GARDENING: Dahlias for dinner and potatoes in bags

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I SWORE I’d never grow potatoes in bags again, but never’s a long time.

They always seemed to take too much time and effort for too little reward.

However, Thompson & Morgan has come up with an innovative way for higher yields in four easy steps, without the need for earthing up:

1. Fill an eight-litre potato bag with good­ quality multipurpose compost, to 2.5cm (1in) below the rim.

2. Plunge a single chitted potato tuber into the compost with the shoots pointing upwards, to a depth of 12cm (5in”) from the surface. Cover the tuber with compost.

3. Water, place the bag in a bright, frost-­free position.

4. Feed plants every other week with potato fertiliser and water when the compost begins to dry out.

The recommended potato to use is second­early Jazzy, which in trials has produced more than 80 tubers in one eight­litre bag in 11 weeks.

The small waxy tubers are much more versatile than other salad potatoes, suitable for boiling, mashing, roasting or steaming.

Jazzy has been awarded an Royal Horticultural Society Award of Garden Merit for its superb garden performance.

Five tubers cost £4.99 from www.thompson­morgan.com.

Dahlias for dinner

ON the subject of Sunday dinner staples, we’re familiar with dahlias as a flower ­–but what about a

vegetable?

Lubera has launched six new and exclusive dahlias in its DeliDahlia® range, with bright blooms combined with superb tuber flavours.

Delidahlia® Hapet® Hoamatland is a two­toned, red and white painter’s dahlia, growing up to 180cm tall.

The tubers are small, cylindrical, with a small to medium yield. They have a delicate texture, with a flavour reminiscent of black salsify.

Delidahlia® Hapet® Buga München is a pink semi­cactus dahlia, suitable for containers, growing to just 1m.

Its tubers are round and potato­like, with medium to high yields. They have a crisp texture, slightly firmer than other varieties, and are noticeably sweeter, a bit like fresh parsley.

Both types are supplied as strong young plants in a 1.3l container, costing £4.40 each, from

www.lubera.com.