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I carefully set my 1st and 2nd early potatoes in egg boxes to chit and can't remember how I organised them. I can't tell one from the other. I had intended to put most in the ground and maybe do a couple of pots but now I don't know what to do. I understand spacing, time to maturity, etc, are different for each type. Any advice would be really appreciated. Thank you.
Unless you have a large amount of potatoes I wouldn't panic. They will mature within a few weeks of each other and the ones that flower first should be the firsts. Hope this helps.
I'm not sure there is any difference in spacing between 1st and 2nd earlies so I wouldn't worry about that. And the 1st earlies should be ready before the 2nd earlies that's all ther is to it. You may even find that they come up with two distinct flower colours although some have very insignificant flowers.
Treat all as "one and a half" earlies and you won't be far out!
The RHS gives the following planting to lifting times:
Earlies - 100 - 110 days
Second early - 110 - 120 days
Maincrop - 120 - 125 days.
Hi, Barbara, as potatoes are frost tender it would depend on where you live to some extent. So I would say mid to late April, depending where you live.....of course, do take account of the prevailing weather.
If you're prepared to take a bit of a frost risk, I'd say get 'em in the ground as soon as it's not so cold you can't hold your hand on it. Plenty of compost and the first grass cuttings are good for them, as you probably know.
To protect against frost you could try strewing straw, newspaper or something similar over the emerging leaves in the evening before frost is threatened. Or fleece.
Good luck. I've planted one lot - about three weeks back but no sign of them yet - and keep on meaning to get the others in. This afternoon! DO IT!