London (change)
Today 22°C / 16°C
Tomorrow 22°C / 16°C

Buying seed potatoes

Posted: Wednesday 5 February 2014
by Pippa Greenwood

I’ve been shopping. Not for shoes, or scarves, or sweets. Far more exciting – I’ve been shopping for seed potatoes.


Seed potatoes

I’ve been shopping. Not for shoes, or scarves, or sweets. Far more exciting – I’ve been shopping for seed potatoes. There’s a sort of magic associated with seed potato shopping. It has become one of those annual happenings that often becomes a family event. Not only is it fun – it's a sign that there really will be better things around the corner soon.

I always order in some favourites – I have 'Casablanca' and a few more coming by post. But I love to hand pick my potatoes, so I go to a local garden centre that sells them by the kilo.

It means I can experiment with new varieties (I buy enough for half a row), buy ridiculous quantities of those we’re addicted to (a large carrier bag of 'Charlotte'), and a medium amount of classic larger potatoes such as 'Cara' and 'Sante'.

You can buy the right number for full rows if that’s what you want – for me that’s 10-14 potatoes depending on the type – so there's no need to have odd tubers left over.

Don’t forget that if you shop for seed potatoes this way it's essential to take a pen and some scrap paper so you can label each bag with the variety name and other useful information such as whether it is a maincrop or early variety.

Unfortunately I fear the greenhouse mouse is back, so for now my new purchases are in bags on a cool floor. But this weekend I’ll be popping them plump end uppermost in seed trays or egg boxes. I always label the trays and put another label beneath the tubers so that they can’t be misplaced. Then I'll put them in a well-lit spot that is cool but frost free to chit (sprout). Then I can enjoy watching their slow but steady progress as they become ready to plant.





Discuss this blog post

Talkback: Buying seed potatoes
Your comment will appear after a quick registration step

mark thomas2 13/02/2014 at 16:41

its my first year with an allotment and I'm confused …… chit or not to chit???

mark thomas2 13/02/2014 at 16:43

its my first year with an allotment and I'm confused …… chit or not to chit???

philippa smith2 13/02/2014 at 16:44

This question came up recently...........maybe a couple of weeks ago ?.

Have a look on the Fruit/Veg bit.............I'm pretty sure it was on there and there was quite a bit of advice.

Hope this helps

philippa smith2 13/02/2014 at 17:40

Dove..........you are a godsend..........I expect that is what I really meant to say

See more comments...