It’s that time of year when the seed potatoes I ordered a couple of months ago arrive through the post. It always makes me happy because it means that the growing season is starting.
The weather is cold and most mornings we have either frost or fog, but by the afternoon usually they’ve gone and the sun is out. A memory from last year came up on my Facebook page today reminding me that this time last year we had snow. At the time it wasn’t much, but we then got quite a lot more and I was unable to work for a week, to be honest we couldn’t get the car out of the courtyard onto the road. It’s something we get used to so are prepared. The kids went sledging one afternoon in the snow and were gone for hours. I say kids, at the time they were 18 and two of them were 21, so not really kids. Although the way they played in the snow……
There is no snow on the cards at the moment, but I’m sure we’ll get some before the winter is through.
I’ve got a quiet week at work this coming week so have lots planned in the garden. I’ve got seeds to sow, various veggies to harvest and more tidying up to do. Also the on going job of stopping certain creatures that keep burrowing under next doors fence and into our garden. You think you stop them and then they find another way in. I will win one day, I think it’s rats, but I’ve ordered a wildlife camera to see exactly what it is. Hopefully they’ll arrive this week and then I’ll know for certain. Little buggers. They don’t seem to be eating anything, just digging the woodchips on the back path. I’m now wondering if it’s a stoat? Hopefully this question will be answered when I get my camera.
Anyway back to the potatoes. Once you get your spuds you’ll need to take them out their packaging and start the “chitting” process. This sounds complicated but isn’t. Check each potato over and if any are soft or have started to go mouldy then get rid of them. Next just put the potatoes in a single layer on a metal or plastic tray, or if you have lots of egg boxes these are perfect. Just put one seed potato where the egg used to go. Then put them on a window sill so they don’t have to stretch for the light and just leave them to do their thing for a couple of months.
What you want to end up with are short stumpy shoots. If they have to stretch for the light, then you’ll end up with long thin shoots that will break off very easily. Here’s a video I made a couple of years ago with a little more information on.
I know that some people only chit their first and second earlies, but I do all mine, always have done. Just let them do their thing until you plant them outside from the middle of March. This year I have two different varieties of potatoes “Jazzy” and “Sarpo Mira”.
Here they are on the window sill keeping Prickly Pete company.
Anything else I do this week I’ll keep you posted on. Hope you have a wonderful week and are able to get something done in you garden.