chitting potatoes

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Lovely couple of hours down the allotment today with the elves. We know it is really late but we had some potatoes chitted in the house so 4 rows of random potatoes went in. They have two chances….put beans in, yellow, green and runner. The cucumbers and squash are coming along in the greenhouse. So great to see the Logan berry and tayberry flowering, maybe some fruit this year as nothing happened last year. We also appear to have apples, let’s hope they grow.

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The potatoes have chitted beautifully in the cool light environment of the squash court. We’ll be using all of these as new or first early potatoes; kestrel, duke of york, arran pilot, nadine and charlotte. My husband is obsessed with finding and making the perfect roast potato for Sunday lunch, so a small trial will ensue this summer. As if these were not enough to choose from, we also have a variety called Golden Wonder which will be our second earlies and Jazz from Billy the potato man in Norfolk for the main crop. Oh, and the nicola seeds in a giant tub outside of the greenhouse that will be the earliest of all.

Potatoes, potatoes, potatoes. 

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Potato Berries!

This is the first time I’ve ever seen berries form on my potato plants. They look like unripened cherry tomatoes, but make no mistake they are extremely toxic and should never be consumed.  These berries hold the TRUE seeds of the potato; the chits/seed potatoes we plant are simply clones. If you are looking to develop a new hybrid of potatoes, the seeds in these berries are what to plant. It’s no small task to grow from seed; apparently, it can take two years to get a real crop. You might notice that it’s uncommon to find potato berries. I think that’s because most of the potatoes we consume are species that has bred out the ability to form berries. They say keeping these berries could negatively affect the production volume of the crop so it makes sense to remove them.