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Seed Potatoes

Delicious, versatile and easy

To get your crop going as soon as possible, choose those varieties that have a short growing season, the so-called ‘first earlies’ and ‘second earlies’.  Once you have bought your seed potatoes, start them into growth by sprouting or chitting them four to six weeks before planting.  The advantage of doing this is that it gets them into early growth ready for the season ahead.

Set the tubers on end, with their eyes uppermost in seed trays and place in good light in a cool, frost free place.  A shed or garage is NOT suitable.  Each potato will develop several sturdy green shoots. If the tubers are too dark the shoots will be pale, fragile and prone to breaking.

Another trick for achieving an early crop is the accelerate growth by increasing the soil temperature of the planting area by covering it with black plastic several weeks before planting.  You can plant the potatoes through holes made in the plastic.

Plant your seed potatoes from early to late spring but remember that the shoots are very sensitive to the cold.  If a frost is forecast once the shoots are showing through the soil, draw the soil right over their tops to protect them.  Fleece, straw and newspaper can add extra insulation.