growing potatoes, at some point you'll ask yourself, “Why are my potato plants turning yellow?”. Most likely, this is a natural part of the ...

What are sweet potatoes? The delicious sweet potato is a plant that belongs to the bindweed family. A root vegetable, oddly shaped and has a sweet tasting ...

Did you know that there are whole grading systems to classify potatoes by quality and size? These classification systems vary around the world but have been ...

For most varieties of potatoes you should expect to harvest between 8 to 14 potatoes per plant. The size of these potatoes will vary due to how well you have ...

The purpose of this article is to teach you the skills required to make a quick assessment about how to tell if a potato is bad or not just by looking at it. ...

There is much controversy as to whether potatoes are a vegetable or fruit, and why! This article outlines exactly what a potato is, whether they’re one of our ...

Often you’ll come across recipes which don’t state how many potatoes you need, but the weight. This can be frustrating if you don’t know the weight of a ...

In January 2020 I decided with much pushing from my eldest son Harry that we should buy our own 2wd Fiat tractor to help with soil preparation, sowing and ...

Sweet potatoes like to be grown in warmer soil, unlike regular potatoes that prefer cool soil. This is because they are tropical plants, and can become ...

Rhododendrons are native to Asia, North America, Australia and Europe. There are over 1,000 species of this plant and they are widely cultivated for their ...

Even though from a distance it might seem super easy to take care of a plant baby, unfortunately they don’t cry or make a noise when they’re hungry or ...

Sweet potatoes are definitely worth considering as part of your diet. They are packed with minerals, fibre, vitamins and phytonutrients which can improve your ...

Weeds are really annoying, especially when you’ve been trying your best to make the most of your flower beds. It might feel impossible to get rid of weeds, ...

Container gardening is all the rage. You can liven up walls, fences and gates with beautiful trailing foliage and stunning blooms. And if you plan to add ...

Native to Northeast Asia, hostas have become popular with gardeners the world over. And everyone is asking: when is the best time to plant hostas? In this ...

Home gardeners are sometimes shocked to see something quite unusual on their potato plants: fruit! While we may often notice small blossoms in July or August, ...

Using peat-free products in the home and garden is one of the simplest yet most effective ways that people can make a positive environmental impact and reduce ...

Microbes. Microscopic organisms that live absolutely everywhere on the planet – from the ocean floor to the highest levels of the atmosphere. And those that ...

Hedges are one of the most common features in many prestigious and established neighborhoods. Because of their versatility – coming in a variety of sizes, ...

For hundreds of years, boxwood hedges have graced formal gardens in Europe and the Americas. Overall, these hardy shrubs require little upkeep. But they need ...

Of all the “Big 3” soil ingredients, the least understood is definitely potassium. While the effect of potassium on plants is fairly clear - we can see that ...

It’s safe to say that a successful garden begins with good soil. And while you may think that dirt is just dirt, all soils aren’t created equal. What are the ...

While snagging the last 2 bags of potting soil in the garden center, you begin to frantically calculate in your head. And no matter how you work it out, ...

Container gardening is become more and more popular. Planting in containers (that you can place on top of a stand or table) makes it easier to reach the ...

Raise your hand if you took up gardening during lockdown. For some people, growing their own fruit and vegetables guaranteed them fresh produce amid dwindling ...

In recent months, gardening has emerged as a leading pastime for many people in lockdown situations all over the world. For people living in urban areas with ...

Homeowners and gardeners spend countless hours caring for their property and ensuring it appears its best at all times. It’s plain to see that nothing ...

Eaten by cultures the world over, potatoes are a staple in most diets. They provide a plethora of important nutrients. Fiber, magnesium, potassium, and ...

They are one of the most versatile and widely used root vegetables in the world. Because they are inexpensive and fairly easy to grow in rich soils worldwide, ...

Anyone who prepares a garden manually for cultivation knows just how hard it can be when using a shovel or a spade. A rear tine garden tiller is known as the ...

To achieve greatness in any sphere, you must start with – and master – the basics. Begin with the fundamentals, and build upon your foundation in order to ...

As anyone can tell you, a solid foundation is the key to success – whatever the endeavour. If you choose to build a house on a shoddy base of ragged stones ...

The length of time potatoes last is mostly dependent on the temperature they are stored at. In normal home cupboard conditions the temperature will be roughly ...

Spring is a fantastic time to be in the garden – everything around you is waking up and signs of new life can be seen everywhere. On your rose bushes, you may ...

Choosing from the hundreds of different outdoor equipment designs can be confusing and time consuming. If you have always cleaned or maintained your ...

Leeks, sometimes referred to as the poor man’s asparagus, are members of the onion family that, instead of forming a bulb, form a long shank. Not only are ...

What comes to mind when you think about gardening? Each year I use the knowledge i gained the previous year to to grow the ...

