Newspaper article Evening Chronicle (Newcastle, England)

Eyes on Next Potato Crop; DIARY

Newspaper article Evening Chronicle (Newcastle, England)

Eyes on Next Potato Crop; DIARY

Article excerpt

DARLING SPUDS POTATOES are one of my favourite crops to grow. I love eating them, too, although it's probably not a good idea to eat too many because they belong to the solanum family and I feel eating any solanum can irritate my arthritis.

Mayan and Inca civilisations grew potatoes thousands of years ago. They were an important crop, just as they are today, because they were easy to grow, you could keep your seed potatoes for the next year and you could store them.

Chitting potatoes You start with "chitting". This means putting your spuds in a bright, frost-free place to help them make short, sturdy shoots. Opinion varies about whether or not this is necessary or desirable but in my experience it always works.

Place your spuds in a box, tray or egg carton with the ends showing the most eyes - potential shoots - upwards. After about six weeks, the shoots will be about half an inch long and the potatoes will be ready for planting out. If you're in a cold part of the country delay chitting! …

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