Hi all i would like to no when to buy seed potatoes for earlys, as my local store are now selling them, can i buy some and keep them in my shed to chip or wait a week or two to see what the weather is going to do first. Thanks
I don't buy them until about 6 weeks before I plant them (late March, early April) so that would be 2nd half of February.
hi thank s for reply i will leave them for a while and wait till febuary, thank you
I wrote tis a long time ago, but I still think it's relevant:
"Once home, seed tubers are best 'chitted' or sprouted. Unpack and lay the tubers out in a single layer in a tray with the 'rose' end uppermost. This end has the most eyes or buds and sprouts will arise from these. Some suppliers offer 'pre-chitted' seed.
Keep the trays of tubers in a cool but frost-free place with at least moderate light, such as in an unheated room. Direct sunlight is best avoided. Sprouts will form within a few weeks. The tuber is therefore ready to grow away as soon as planted.
Tubers can be laid out to chit from January onwards, but planting should be delayed until March in sheltered and southern areas or April in less favoured districts. Earlier plantings can rot in the ground or the shoots can be frosted off on sharp nights. By this time the sprouts should be about 5cm (2in) long and dark coloured. Longer thinner sprouts are caused by excess heat or too little light or both, and tiny sprouts suggest conditions are too cold.
Chitting takes about six weeks."
Buying them now means you can chit them at your pace, under the shop lights and heat some spuds start to chit in the shop with white shoots and are easily knocked off which you don't really want, chitted at home in the right conditions the shoots grow slower and are short and stumpy with a purple ting depending on the variety.
thank you for your reply, I am going to wait a bit longer. got to get the fork out yet and get out in the fresh air.
I agree, I buy mine in January and set them into egg boxes to chit. It's often middle or end of March before I plant.
Another little thing I do is rub off chits if there are more than about 3. I've heard that this is plenty for 1 seed potato to cope with and will produce a good crop. I'm happy enough with my crops.
I always grow Charlotte and this year will have Swift as well as they're very quick and I've had them before.
Just wondering if anybody out there can recommend tasty first early earlies? and also would you advise protecting the growth from frost ie covering with fleece these would be planted in the ground and not in potatoe bags.
Hi Daffodilgirl, you can 'earth-up' potatoes to protect newly emerged leaves from the frost:
Best to do that anyway as it also helps incease the crop and stops tubers near the surface being turned green by the sun. If you can't earth them up any further and there are still frosts about, then cover the rows with newspaper or fleece.
Hi, Daffodilgirl.....my recommendation would be for either 'Swift' or 'Rocket', both super tasting spuds.
Regarding frost protection, if you don't plant too early, they won't need it. If we do get a very late frost, they can be covered with sheets of newspaper..... weighted down with stones or similar, of course.
Finally, when spuds do get nipped by late frosts, the damage isn't normally terminal, they will recover without damage to the tubers.