How do you know if your potatoes are ready to harvest? As straightforward as this subject may sound, there are different considerations you should be ...

At the beginning of a new season, it is a great idea to consider what you can do to give your garden a head start. Doing this will often enable you to ...

The season is almost over, autumn is around the corner and the cool temperatures at night are really starting to set in. Even with all the fun of growing a ...

At times, history classes may not have been easy to pay attention to, yet we have all heard of the potato famine that took place in Ireland. A disease that ...

With gardening season in full swing, it’s important to keep your soil weed-free, nutrient-rich and well-aerated. This will help maximize your crop yield and ...

Potatoes grow best when they have a steady supply of 2-3 inches of water per week without fully drying out. Potato plants should be watered deeply, ...

A cultivator is a small tiller designed to be used in raised beds and already tilled soil. Tillers are much larger than cultivators and has stronger tines and ...

When we start thinking about our gardens, great green bushes are pictured, along with healthy harvested onions, and beautiful bushy herbs. In this article, we ...

To feed a family of four, start off by planting 40 potato plants. This will provide you with a potato based meal 2 to 3 times a week. The 40 plants will ...

Can you grow potatoes indoors? Well in a word - YES! Read on to discover how to grow potatoes indoors- it's not as difficult as you might think! Everyone ...

When raised beds are due to be replanted, a lightweight, easy to use tiller is an excellent choice. It makes preparing it for the next round of vegetables or ...

In this article we will discover how to plant potatoes from eyes. A potato plant will grow again from a potato, a sprout will emerge from one of the “eyes” ...

What is "hilling up" potatoes Gardening is always thought to be simple and easy, looking from the outside. This is the idea: Plant the seed in the ...

So, you’ve just bought a property with plenty of space for a new garden? Well, if you haven’t been lucky enough to secure a weed-free plot of land with fine, ...

Ok, so the title of this article is, "Best tiller for breaking new ground". Let me answer this now in the first paragraph and list the machines to choose from ...

For a long time, women’s role in the garden was quite restricted. Upper-class women could only garden as a hobby, clipping a few blooms for themselves while ...

It’s almost planting season! Do you have enough garden space for everything you want to plant this year? Are you ready to attack the soil with your fork and ...

In this article i will walk you through the steps and list the materials required to show you how to grow potatoes in a bucket- a great way to introduce ...

Potatoes grow best when they have at least 8 hours of sunlight every day. They don't need full sun to thrive and too much heat is not ideal - discover the ...

Spring is here! It’s almost time to get your garden plot ready for planting. Is your soil ready? Well cultivated, weed free soil is the gold standard for ...

Spring is here again and it’s time to prepare the soil for whatever you intend to plant....Yesss! Your goal as always, will be to have perfectly aerated, ...

In chemistry, pH is a scale that ranges from 1 to 14 and is used to specify how acidic or alkaline a substance is. Acidic solutions have a lower pH number, ...

In chemistry, pH is a scale used to specify how acidic or alkaline a substance is. Acidic solutions have a lower pH, while ...

What is a compost tumbler?: A compost tumber is a rotating drum with a hatch or lid which is opened to empty your composting materials inside. The lid is then ...

Browsing All Comments By: Richard
  1. Hello Sandy, thank you for getting in touch, if you have any further questions let me know! Richard.

  2. Hello Vaika, yes they will still be producing potatoes – not every potato plant will flower. Sounds like you need to give them another month yet. Good luck. Richard.

  3. Hello Polly, thanks for your comment, I’m sure you will have plenty of delicious potatoes in a few weeks time. 👍

  4. Hello Duncan, thank you, happy you found it useful…I’ll gladly answer any questions you have. Richard

  5. Hello Blathnaid, great question.. Use enough so that all the leaves of each potato plant get coated with a light mist of spray. Thank you, Richard.

  6. Hello Diarmuid, the spray is effective, keep applying it once every week and it should keep the blight away.

  7. Hello Geoffrey, Bordeaux formula is a great homemade alternative for blight treatment. Inspect your crop daily for signs of blight. Thanks for your reply, Richard.

  8. Hello Agatha, I would check the plants daily for black blight spots. You can then remove the infected leaves and mix up a blight spray as per the article and apply it immediately. Alternatively, you can apply some now before the blight hits. The most important thing is to them check daily. Richard.

  9. Hello Kim, broccoli would fall into leaf category as it is above the soil level- thanks for your question, Richard.

  10. Hello Sara, take an initial reading using a pH meter, then sprinkle a dusting og baking soda on the surface, mix the top 2 inches of soil and measure again. Repeat until desired pH is achieved.

  11. Hello, you have quite a bit to lower your ph so it will require a good bit of amendment. I would suggest you add iron sulphate to lower the ph, adding one application at a time and rechecking after a few days. Thank you for your question and good luck.

