Time to start choos­ing which spud you like

Kent Messenger Maidstone - West Kent Property - - FRONT PAGE -

Gar­den­ers will now be look­ing at new spud va­ri­eties and grow­ing tech­niques at gar­den cen­tres.

Once you have made your choice of the wide va­ri­ety of seed potatoes on of­fer, give them a head start by chit­ting them in egg boxes or on a seed tray lined with news­pa­per on a win­dowsill.

You can buy seed potatoes from many of the county’s gar­den cen­tres or nurs­eries.

Place the potatoes on the tray or in the boxes, on a warm win­dowsill.

Leave them to sprout, which takes around six weeks and when the shoots are 2.5 to 4cm long, the potato tu­bers are chit­ted and ready for plant­ing. This is vi­tal for early potatoes and use­ful for main­crops.

When plant­ing out, potatoes need an open, frost-free site with deep, fer­tile, mois­ture-re­ten­tive soil. The best time for plant­ing is late March and April.

Be­fore plant­ing, sup­ple­ment with a gen­eral fertiliser, such as Grow­more or blood, fish and bone, ap­plied to the soil sur­face or spread along the sides of the drill.

Ib­bett Mosely has been pro­vid­ing in­de­pen­dent pro­fes­sional ad­vice to lo­cal res­i­dents for more than 110 years • Of­fices in Lon­don, Sevenoaks, Ot­ford, Bor­ough Green, Wester­ham and West Malling.

Pic­ture: PA Photo/think­stock­pho­tos

Potatoes chit­ting in egg boxes

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