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Growing Your Own Fruit and Vegetables

We grow our own fruit and vegetables for our meals for as much of the year as we can. Without a greenhouse we have to buy shop food in the winter months but in the spring, summer and autumn we often have enough to share with family and friends.

Read about growing your fruit and vegetables here on my growing your own food pages.

Friday, 25 February 2011

Seed potatoes, buy, chit, getting ready to plant seed potatoes

By now unless you live in the North of the UK (in which case you will probably plant your seed potatoes later in the season)  you should have purchased your seed potatoes. if you wish to chit them then now is the time to put them to chit.

To Chit Seed Potatoes.

  • Place them the seed potatoes in egg boxes or seed trays to support them and keep them neat. You need to put them with the end facing up that will develop the shoots that are called chits. These are not the roots but are the part that will eventually form the foliage of the potato plant. Do not forget to label up your seed potatoes with the variety and also if they are first earlies, second earlies or main crops. I know the first year you buy seed pots. you will probably think labelling is not important, I did the first year. Now I label everything so that I know what I am planting, what I have planted and where I have planted it.  that is called learning by your mistakes, seed potatoes look very similar to one another when lined up in egg cartons so it is all to easy to plant your main crops when you intend to plant your first earlies if you do not label them clearly. 
  • Your seed potatoes will be needing a storage place that is cool and frost free and has light too. 
  • Be careful if you put them in a shed that they are protected from late frosts and also mice.
Now you can visit your potatoes every few days and watch them develop tiny sprouting shoots which should be healthy and sturdy and not straggly, pale and thin. If they are pale and thin they need more light.

If you want to know which way up the potatoes go in the boxes to chit then look at the ends and you should see that one end of the potato has more little marks that will develop into shoots than the other

By the way even if you do not intend to put your potatoes to chit before planting them you should take care not to plant them out while there is a  risk of frost.  First earlies will be the first ones to go in when the weather is right. The further south you live in the UK the earlier your potatoes will be able to go in, not just yet though.

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a healthy potato plant in flower

a healthy potato plant in flower
photo of potatoes in flower

home grown carrots.. grown from seed

home grown carrots.. grown from seed
photo of my first bunch of carrots 2009

Even a small batch of mixed fruit can be useful

Even a small batch of mixed fruit can be useful
Home Grown Fruit can be made into delicious compote