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French Potager

AL “Le Chapeau” and “Jersey” Malc

Their venture with a French Potager. We were given the opportunity to work a area of land on the border of the village,
Our FrenchPotager
This is the area on the border of the village.
it had been cleared of some trees and worked lightly in 2016. A villager tilled (ploughed and harrowed) the land for us prior to the planting of Jersey Malc’s large selection of potatoes. We also plan to grow onions (white and red), sweetcorn, beetroot and french beans. We are going to try cauliflower and Romanesco broccoli, also known as Roman cauliflower, Romanesque cauliflower or simply Romanesco – I have always called it Romanesco. I have been told it is very difficult to grow in this area of France but we will try: until you try you won’t know.
It is very early days in our French Potager, but “Jerseys” large selection of potatoes are planted and the other seedlings are in the polytunnel in my garden waiting to get planted. We are both keen gardeners but neither of us have had an allotment before as we both have fairly large gardens which take a lot of time to maintain. Putting in the extra hours that the Potager will require will be a challenge.
Jersey inspecting the new shoots
After only a few weeks we have signs of growth.
The different varieties of potatoes are King Edwards, Jersey Royals, Sarpo Mira, Charlotte, Anya, Valor, Ratte and Mona Lisa. Hopefully if we don’t get hit by blight we should have enough potatoes to see us through the winter.
We started to plant the spuds on the 20th April and by the 2nd of May we have shoots coming through, which is very encouraging as we are hoping for a good crop of potatoes.
We have planted the onions in squares about 1.25 m x 1.25 m. I set my onions about 100 mm apart and have had great success doing it this way; it’s easy to keep the weeds in check and the onions grow to a very good size. We are growing a number of different varieties. I have chosen a Centurion F1 a white onion.
 
We had a very good harvest. The potatoes we planted gave us about 400Kg, which will keep us and our friends in spuds for a while! The onions also gave us a good reward with around 350 very good sized onions. The red onions really surprised me with their size, and no complaints with the white ones either. We planted a variety of veg and, apart from around half a row of spuds that fed the slugs, we were very well rewarded for our efforts.

This gallery shows our progress



 

We hope to be a bit more organised next year, getting the plot turned over a bit earlier than we did this year. a friend of Jerseys has offered to use his spud planting machine to make the planting easier. I am hoping the fund raising events I have planned, will pay for Malcs therapy.
Au revoir for now.
 

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