Sprouting seed potatoes

Stephanie newish gardenerStephanie newish gardener Aberdeenshire/Moray coastPosts: 336

Hi

I bought various seed potatoes, just 5 of each, a mix of first and second earlies and maincrop.

I followed the advice to keep them somewhere cool and dark and have just got the first lot out to start chitting, but they are all sprouting already. The ones with the biggest shoots are the maincrop which aren't due for planting for weeks yet.

Is this a problem, and are they ok in a box where it is cool dry and dark?

Thanks

Posts

  • Get them out into the light, if you keep them in the dark, the sprouts will become long and brittle. They are early, but what you can do when they are ready is to plant them in buckets (with holes in the bottom) and bring them inside during nights and coldspells. We swedes do this every year so we can get fresh potatoes for midsummer.

    I buy my seed potatoes a couple of weeks before it's time to plant them, then this problem doesn't occure.

  • ObelixxObelixx Vendée, Western FrancePosts: 19,333

    I bought ours 10 days ago - OH got excited - and have them sat in old cardboard egg boxes in a bright but cold room.  The Charlottes have just started to shoot - nice, small, firm shoots, and the Bintjes which were already shooting, have slowed down.

    It's important to keep them cool and light so they don't get carried away and produce too many shoots nor long, thin, fragile shoots that are seeking the light. 

    The traditional time for planting out is Good Friday but that's just because people had a day off work and thus the time to plant spuds.  These days they can be planted when the soil is warm enough and that depends on where you are and what soil you have.   

    "We don't stop playing because we grow old; we grow old because we stop playing." - George Bernard Shaw
  • WelshonionWelshonion Posts: 3,114

    Be prepared to put soil over the emerging shoots when you do come to plant them.  They are not frost-hardy.  In an emergency a sheet of newspaper will suffice.

  • Mine are c hitting in the conservatory and l will plant them next month to keep indoors until May time when there is no risk of frost. I bought potato bags so this should be fun.

  • raisingirlraisingirl East Devon, on the Edge of Exmoor.Posts: 3,766

    Just to reiterate what Fire Lily said - the most important thing now is to get them into the light, somewhere cool and bright, preferably out of the sun (north facing windowsill in a cool room is perfect)

    You've got to know when to hold 'em, know when to fold 'em
    Know when to walk away and know when to run
  • Stephanie newish gardenerStephanie newish gardener Aberdeenshire/Moray coastPosts: 336

    Thanks for the replies, I will fetch them all upstairs and into the light then.  I have a fairly sheltered north facing window in a cool back porch which is where I chitted the potatoes last year, but I think I must have bought them a bit later.  It's a 30 mile round trip to one of the few places I know that sells seed potatoes loose, and we don't go that way very often, so I picked them up when we were passing earlier this month.

    I aim to put some of the first earlies in bags but pretty much all of the others will go in the ground, and here in Aberdeenshire it will be later than most places I guess.  We are right on the coast though so don't always get the very low night time temps they get on higher ground further inland.

    While on the subject, I did an experiment last year with charlottes in bags where I used John Innes in one bag and Jack's Magic compost in another; the same but with fertiliser in two others, and a mix of half home-made compost and half Jack's Magic plus fertiliser. The fertiliser was granular stuff that came with the charlottes and the bags in a kit from T&M

    You have to bear in mind that all of the bags had a thorough if brief soaking when we were flooded in June and then suffered a range of neglect due to spending too much time rescuing the rest of the garden, but the results were quite interesting.

    The spuds just in the commercial compost yielded 450g per tuber. John Innes plus fertiliser actually yielded 50g less but the Jack's Magic plus fertiliser yielded 550g. The half and half mix yielded 300g but I think that one suffered the most neglect in terms of watering after June.

    I've used Jack's Magic quite a lot over the last 3 years and find it really good for seeds, and it is clearly good for spuds too.  Having said that, I have no idea whether 450g per charlotte tuber is ok or pretty shoddy!

  • raisingirlraisingirl East Devon, on the Edge of Exmoor.Posts: 3,766

    I don't know where you are Stephanie - is there a 'potato day' anywhere near you? 

    Last edited: 25 February 2018 16:49:39

    You've got to know when to hold 'em, know when to fold 'em
    Know when to walk away and know when to run
  • Stephanie newish gardenerStephanie newish gardener Aberdeenshire/Moray coastPosts: 336
    raisingirl says:

    I don't know where you are Stephanie - is there a 'potato day' anywhere near you? 

    Last edited: 25 February 2018 16:49:39

    See original post

     Erm, I'm not sure.  What's a potato day?  I'm near Banff on the Aberdeenshire coast and haven't seen such a thing advertised, though that's not to say there isn't one! 

  • Andy19Andy19 Posts: 626

    Hi Stephanie your right in the tattie capital of Scotland there will be lots of growers around you with great advice .

  • Nanny BeachNanny Beach Posts: 2,969

    I chit mine in the light, (in the conservatory) and they will go out in March, the first earlies.I got a long haired collie from Banff about 40 years ago!

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