Spuds, spuds, glorious spuds

You’re supposed to start chitting your potatoes from late January in warmer parts of the country or in February in cooler areas or in other words, about six weeks before you intend to plant them. To chit a potato, find the rounder, blunter end that has a number of ‘eyes’ and stand each potato with it’s blunt end up in trays of sawdust or old egg boxes, giving them plenty of natural light. When the shoots are about half an inch to an inch long, you can plant them out. Early potatoes also take up the least room, so if you are short of space, these are the ones to concentrate on. From about mid-March, around here at least, you should dig a trench four to six inches deep, give it a sprinkle of fertiliser and set the potatoes about a foot apart with about sixteen inches between rows, taking care not to break the shoots on the tubers and make sure they point upwards. Cover them with soil but don’t stamp it down, just firm lightly at this point.

When shoots appear above ground you need to earth up each row by covering it with a ridge of soil so that the shoots are just buried – repeat whenever the shoots appear and you should have excellent potatoes to lift from June right through to September, if you’re lucky!

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Posted by The Allotment Blogger on Friday, January 18, 2008

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