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1st Early potatoes

Hi...What are the differences in 1st early, 2nd early and maincrop potatoes?  .image

  When can they be planted (in bags) ?  image

What are the best recomended variety to use.?   image

What is chitting ?  image

If anyone could help me with these questions I would be very grateful indeed

Many Thanks image



  • sotongeoffsotongeoff Posts: 9,802

    Different varieties take longer to mature than others-so you may plant at the same time but they won't all be ready at the same time-so there are 3 groups- earlies the quickest and so-onimage

    Chitting is getting the seed potatoes to produce shoots before planting-gives you an advantage-usually done in egg boxes in a wet lit frost free spot.

    I am only growing Charlotte as an early- following advice on here.

    As for planting-remember they dont like frost-that will damage the tops-a lot of people say Good Friday but as that is a variable feast it depends on the weather and your last frost dateimage

    Others grow a lot more and now doubt will "chip" inimage

  • Thanks for answering my questions  image


  • Zoomer44Zoomer44 Posts: 3,267

    1st earlies are ready to harvest after 10 weeks. 2nd earlies are ready to harvest after 13 weeks and main crop after 15 to 20 wks although - I've said on a previous post 1st and 2nd earlies are ready later (I'm in the North and found cropping is later).They can't be planted out until the last forcasted frost though.

    You can purchase your seed spuds now and start chitting at home. If you wait to purchase, the spuds in the shops will start chitting under the hot lights in the shop anyway and you'll be buying seed spuds with long spindly shoots which you don't want.

    Chitting - just pop them in an egg box the right way up, I put mine out of direct sunlight so they don't go spindly. Wait until the last forcast frost and plant 5 - 6 spuds in each bag.

    There are loads of varieties, try to choose those which have some resistance to blight. 1st and 2nd earlies are less susceptible as they crop earlier than main-crop.

    I've got Pentland Javlin and Winston as 1st earlies. Estima and Wilja as 2nd earlies and Desire as a main crop. Also Red Duke of York think it's a 2nd early.

  • sotongeoffsotongeoff Posts: 9,802

    Sorry Zooms but I think your dates are a bit out and confusingimage and seldom- if ever- have I disagreed with youimage

    You say buy seed potatoes now and set them up for chitting but don't plant until after last frost date-which for some is as late as the end of May-I make 3 and a bit months away -and the chitted potatoes will be in what state?

    I thought the idea was you planted at say around late March/ April and protected any emerging haulms from frost by earthing up which would give you earlies in June/July?

    So confused and bewildered of Southampton hereimage

  • Zoomer44Zoomer44 Posts: 3,267

    It does depend where you live, as to when you can plant out, I border on caution, mine usually go out about beginning of April, there's still chance of a frost but the garden's sheltered so a late frost doesn't seem to touch them, brother puts his out in March,  he might get his first crop a week or two earlier than mine but can spend a couple of weeks bringing then in and out of shed. Last year the first spuds were ready end of July probably later than most but worth the wait. You are right they can go out sooner but you would need to be mindful of a frost.

    Mine chit in an unheated room out of direct sunlight so they aren't on a window ledge and don't go leggy. They've been there a few weeks now and only just have shoots and a cold spell will knock them back. Give it a couple more weeks and you'll find the spuds in shops will start to show weak white shoots which isn't a good start. I prefer to have them at home and take my chances.

    Potato fairs are usually from January onwards so other people must start chitting early.

    Hope you aren't any more bewildered in Southamptonimage

    Brother has a weather station too which helps, he knows when it's likely to be frosty       

  • sotongeoffsotongeoff Posts: 9,802

    Was I ever ??imageimageimage

    Just confirming what you meantimage-so confusion no longer reigns.image

  • Zoomer44Zoomer44 Posts: 3,267


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