Keep ‘em peeled

It’s been nearly a month since I started off those seed potatoes. I’ve now moved them into a couple of cardboard egg boxes by the side of the patio doors in the back room where there’s lots of light and hopefully no chance of frost damage. They are now less red-looking and there’s some nice little tight green/reddish buds or “chits” forming where the “eyes” were. The potatoes will be ready to plant out when the shoots are around 1.5-2cm long, hopefully around mid-march/early april when the ground has started to warm up and after the risk of frost has passed.

A couple of years ago one spring afternoon I got a bit overexcited when we had a couple of hours of sunshine and decided it was the right time to plant my already chitted seed potatoes. After rubbing off all but three of the chits on each one (a good tip if you want to get larger but fewer potatoes) I planted them into a prepared bed.

Feeling chuffed about getting another gardening job out the way I made myself a cup of tea then listened to a weather forecast on the radio where they warned it was going to be the coldest night of the year. Good timing eh?

So it was back out in the garden with some black bin bags which I put over the bed and secured them with a few tent pegs and bricks to protect the potatoes from the cold night to come. Next morning I popped to the garden centre and got some horticultural fleece. A bit of forward planning like checking the weather forecast a few days before would have helped but no, impatient here knew best.

Thanks to Shirley Calgary for the top tip about cutting the seed potato into two or three pieces when sprouted (each piece has to contain a sprout) which will give you more plants for your money. How good is that?

So hurry up warmer weather I want to plant out those potatoes. I love homegrown spuds me!


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