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Buy your seed potatoes now!24 January 2012
With the arrival of the New Year seed potatoes can be chitted now ready for planting the early varieties in March.
There is a great range available these days from the traditional early favorites such as ‘Maris Bard’ and ‘Lady Christi’ to salad varieties ‘Charlotte’ and ‘Nicola’ to main-crops like ‘King Edward’.
How to Chit!
'Chit' your chosen varieties by laying out in a cool light place to encourage the growth of the eyes. Some people suggest removing a number of these developing sturdy little shoots but you can leave them all intact if you prefer, as rubbing off often causes smaller crops of bigger potatoes. Remember to clearly label each variety as you go.
Early potatoes can be grown in barrel like containers and there are a number available - have a look at our great range - making them ideal if space is at a premium. You can also use potato sacks which are now widely available. Because Early potatoes are in the ground for such a short while, being harvested 13 weeks after planting in March, a good multi-purpose compost can be used for planting into the bags, again we have a great range available!
When planting out in a few weeks In the open ground, potatoes will act as a great conditioner for newly turned vegetable plots but remember to plant them in trenches at least 30cm deep with a good layer of well rotted manure or potato fertiliser such as Vitex or Growing Success Organic Potato Fertiliser.
When the foliage begins to appear an application of soluble slug killer such as Nemaslug will keep on top of the slugs who have a habit of eating the young succulent foliage.