IS THE ANSWER IN THE SOIL?

We have mentioned the many varities of tomatoes and potatoes our own likes and dislikes.Is taste just down to our own taste buds or the many varities ?How much does the weather and growing medium effect potatoes.In a dry summer the water content in potatoes is low and several types break up on cooking,yet in a wet season the same types are fine.Growing medium has an effect on taste,as normal this year I grew main crop Picasso potatoes in drums and open soil, two very dfferent growing mediums ,those in open ground had a dressing of manure and a feed of potato fertiliser,In the drums was a medium of spent hops,manure and grass cuttins.Each layer was covered with a light dressing of Sulphate of Amonnia and rock dust.The ones in the open soil were watered but as the tops grew it was not possible to add a feed.In the drums I was able to water and feed a liquid potash on a regular basis.This year when lifted I bagged and labled the two lots seperatley.This is what I have found ,the potatoes grown in the soil are a little softer to peel and cut up,they cook quick but do not break up when cooking and make a very good mashed potato also being a bit fluffier they make good roast The ones grown in drums are solid to peel and cut up very much like the first new potatoes,they take longer to cook and are tastier left in pieces,make good chips ,not so good roasted,the ones grow in the open ground make better jacket potatoes.Both lots of potatoes grown from the same batch and all planted within a week,the growing medium is the only thing different,plus the ones in drums had more potash

14 Responses

  1. gibbon says:

    Tony,you have dun a lot of work and gone to a lot of truble to bring those concluseions, well dun, personaly I have a belife, that man is very cleaver, but he can not beat God as a gardner, with all his resurch and chemacles, nature which gave the world all theorignal plants, only used soil anamal dropings and leaf mold, so I try my best to be satisfied with what nature surplys, and I don’t do bad, but thanks,for your eforts on our behalf, :good:

  2. Beanstew says:

    It seems entirely logical to me that the difference is in the soil (and climactic conditions – although this would be the same for both samples in this case). I am really quite worried by the possible implications of all the soils that are being flogged to death by the application of fertilisers in industrial agriculture, in pursuit of larger and more profitable yields. Don’t think the “taste” of these crops are the best either.

  3. dandlyon says:

    Shelia with a lot of crops I am more concerned with what they spray on the crops.No carrot fly,no canker on parsnips and potatoes are sprayed every two weeks as a routine.They may have soil adictives to see off soil pests .At least the grow your own brigade know what we are eating and how its been treated.I think everyone should have a chance to grow their own if they want to.

  4. gibbon says:

    I agree with you both, there is and has been a problem,with this profit margin relidgen, and the stuff they put in to meat, which they clame is solt can not be doing us much good,all in the cause of profit, all arounnd deeside were I used tolive they spray humen excreater over all the fealds, ,you drive with windows shut tight but you are still repulst by the smell that creaps in to your car, though it is more natural than the fertillisers they ues, one day the soil will have had enough and close down.

    • Yewbarrow says:

      not sure human waste is better these days, when you think of what is put in our bodies, medication, hormones chemicals in lots of products, not sure how much is broken down and is safe but all the while we can grow our own stuff we can have some control on how they are grown

      • dandlyon says:

        When it comes to manure I stand by the advice given me as a child never use dung from meat eaters.If it was available I would be a bit concerned about manure from racing stables,for the reason yewbarrow has pointed out with humans,these horese are worth a lot of money and heaven knows what they are injected with :scratch:

  5. I have to agree with you Tony & YB on the manure from any stables, after the horse-meat scandal in our food chain, it was the anti-inflammatory meds that caused the concern as they are no good to humans, so I haven’t used the manure provided by my allotment association as I haven’t found anyone to ask where it has come from. As I believe that what you put into your soil does end up in your food. I just hope my homegrown compost is ok, as I still do buy my fruit & some veg from my greengrocer. :unsure:

    • dandlyon says:

      Lynn home made compost sould be fine,if you want to really get into home compost,follow mickyp,he has quite a lot to say on the subject.I have seen micks compost on his allotment site its good stuff and he makes a drum of compost in a month during the summer.Some where on this site he has a video clip from a video he made on the subject

  6. shedsue says:

    Very interesting Tony..Thanks for posting these results..The soil is the same as anything else..you need to replenish the goodness you take out. :good:

  7. karenp says:

    a very interesting read, and its good to experiment with different growing methods, but i too feel very concerned with what the commercial growers put in the ground, and the trouble is we wont know the damage to our health for many years to come :unsure:

  8. Walt says:

    I have not used raw/rotted animal manure since I had a problem with Aminopyralid in 2008. Lynn is quite correct in not using the manure if it’s provenance is unknown. I stay with green manure now (Phacelia), nothing like the bulk of farmyard stuff but I know what it is. All my spuds are grown in open ground with heat-treated poultry manure, rockdust, C4 and Calcium Nitrate…not as good as Tony’s but, then again, they don’t get the same attention!…
    Tony, manure from racing stables may be as good as it gets. Racehorses are pedigree athletes and the BHB have very strict rules applying to the use of drugs, only recently a trainer was banned for 5 years (should have been a life ban in my view) for administrating Rexogin (a steroid used by human body-builders) into the fetlock and knee joints of several horses.

  9. Bill says:

    Very interesting article Tony. Like Walt, I don’t use animal manure on my veg, I use heat treated poultry manure and spent hops as a soil improver. As you so rightly say, quality and flavour are the important things I aim for. A case in point is the dear old Gardeners’ Delight. I have found that growing conditions, water, heat etc. can make a big difference to flavour. My view is grow how you want to grow if the results are what you are trying to achieve why go by the book ? Having said all that, your advice on growing Picasso spuds in tubs does produce does produce a better crop. :good:

  10. gertie says:

    In the past a man used to come round with horse dung, but I didn’t buy as I didn’t know the provenance. I use my home made compost from garden and kitchen peeling waste [MINUS the black spot infested rose leaves!] I have also bought farmyard manure from B&Q so I hope this is going to be okay :unsure: When shopping I only buy bio-carrots and celery as we often eat them raw.

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