I’m a bit late to the party, but finally my spud-growing season has begun and the little blighters are chitting away on top of my kitchen cupboards (HT to Clairesallotment for the cupboard idea!).
Explainer: Chitting is the process by which you leave a potato somewhere comfy for a few weeks to grow some little shoots. We’ve all done it inadvertently in the veg drawer plenty of times. But when prepping the potato crop, most people lay out their ‘seed potatoes’ on trays somewhere light and cool (not cold) so each one can sprout healthy little protrusions.
Then you carefully plant them in the ground (more on that in a few weeks) and the sprouts grow and branch like crazy, forming brand new potatoes on the end. Some people don’t bother with the chitting process and just let it happen in the ground. To others that’s just crazy talk! I’ll probably try the no-chit method one year when I’ve left everything too late to bother.
Turns out that putting the seed potatoes out in the egg boxes I’d saved (their comfy place) is another toddler-friendly gardening job…so long as you can cope with seeing them get a bit of rough treatment.
I’ve gone for two first early varieties; Arran Pilot (my Dad reckons they have the best flavour) and Sharpe’s Express (because it was nearby on the shelf and the packet said you could roast them – keeping Mr MBaF happy). I’ve given them lotty space for three rows of 10ish plants, 1.5 row per variety.
I’m not growing maincrop (e.g. King Edward, Desiree, Maris Piper) this year, as explained in my planning post.
Now I just need to find some time to prepare the ground for them…