Posts Tagged ‘potato days’

Now is the time to order your seed potatoes or better still, to see if there is a ‘potato day’ near you where you can get to talk to the suppliers and buy varieties that you didn’t know even existed. Potatoes are listed as 1st earlies (ready in June and always very expensive to buy), 2nd earlies, maincrop and late varieties so you can dig up a fresh crop all summer long and even into autumn. At fairs you can buy tubers in small quantities-especially useful when you only have a small space or growbag to plant them in and you get to see some amazing heritage and heirloom varieties. These following websites will take you to lists of potato days that are being held all over the country in the next 2 months;

http://www.potato-days.net/ and http://www.potatoday.org/potatodays.htm

A variety of heritage potatoes

I’ve spotted a potato day in London on February 27th that I’m going to try and get to. It’s at the Garden Museum in London and it promises 100 plus varieties of potatoes for sale by the single tuber, onion sets, shallots, garlic, Heritage Seeds, fruit trees, rhubarb crowns and much more. Sounds like my kind of fun!

If you can’ get to a potato fair, then there are plenty of online suppliers to order from too. I  ordered some Pink Fir Apple seed potatoes (a ‘late season’ variety who’s delicious nutty flavoured potatoes will be ready to eat in September/October) and they were with me in a matter of days. Impressive! All I need to do now is to chit them. What does ‘chitting’ mean? Chitting just means encouraging  potatoes to sprout before they are put into the ground, especially useful to get early  varieties off to a flying start.

Chitting potatoes

Place potatoes with the end with most ‘eyes’ upwards in egg boxes or trays. Make sure they are placed in a frost free, cool, light position such as a garage or shed with windows or an unheated spare room. If there is not enough light, the shoots will become pale and elongated, which will weaken the potato and be more likely to snap off when planting.
So keep an eye on them, as short sturdy sprout are the ideal. Potatoes should take about 6 weeks to chit and early varieties can be planted out mid-late March and April, depending on where you live in the country.
There are plenty of specialist suppliers online, such as Carrolls Heritage Potatoes and all the major seed suppliers such as Suttons, Marshalls, Mr. Fothergill’s, Thomson and Morgan and Dobies offer a range of potatoes too.

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