Saint Patrick might not be the go to Saint for Irish Potato planting. He was what's called a Roman-British Christian. His dates are the Fifth Century, which is somewhere between 400 AD to 500 AD. He probably knew spoken Latin and his first visit to the Emerald Isle was as a result of being kidnapped by pirates, sold to an Irish Farmer who set him to work in the fields. He escaped, somehow he made his way back to the British Island and having fallen madly in love with an Irish Lass during his captivity he determined to mend his broken heart by returning to Ireland. Quite how he did it, no one knows, but he got funding from Rome on the understanding that he'd lead a mission to convert the Irish Celts. In those days Boy Saints were allowed to do things like get married and stuff. Those of us who are alive today know that Europe had to wait for around a thousand years before the first Potato arrived from the New World. In short your gardener is beginning to wonder whether his Potato crop has drowned.
Potato plants in these parts do not struggle against the Deer. One nibble of a
Potato leaf and that's it for Deer. But at this time of year there is
nothing a Deer likes better than to find a neatly dug and raked patch of
unfenced ground to stomp around on. It must have something to do with
foot-care. But if that piece of ground has shallow Potato trenches waiting
patiently for signs of something like a Potato crop, Deer tend to consider it
necessary to walk up and down in those shallow trenches, churning up the mud in
a manner that an emissary from Rome would consider high end barbaric behavior
that was totally beyond redemption. There'd be a Jihad or an Edict and images of
Deer would be removed from stain glass windows. All this requires a total
reappraisal of Potato planting time, and none of this pathetic clinging to "well
it's Saint Patrick's Day, aren't I clever." Even less exciting is local
lore which declares that if it rains on April 1st, you got seventeen wet days in
the month of April. Guess what? It rained yesterday.