Sunday, 7 February 2010

Got the spuds!!!!

Well as usual I have been keeping up with my usual blogs and was slowly realising that everyone was putting in their orders or buying in their potatoes already so this gave me a little incentive and off I went to make some purchases!!

Last year I grew two different types of potatoes and this year I am going to do the same although I have gone for different types. Although all the potatoes I grew last year got used I wasn't overly happy with the texture or taste which is why I have gone for different varieties this year.
Last year I grew Aaron Pilot and Maris Piper....I had never tried Aaron Pilot so that was a trial (one which I won't be repeating!!) but I have often bought Maris Piper from the super market and although they gave me a good yield I wasn't keen on the texture!!

This year I have gone for Rocket which is a first early and I grew two years ago and was very happy with and Maris Peer which is another trial as I have never had these before. Lots of people can give you advice on which potatoes to plant but as everyone's individual taste is different, I don't think they can advise you on what to grow...only what produces a good yield.

I purchased my potatoes form Wilkinsons..at the end of the days potatoes are potatoes wherever they are bought and because we only have a small store in my town it stops me playing 'eeny, meeny miny, mo' for hours trying to decide which type to pick.

I did want to grow some King Edward potatoes too as they are my all time favourite potatoes but I didn't see any in the store but I haven't totally ruled out the idea yet...I think they are a main crop so I would be putting them in a little later anyway!!

So I have my potatoes...now all thats left is to chit them. 'What is chitting?' I hear some of my readers ask...and don't worry because just last year when i started looking at other peoples blogs I asked myself the very same question. I was new to this growing thing and had no idea you had to do more than buy and then plant the potatoes!! Anyway it turns out that chitting a potato is just leaving it in a cool airy place to start to sprout before you plant it in the ground.

Of course some say you should only leave three shoots on before you plant, some say you should leave all the shoots on, some say don't bother chitting at all. Basically there is no right or wrong to this.

Some things I have found out whilst reading up on chitting potatoes is that it isn't essential and if you get your potatoes late you can put them straight in the ground. If you chit your potatoes you will end up with your crop ready for harvest slightly earlier. If you leave all the shoots on you will have a larger yield of potatoes but they will be smaller than if you only leave three shoots. Commercial growers never chit their potatoes!!

So there you have it...chitting will be up to the individual. I think I will probably chit my potatoes this year as luckily they have always been chitted in the past as I store them under my carport left in their net bags and they happily sprout themselves.

I have heard of people setting up elaborate wire storage racks in their sheds especially for chitting their potatoes or standing them in egg boxes or leaving them individually in seed trays....but after all the research I have done I don't feel the need to do this at all....maybe it's a bit of laziness but it has worked well for the last couple of years so why tempt fate now!!!

For all of you who do spend time on your specific ways of chitting I applaud you for taking that extra time out...but it's not for me!!


Oh and there was going to be a picture but I figured who would really want to see my potatoes in their net bags (plus I have run out of camera batteries!!!...lol).

8 comments:

  1. THat reminds me, I must get mine. I do chit - I use egg trays. Works for me anyway. I don't know what variety I am growing this year - still looking for ideal potato.

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  2. Well done you on getting started, I'm being rather slow to get started this year but I looked outside today and there were actual clumps of snowdrops to be found, so I'll soon being getting my get up and gardening go soon :)

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  3. Hi Tany. Agree with you about mollycoddling your spuds, but I think you should grow more. It's only dawned on me recently but chitting is to stabilise the shoots by exposing them to light, not encouraging them. If you like King Edwards try the red skinned Rooster. I was v pleased with the results last year (disease free, good texture, high yield. (They were a pound more a net at the garden centre so there must be something in it?)

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  4. Now don't I feel like the lazy one for just going to the store and buying a bag of potatoes...lol I've never heard of the types you mentioned though. Here it's either plain old white potatoes, russets, red or yukon gold. There may be more but those are the ones that I can think of off the top of my head.

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  5. I don't think I've ever planted potatoes before. Actually I only really ever helped my dad or my grandparents. My dad knows all about this stuff, but I don't, so I'm glad to learn it from what you write.

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  6. We are in the same boat, i have the order fornm all filled in and ready to go but for some reason I just never get around to posting it! We don't know what we like or what to grow (Farm Guy's dad is a farmer of potatoes so all we knew was we didn't want the same as he grows!) so we have got a few of each for different harvest times!
    Also some, rasps and blueberies on the way too.. somewhere...

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  7. Well, I mollycoddle mine in egg boxes. I don't rub off any shoots as I don't mind smaller spuds.

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  8. I love potatoes, in all kind of dishes

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keep it clean...keep it relevant...I look forward to reading your comments!!