London (change)
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23/03/2014 at 18:26

I may have mentioned before that I have 2 'bins' (actually an old compost bin cut in half that a neighbour gave me), that I am going to use for potatoes.

I think I am right in saying that I need to get them in soon?

Are they happy with any compost, my local too sells compost which I have used before and it wasn't too bad.

Any advice gratefully received 

23/03/2014 at 18:44

When i grew for show i used a (two gallon) bucket full of leaf mould (fern) with a bucket of growbag (fresh) and then a bucket of irish moss peat. It had a 3 inch layer of manure in the bottom of the pile.

They were all mixed up  with a special potato fertilizer and then a seed potato was placed on the muck and one bucket of the mix placed on top.

They were prize winners and the cleanest i have ever seen.

The planting date for August and September shows is the 3rd week in April, and for the late Autumn show at the RHS halls in London in October, the first week May.

Times have changed now but i do hope this info helps.

23/03/2014 at 18:47

Thanks Edd, sounds very technical  but thank you.  Not sure where I can get leaf mould from?

23/03/2014 at 18:50

I think you can get it from GC without much trouble. Sorry i did a bit of a edit before i read your reply.


23/03/2014 at 19:00

Tracey I grow in bags see Garden photos 2014.

I planted 3 chitted spuds to a bag, planted in multi purpose with some organic potato feed, have used Growmore in the past.

In a cut off bin I'd plant 6. Need plenty of water as they grow and keep topping (mounding up) up to cover new growth, spuds that grow need to be in the dark.

Seems a lot of compost but you can chuck on garden afterwards.

Not too late at all, I usually do at Easter (ish) but have done early due to weather. I chit mine, but I understand it isn't vital. I only grow 1st & this year 2nd earliers, don't bother with main crop.  Just about finished the spuds I grew last year, they are in a paper sack in garage and still taste good.  

If you need more info' shout


23/03/2014 at 19:03

Thanks KEF, I saw your pics on the garden thread. I thought I might as well utilise these bins I have.

I think I need to do some more research, I've heard the term 'chitting' but don't even know what it is 

23/03/2014 at 19:14

Tracey chitting is when you let seed spuds start to grow sprouts on them, they do this in light but cool conditions. I put mine in egg boxes so they hold upwards. Then you plant them shoots upwards.  

I know some peeps use old spuds from "shopping" but I buy just a few "seed" ones each year from GC. A lot less likely to have disease.  

They are really easy to grow and so tasty.

23/03/2014 at 19:22

I must be better at this gardening lark than I thought KEF, I have some spuds like that in the cupboard and I didn't even try 

So I get some 'seeds' (that look like small potatoes) from the GC, let them sprout little root things and then plant them, is that right?  Seems too easy??


23/03/2014 at 19:33

Tracey go to GC look for "seed potatoes" it's that easy. I can't say which you'll like but for last few years I've bought Pentland Javelin 1st Earlies. I know other people have preferred ones but these have been reliable, save well, and taste good to me. They are also quite common and easy to find. Let's face it they all taste better than shop ones.   You just need to grow some apple mint to have with them..soz don't go into melt down..

23/03/2014 at 19:38

Homebase do them too Tracey. We plant ours in the ground, really easy to grow and lots of lovely pots to eat. We plant a few different types and at different times so there is a rotation (for want of a better word lol) 

23/03/2014 at 20:29

KEF, I already have mint  Not Applemint though, it's spearmint (I think!).

Thanks KEF and Lily.  I want to try and grow some for Christmas too, I am on a mission to grow all my own Christmas veg this year 

23/03/2014 at 20:46

Thats a great target to head for Tracey, I'm lucky enough to have my allotment 100 yds from my house so on Xmas day I can pop over and pick my sprouts, cut a savoy cabb and pull some parsnips and leeks.


23/03/2014 at 21:28

That's what I want to do Scroggin, but just wander down the garden on Christmas Eve (we prepare all the veg Xmas eve usually), excited already, I just hope I can do it 

23/03/2014 at 22:06

One more quick question, I have 2 bins, should I plant one lot now (earlys?) and one lot later for Christmas?  From 6 seeds how many spuds roughly do I get and how do I know when they are ready?

24/03/2014 at 05:25

" let them sprout little root things" Tracey when you chit them they don't sprout roots, they sprout the beginnings of leaves. Your seed potatoes will have little "eyes" at one end, put them in the egg cartons with these facing up. The roots will grow once they are in the bin. This is what they should look like. Hope this helps, good luck with growing them.

This should help too.


24/03/2014 at 06:40

Hi Tracey. 

Early varieties take approximately 13 weeks between planting and lifting. Maincrop take approximately 22 weeks.

Depending on the variety, you should be expecting a yield of just over 1lb (per seed potato) for early and 2lb for maincrop.

With earlies wait till the flower are fully open then carefully remove some soil from the ridge and check to see if the tubers are about a small egg size. These will be new potatoes.

For maincrop wait till the tops have turned brown and the stem has withered. Then remove (cut off) the haulm and wait 10 days before lifting and storing they will last till the next spring or longer.

Kind regards


24/03/2014 at 08:13

If they don't seem to have chitted much by the time you want to plant them, don't worry. It may get them off to a slightly earlier start, but they'll grow anyway. Might as well choose earlies or second-earlies, as this will give you nice new potatoes at a time when they're expensive in the shops. Charlotte is a good variety, if you see them. They really are easy, give it a go!

24/03/2014 at 08:16

Thank you everyone and LOL Swiss Sue, that's what I meant, like in the picture but I though they were roots  One day I will know what I'm doing.

Im going to try and get compost today and possibly potatoes

24/03/2014 at 08:18

Sorry, one more thing just to make sure I've understood, from what Edd said, I plant both early and main crops at the same time, is that right?

 Thanks for your patience 

24/03/2014 at 08:42

Hi Tracey.

First early: late March. A week or two earlier in south and a week or two later in north.

Second early: Mid April.

Maincrop: Mid to late April.


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