  12. Hello Ruben, I think this sounds ok, I would be careful not to add too many seed potatoes to each bucket as they could turn out small. 1 or 2 should be enough in each bucket. Position them to get maximum sunlight for as long as possible during the day – providing they don’t begin wilting you should be ok. Thank you and good luck.

  13. Hello Tom, yes, you can use the same container. Its probably best to wash it and let it dry before filling with soil again. This will help prevent spread of any disease from last year’s crop.

  14. Hello Alice, when you say you can get it to run, do you mean the blades won’t turn?

  15. Hello Rebecca, I dont think it will be a problem – usually a field is only in potatoes every 5 years minimum and all the work done in the field will be done as fast as possible – harvesting should only last a week or two in October. Maybe ask a neighbour who lives nearby for more accurate information. Thank you, Richard.

  16. Hello Terry, it sounds like either bruising or blight. If the potato looks ok on the outside but dark inside it will be bruising, and if it looks rotten in places outside and dark inside it will be blight. Thank you, Richard.

  17. Hello Dee, yes it would support a very heavy hanging gate but i am fitting a sliding gate to mine. If i was fitting hanging gates maybe i would have laid the blocks on their flat and filled the centres of the pillars. I would have also have built the hangers into the pillar if i had been fitting swinging gates. Thanks for your comment and best of luck with your pillars!
    Richard.

  18. Hello Glenn, the diameter of the pump is around 5 feet and sits in the water about 2 feet. It drains maybe 100 acres on that side of the farm. The outfeed is folded galvanised steel about 1 foot by 1 foot square. Thank you for your comment- you must be considering something like it!
    Richard

  19. Hello Jasper, thank you for your comment, i’m glad you found the article helpful- Richard.

  20. Hello Kay you should get them planted now as soon as possible. I would keep them in the daylight so they don’t grow big buds – they should be ok to use until they begin to shrivel up too much.

  21. Hello Dee, I’m not sure about organic guidelines, maybe speak to a member of an organic organisation.
    Richard

  22. Hello Catherine, thank you, Richard.

  23. Hello Harmen, look for a high ammonium based Nitrogen fertilizer to add to the lawn as this will lower the ph. The rates will be indicated on the bag.

    Richard.

  24. Hello Sue, yes you can still add fertilizer by sprinkling it over the top of the potatoes. See my article on potato fertilizer for recommended fertilizers.

  25. Hello Marcia, add 50ml of vinegar to 1 litre of water then test the soil the next day. Iron sulphate can be used if you have a larger area or if you are in less of a hurry to plant.

  26. Hello John, you should let them die back for two weeks before harvesting. This make make the tops dry and brittle and easier to remove.

  27. Hello Maria, after it has been well mixed up the soil can be tested again the next day. Thank you, Richard.

  28. Hello Dhiru, yes apply a little vinegar solution and retest until you have reached your target pH.
    Thanks
    Richard

  29. Hello Angelo, apply a little at a time and re test.
    Thanks
    Richard

  30. Hello Angelo, try a little at a time and retest the soil pH until satisfactory.
    Thanks
    Richard

  31. Hello Jim for greater yield you need to know the NPK of your soil, what the potatoes require and apply the difference in fertilizer. Consult the fertilizer handbook for potatoes for figures. See my article on potato storage for some tips.
    Thanks
    Richard

  32. Hello Kathy, if it is only the tips of the buds they will be fine. Put them out in the daylight for a few days and they will green up.
    Thanks
    Richard

  33. Hello John, the seed potatoes are allowed to form small buds as they sit inside the ton boxes which we then put into our potato planter. Thank you, Richard.

  34. Hello Vicky, yes they may display symptoms of virus attack. On the other hand they might not have been infected and do OK. If you have only a small amount of seed potatoes I would advise that you use new seed. Thank you, Richard.

  35. Hello Peter, yes that will work, adding some manure or fertilizer will probably help also, compost is usually not very high in NPK. Richard

  36. Hello Ali, yes you can cut the large potatoes up as long as each piece has an eye. I wouldn’t cut them any smaller than one square inch.
    Thanks
    Richard

  37. Hello Mick, I think I used about one cubic meter for the two. I just bought it from the local concrete plant.
    Thanks
    Richard

  38. Hello Mick, i used 9″ x 4″ at the bottom and used 6″x 4″ on the top. I only did this as i had a few of each lying around- there was no reason for it. Good question…thank you, Richard.

  39. Hello Barbara, thank you. If you have any questions or suggestions for the next article, let me know.
    Thank you,
    Richard

  40. Hello George – good point, thanks for getting in touch.
    Richard

  41. Hello Ester, if you like doing the edging you could get someone to modify your edger by shortening it to about 1 foot long, then you could you bring a wooden mallet with you and hammer the edger into the grass – this would save your knees and the wooden mallet is relatively light to carry.
    Good luck
    Richard