Spud in the Mud

In the first instance, the versatility of the potato means that its use is not restricted to just a few dishes. Its adaptability is astounding, and therefore caters for all tastes and styles of cooking. Correctly seasoned and prepared, the potato is much more than a staple base for your meal – it can be a culinary delight. Mashed, roasted, baked, fried or boiled, the potato makes the perfect accompaniment to any meal.

Robin Parker, head of marketing at Gabriel Ash, custom-made greenhouse manufacturers says;

“Who doesn’t love a potato? Its sheer flexibility means it is a favourite all over the world. I personally love a roast potato, lightly seasoned with butter, rosemary and garlic. It ties together any good Sunday roast!”

However, recently gardeners have been suffering from “potato blight”. In Scotland, thanks to three consecutively wet summers, sales of potato seeds have fallen dramatically. Potatoes traditionally need cold winters and long summer days to grow to their peak potential. Now we know we don’t have a problem with cold winter days, but the reduction of summer sunlight hours in the last few years has really had an effect.

One solution is to utilise your greenhouse. During the winter months, keep your potato seeds outside in the cold. This will protect them from disease and pests. As the weather begins to warm up, make a decision based on medium term weather forecasts. If it is looking like it will be a wet summer, moving them into your warm greenhouse could be the solution to the dreaded blight.

Potatoes – that most versatile of garden vegetable. The humble spud is much more important than many people realise. Next time you begin peeling, be thankful that we have such a multitalented food as one of our staples – our lives would be much duller without it!

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