I’m a donkey, I should have taken photos… I promise I will as they grow.
A fair few weeks ago, The Boss tool the minxes out to the garden centre to buy seed potatoes. Me, I’d have chosen a single set, with a guaranteed high yield, suitable for cold Scottish summers. The Boss being the (wonderfully greedy) man that he is chose 2 types, both based on flavour. The girls being the girls chose the set that were a bright, vibrant purple.
So I saved up some egg boxes instead of ripping them into the compost pile, and chitted the first set of potatoes. I’d no real idea what I was doing: I put them in the egg boxes around Midi’s birthday (20 Feb), and planned to plant them around my birthday (20 March). A week ago I happened to read a chance remark about potato varieties on a parenting forum – the only difference between first and second earlies and maincrop potatoes is when you harvest them; you chit them at the same time. Well I never! Eep! So for the past fortnight I’d lost 2 work surfaces in the kitchen to 30 chitting potatoes, plus a random 31st that I think came from the supermarket and then fridge originally. Or the potato fairy.
Yesterday I’d promised the minxes it was Potato Planting Day*, but it was too windy. The lovely Gardening Guru who lives opposite agreed with my guess that the soil would blow away with every turn of the spade (gusting 40mph my fat bum, Met Office! It’s gusting late 50s, possibly early 60s when I struggle to push a semi-laden double buggy!)
*the first nice day from my birthday onwards. arbitrarily chosen by me.
Today, though, the beautiful sunshine and stiff breeze augured well. Not one to follow instructions in gardening books, I got out the flower bulber and plopped 31 holes in the raised bed that The Boss cleared out last weekend. I tried to divide it into 3, and tried to keep the 3 varieties separate. But with 2 minxes fighting over who’s holding the egg-boxes, who’s putting the potatoes in the ground, who’s covering them up, and a 3rd minx shrieking, “Egg! Egg! Egg!” and gleefully picking off new sprouts, I pretty much just chucked them into holes as fast as I could, then distracted the kids with ripping up the egg boxes for the compost bin.
The forecast said no rain until after the weekend so I watered all the flowers, the potatoes and the magically phoenix-like rhubarb. I thought I’d killed it after cutting off its mysterious flowering head last year. Yet there it was, poking a chirpy red leaf above the ground as if to say, “Ye canny kill me, ye black-fingered divvy! I’m baaaaaack!”
I’m delighted to get my kitchen work-surfaces back. This weekend I intend to get the minxes to sow the broad bean and courgette seeds into the 50,000 toilet rolls I’ve collected for the purpose. Maybe then my house will look a little less like Steptoe’s Yard. Maybe.