Wednesday, 31 January 2018

Chitting Potato Decisions

The last day of January is shaping up to be cold and showery., like lots of days this month. It's going to finish up as one of the wettest Januarys I've recorded and nearly all of that rainfall has been of a showery nature rather than prolonged spells of rain.
Temperature and Rainfall Records for January 2018
Having bought our seed potatoes over the weekend the question was what to do with them until planting time. I did consider storing them in the garage in potato sacks, where they will be frost free and in the dark. at least until the end of February. That would stop them from sprouting. Once March arrives and hopefully the keenest of frost are finished with then they could be moved into the greenhouse to chit.

However, quite a few of our seed potatoes already had a few sprouts starting to form so I wasn't sure that storing them in the dark was the best option. I decided to store them in the summerhouse which I don't think gets quite as cold as our greenhouse.
2018 Trial Varieties Stored in Summerhouse to Chit
There wasn't enough room in the summerhouse to store our main varieties. The summerhouse still has some of last year's onions in store, a couple of Crown Prince squashes and this year's onion and shallot sets. I decided the main varieties would have to be set to chit in a partially tidied up greenhouse.
Main Potato Varieties Stored in Greenhouse
Provided we don't get any really keen frosts I'm sure that they'll be fine but if some extremely cold weather is forecast I might have to think about moving them into the garage overnight for some extra protection.
They're covered with a couple of layers of fleece for protection. Hopefully, they'll survive and be ready for planting in the allotment by the end of March or beginning of April. I might put a few Casablanca tubers in pots before then to treat us to a few extra early new potatoes.

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