Author Topic: Is it too early to buy potato seeds?  (Read 298 times)

newspud9

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Is it too early to buy potato seeds?
« on: February 07, 2019, 15:50:29 »
At my local garden centre last week and a good selection of potato varieties available (from first earlies through to main crop).  However, my experience is that you need a maximum of 4 weeks for chitting before sowing, but as that would take me to early March, that's way too early in terms of avoiding last frost.  So, why are potato seeds being sold so early in the year...or do I have my timings wrong. Interested to know what others do.  Thanks for all the comments.

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Is it too early to buy potato seeds?
« on: February 07, 2019, 15:50:29 »

Plot 18

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Re: Is it too early to buy potato seeds?
« Reply #1 on: February 07, 2019, 16:08:18 »
I always buy mine in Jan and start them chitting, as soon as I have them.
Kept coldish (but always above freezing) and in the light, they chit slowly until I plant them in the 2nd half of March or beginning of April depending on the weather.

Tee Gee

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Re: Is it too early to buy potato seeds?
« Reply #2 on: February 07, 2019, 16:22:30 »
I basically agree with Plot!

This is how I look after my seed potatoes;

http://www.thegardenersalmanac.co.uk/Content/P/Potato%20chitting/Potato%20chitting.htm

ACE

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Re: Is it too early to buy potato seeds?
« Reply #3 on: February 07, 2019, 17:05:15 »
No not too early now, aim for planting around the spring equinox. In 2017 a rare late frost for me got the few leaves that were showing through the mounds, did not do much harm apart from a few black tips to the leaves.

Tee Gee

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Re: Is it too early to buy potato seeds?
« Reply #4 on: February 07, 2019, 17:30:13 »
Quote
a rare late frost for me got the few leaves that were showing through the mounds,

I don't earth up (mound) until the haulms emerge from the soil then I cover the haulm with soil as I form the mound.

I find this does two things 1) it protects the haulms from late frost and 2) the haulms generally come up through the ridge of the mound rather than the side of it!

johhnyco15

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Re: Is it too early to buy potato seeds?
« Reply #5 on: February 07, 2019, 19:44:13 »
got mine today they will be put in the shed covered lightly with fleece if they chit in time when i plant them all good if they aint all good i plant them anyway chitted or not it seems to me the yield is the same ill plant some charlotte next week in bags in the unheated greenhouse then plant the rest earlies 2nds and main in tubs by the end of march job done
johhnyc015  may the plot be with you

OldBob

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Re: Is it too early to buy potato seeds?
« Reply #6 on: February 07, 2019, 23:03:45 »
I think all these store buyers are trained the same, in the same institution. Easter eggs are in the supermarkets, they only sell light clothing when it is freezing and winter clothing at the height of summer and the Christmas assault from September is a topic on its own.

newspud9

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Re: Is it too early to buy potato seeds?
« Reply #7 on: February 08, 2019, 16:02:40 »
Thanks for all the comments.  On that basis, I shall start buying now.

Multiveg

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Re: Is it too early to buy potato seeds?
« Reply #8 on: February 09, 2019, 10:58:35 »
One year, I saw a garden centre near where my mother used to live, had seed spuds in at Christmas.
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Tiny Clanger

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Re: Is it too early to buy potato seeds?
« Reply #9 on: February 10, 2019, 14:39:09 »
Bought seed potatoes mid Jan. I keep them in an unheated conservatory. As it looks like I will not be planting till end march this year, I will be putting the earlies out to chit end of February. Planted mid march last year (St Patricks Day). Still too cold and wet and they did not do well  :blob7:
I expect to pass through this world but once; any good thing therefore that I can do, or any kindness that I can show to any fellow creature, let me do it now; let me not defer or neglect it, for I shall not pass this way again.

Digeroo

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Re: Is it too early to buy potato seeds?
« Reply #10 on: February 10, 2019, 16:33:19 »
I just bought mine.  Good selection at the moment.

I did not chit mine last year, as I had a major problem, but rather dumped them by the front door in there paper bags.  I few weeks later end of March, I did not expect much of them, they were the least of my problems.  But they were fine.  Some had some rather long roots, but none were rotting.  So I threw them in the soil expecting a disaster, but they were great.   I am now not at all convinced by the chitting.  Seems to dry them out.

We used to do a potato challenge a few planted really early.  Can anyone remember the date to do this.  I liked having a few really early ones.  I put mine next to a wall, covered with an old window, and they were great.   


galina

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Re: Is it too early to buy potato seeds?
« Reply #11 on: February 10, 2019, 17:44:08 »

We used to do a potato challenge a few planted really early.  Can anyone remember the date to do this.  I liked having a few really early ones.  I put mine next to a wall, covered with an old window, and they were great.   



Mid February from memory.  This would be the next weekend.  Corny Kev used to "supervise" this.  Another long standing member who is missed.  :wave: