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Chitting seed potatoes

Posted: Wednesday 25 January 2012
by Pippa Greenwood

My newly tidied greenhouse is now playing host to the seed potatoes as they start the chitting process, despite the fact that I caught a mouse in there a week or two ago.


chitting potatoes

I’ve just enjoyed my annual family outing to buy seed potatoes. The strange thing is that, despite their increasing ages, my kids don’t seem to mind coming with me (and believe me, it really isn’t a case of ‘they should get out more.’)

Once again we stocked up on the salad potato ‘Charlotte’, because it surpasses all others in flavour, texture and reliability. Already plans are afoot to use the crop as boiled new potatoes, in salads, fried in extra virgin olive oil and as small (but superbly tasty) jacket potatoes later in the year.

The ‘Pink Fir Apple’ harvest from last year is storing so well that we chose to buy the variety again. Although it’s infuriating and time-consuming to prepare, flavour-wise it’s a hit.

We also chose the delicious, waxy ‘Lady Christl’ (a first early), the almost indestructible-on-boiling second early ‘Wilja’, plus a good array of those super-reliable main crop varieties like ‘Cara’ and ‘Sante’.

My newly tidied greenhouse is now playing host to the seed potatoes as they start the chitting process, despite the fact that I caught a mouse in there a week or two ago. I took the mouse on a walk but it was probably not long enough, so the mouse may well be back by now, possibly accompanied by friends and relatives.

I’ve erected each tray of chitting potatoes on a large up-turned flowerpot to prevent mice from attacking them. It may look funny, but it works a treat.

The greenhouse also contains a massive collection of dahlia tubers, which happened to find their way into the trolley at the garden centre...



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Steve58 11/02/2012 at 11:41

In these extreme cold temperatures are you having to heat the greenhouse every night to stop the frost getting to your potatoes. Would a bubble wrap tent be enough?

Deanos Diggin It 11/02/2012 at 18:20

Hi Steve!! I like you am a little concerned about this coldsnap!! Although my seed potatoes are ordered they have not yet arrived!  Which concidering the weather it may be a good thing!! and with space at a premium in my little back yard japanesed themed water garden being mainly two sets of decking the rear one being 6inch higher than the front one just outside my French doors linked by a bridge going over a 4m wide 2m length coi pond, I have invested in a little walk in plastic greenhouse to try n bring on all my seedlings etc this year having been awarded an allotment after a 3yr wait!! Yippeee! and am now thinking this ain't gunna be up to the job!!! Untill I get my allotment sorted that is!!!!

Rizzo68 26/02/2012 at 05:03

I ordered my seed potatoes online which arrived on the 1st Feb as it is my first time I cleaned off a large rack in my shed by the windows and laid out the potatoes. The problem is quite a few of them have gone very soft and even wet, some got a white foam oozing out of them, just wondering have I laid them out to early and if so how should I have stored them until the time was right.

Deanos Diggin It 26/02/2012 at 19:54

Hey up Rizzo! Seed potatoes do generally go soft upon chitting, but the fact they have gone wet n oozing doesn't sound good!  Thinking your shed ain't as dry n frost free as ya thought it was! But hey!! On the plus side!  n I know at extra expence! You do still have time to replace n try again! and I would by the sounds!!! I Chit mine on my kitchen windowsill, indoors, where it is warm n light, but not too light!! Hope this helps!!

Rizzo68 26/02/2012 at 20:28

Thanks Dean thought that would be the case starting again is probably safest bet

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