Friday, June 21, 2019

La Ratte

La Ratte is a variety of fingerling potato. It grows easily here but does require fertile soil in order to get good sized tubers. When I grew it in mediocre soil, the tubers were mediocre too. But that is true for most potato varieties. It's just that La Ratte, being a fingerling, tends to have small tubers to begin with.

This photo was taken one month before harvesting. 

I harvested two pallet boxes of potatoes yesterday, both the La Ratte variety. Each box had been started with 16 medium sized tubers that were a bit in the small size, not my preferred seed size. I like them bigger. But that's what I had available, so they were used. Each box had been newly filled with fresh compost mixed 50/50 with older compost. Once planted, the seed potatoes were mulched with a couple of inches of fresh grass clippings. One month afterward, I re-mulched them to help prevent greening of surface tubers. They could have used a third mulching near the end but I didn't have the time, so I did lose a few big tubers to greening. 

Harvested tubers range from large to small. We eat any size. 

One box yielded about 7 lbs, the other a tad over 8 lbs. I'm pleased.

These represent the larger sized tubers. 

I've replanted the two boxes, again with La Ratte. I saw no disease or pests, therefore I didn't rotate to a different crop. Before replanting, into each box I tilled in a 3 inch layer of fresh homemade compost plus a 5 gallon bucket of composted sheep manure. I laid the tubers on the soil surface then covered them with a 2" layer of county mulch. They will get grass clipping mulch as needed as the plants grow. 

Note: normally I wouldn't add extra manure to a potato bed, but I find that La Ratte (and other fingerlings) produce better with the added fertility.)

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