18 OCTOBER 1940, Page 12

A Tuberous Triumph

It is a frequent custom in the yearly programme of the Women's Institutes, those cheerful and helpful assemblages of village women, to engage in a potato competition. Four tubers are given out in April and the prize is given in October to the producer of the best or biggest crop. One of these prize-winners the other day won with a yield of just over a hundredweight. Her method, which is perhaps worth the attention of Mr. Middleton himself, was as follows. She planted her four seed potatoes in sand and leaf mould. When they had well and truly sprouted she cut out each eye with as much potato as possible and planted these out in soil rich in humus and light with sand. It is, of course, generally admitted that potatoes yield better if first sprouted and then planted out. It would make a good com- petition to test how many ears could be produced from a single grain of wheat. In the East over a hundred straws have been grown from one grain by the method of sowing in a scoop of earth and progressively earthing up. It must be remembered that when seed is cheap modern science is not in favour of a high degree of tillering.