This article was posted 17th Feb 2022.
We now have our seed potatoes, flower and vegetable seeds and flowering bulbs on sale.
It’s still far too early to plant out seed potatoes, but if you like early new potatoes you can give the crop a head start. Chitting the seed allows you to harvest potatoes a couple of weeks earlier than would normally be possible. The greatest benefits of sprouting potatoes is most apparent in early varieties.
Lay the tubers out in a tray as pictured or if you only have a few, an egg box is ideal. Place the potatoes so that the eyes are facing upwards. Position the boxes in a cool but light place ideally around 10°C. Light is especially important to ensure that the stems of the sprouted potatoes are green. A cool window sill is an excellent choice.
A seed potato can produce between 3 and 12 sprouts. When the sprouts reach about 1cm, rub off all but three or four of them. Simply use a finger to apply sideways pressure at the base of the sprout and it will come off cleanly. Restricting the sprouts to three or four will make the seed potato concentrate all its growing efforts into the remaining sprouts. We have a number of early varieties on sale that can be forced a bit earlier by chitting: Rocket, Maris Bard, Pentland Javelin & Arran Pilot
If you are growing in a container in a greenhouse or conservatory all well and good. First timers who wish to plant in their garden a word of caution and that word is frost. Growing in Warwickshire, only start to chit the seed in the first week of March with the aim of planting out in the second week of April. Using this timing should avoid the danger of frost. Frost will burn off any tender shoots that emerge from the soil and severely set the crop back.
Aside from the early varieties we also sell the following maincrop seed: Wilja, Desiree, King Edward, Maris Piper & Maris Peer.