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Chitting Pretty

Team GIB Member Mike says its time to chit those potatoes! He says:" The photo shows 3 varieties of potato set out for chitting.

The varieties are, top, Cara. This is a main crop variety that I find produces potatoes of a larger size, which are therefore great for baking. I also find it a good roasting potato. I find this a more drought resistant variety.

Middle of the picture is Kestrel, a second early variety, which I find good for mashing or roasting.

At the bottom of picture is Charlotte, an early variety for new potato and salad.

Chitting is where you place the potatoes in a container (as you can see I use egg boxes) with their small shoots uppermost. This allows the shoots to form before they are planted to give them a bit of a head start.

You need to place the potatoes in a light, cool and frost free environment. If I can choose the potatoes myself, I select ones about the size of a hen's egg.

I will plant the Charlottes in late March, unless the weather is very cold/frosty. Rows about 50cm apart and 30cm in the row. plant about 15cm deep. As the shoots emerge, mound the soil up to cover them, this helps potato production and helps to protect them from frost. They should be ready to lift about June time.

The Kestrel and Cara I will plant in April with the rows about 60cm apart, 30cm in rows and 15cm deep. Mound the soil over shoots as with the Charlottes. These I will lift about September/October time and store in sacks in my garage. "

Do let us know if you have any questions about this or any other task in the garden at this time of year - and you can follow our social media channels for Mikes monthly gardening tips.

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