You say po-tay-toe and I say po-tar-toe? Tis that time of year to start thinking about potato growing if you are kitchen gardening inclined, which I am!
I noticed on the ever useful twitter a couple of weeks ago that the Two Thirsty Gardeners are hosting The Great British Spud Off (#spudoff ) this year. The rules are very basic and simple:
Plant up to 5 Pink Fur Apple potatoes in a recycled container of your choice. It could be for example an old compost bag, tyres, an avant garde statement piece fashioned out of from junk lying around your garden…whatever inspires you!
Include some basic growing info such as date planted, soil or compost used, any food feed applied and if you chitted them first and when your spuds are ready just send a photo over to the Two Thirsty Gardeners with the overall weight.
And that’s it! My mind is whirring with what to use for my container. I am about to chit my pink fir apples too. Some would say this is a little on the late side. And others would not bother to chit at all!
What’s all this chitting about?
Chitting is basically putting the potatoes in a light place to encouraging sprouting.
Each seed potato has a more rounded, blunt end that has a number of ‘eyes’.
Stand the tubers with the blunt end uppermost in trays or old egg boxes, with plenty of natural light.
The potatoes are ready to be planted out when the shoots are 1.5-2.5cm (0.5-1in) long.
If you want to take part in The Great British Spud Off 2013 then head over here.
Edited to add in: If you are a complete novice – go to your local garden centre to buy your seed potatoes. They will have small packs available and if you are lucky open sacks where you can pick and choose which varieties with a glossary card that explains what all the different varieties are. Pink Fir Apples for the purpose of this #spudoff are known as ‘First Earlies’ which means they are the one of the varieties that can be planted the earliest in the year. You can add different varieties at later stages in the year for different things! Pink Fir Apples are very nobbly and are excellent salad potatoes. I will posting later on around Easter time when it’s time to plant the potatoes so you have plenty of time to organise your container. Make sure it has some good depth to it (a dustbin for example!).