It’s an unseasonably warm early April morning, as we head down to Thorsby to have a look at their potato planting, which has now gotten underway in earnest. Conditions are perfect, with dry fields and warm soil temperatures.
The fields are already prepared. The fields have been ploughed and furrows formed ready for the planting of the potato seed. During the preparation stage, the grower uses a stone separator which is used to trap all of the larger stones in the field. The stones are then deposited into deep trenches.
A variety of potato called Eurostar is being planted in the fields that we are visiting today. Eurostar is an excellent oval, long, white potato variety, which is multi-purpose, with good flavour and texture. From an agronomical point of view, the variety has a high yield, with strong resistance to nematodes. It can be grown on most soil types and stores very well.
Other varieties that this particular grower will be growing this year include Saxon, Manhattan, Lanorma, Orchestra, King Edwards, Monte Carlo, Mozart, Sensation, Kingsman, Melody, as well as two new to the market varieties, Vanilla and Christina.
Now all we need is for Mother Nature to play her part by providing the plants with a great mixture of sunshine and showers!
We can expect to see the potato plants peeping through the soil around the middle of May. Tubers will start appearing middle to late June and the Eurostar, that we have seen being planted this morning, will be harvested from September onwards.