Outdoor planting on the slopes has started in earnest.

Posted: Tuesday, January 08, 2019

The earliest outdoor Jersey Royal new potatoes are grown on South and South-East facing slopes that are free-draining and catch the early sun.

Planting on the slopes is both time-consuming and labour intensive, but also really impressive to see!

Most of the slopes are done entirely by hand, but the gradient on the this particular field that overlooks St Aubin's bay is just low enough to allow us to use both a tractor to help prepare the ground as well as a crawler to mark out and cover the rows, which makes the whole process much quicker.

The power harrow has a roller behind that leaves a perfect seed bed. The rows are marked out using a crawler and then all planted by hand.

 

The tubers are planted quite shallow, and are then covered using the crawler again.

Where-as on the majority of slopes, the whole process is done by hand using specially designed ploughs that are pulled using a winch system, powered by a tractor at the top of the slope.

At the same time that one row is covered, a groove is made for the next row to be planted.

But there are also a few patches that can't be done using the winch, so then it is totally hands on!