Here’s a bonus post for you this week!
Growing some of your own food is a great way to reduce packaging waste and one of the easiest and most delicious crops to grow is potatoes!
Contrary to popular belief you do not need a lot of space to grow potatoes – if you live in a high rise flat with only a balcony, you can grow a few potatoes in a pot.
Like the famous poem, ‘Cats sleep anywhere’, potatoes GROW anywhere! You can grow them in an old dustbin, a compost heap or a black bin liner – they’re not fussy at all.
If you want to grow salad potatoes (our favourites are Charlottes) then now is the time to buy them ready for chitting.
Don’t know what chitting is? Then watch our video for the What, Where, Why, how and When of chitting potatoes. For those of you who prefer the written word to the spoken one, here’s some notes taken from the video:
Potato chitting is a way of encouraging the potato to sprout before planting. Unlike leaving a potato in the bottom of a sack by accident, chitting produces small, dark sprouts, The sprouts produced by a forgotten potato are long, white and straggly…
Fans of potato chitting say that chitted potatoes grow faster and you benefit from an earlier crop. They also believe the crop is healthier and the yield larger. Other people think chitting is a waste of time and don’t bother doing it. Whether you do it or not is up to you, but maincrop potatoes don’t need chitting.
You need to start chitting your potatoes 4-6 weeks before you want to plant them. For first earlies you can chit them at the beginning of February and for second earlies you can chit them from Mid February.
Take a few empty egg boxes and fill the cavities with seed potatoes, crown side up. The crown is the end which contains the eyes and it’s usually rounder and slightly ‘blunter’ than the other end.
When you’re chitting potatoes, they need to be kept in a light place such as a windowsill or greenhouse. You don’t have to do anything them, just leave them until you’re ready to plant.
What about you – do you bother to chit potatoes or not?