The Tatties Thread 2020

Discussion in 'Edible Gardening' started by JWK, Mar 28, 2020.

  1. JWK

    JWK Gardener

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    I am going to plant my early spuds this weekend. As usual I force a few early ones in the greenhouse. They are chitting in a tray of compost to encourage both chits and roots for a fast start.

    This year like many others on here we need to grow more, so I'm going to cut my seed to have one chit per section and plant those. I have done this in the past, it's a good trick to multiply up the number of plants you can grow without spending a fortune on seed.

    I'll keep you posted on the method I use.

    I will do the same for my maincrop, which will be going in soon.
     
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    • Scrungee

      Scrungee Well known for it

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      I'm currently chitting Picasso, Jazzy, Salad Blue and Mayan Rose, also saved Kennebec and Kondor. First spuds to go in pots and bags 1st April, or if my home tunnel isn't ready I'll get them started in cell trays.

      Some of the Kondors have already been planted in trays of moist MPC to produce shoots for taking cuttings, plus I'll sterilize some rooted chits, all as posted here Producing your own seed spuds from mini tubers
       
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      • JWK

        JWK Gardener

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        I'm growing Setanta (maincrop blight resistant) & Winston (First early lovely taste).
        Here's the tray of chitting Setanta 2.5Kg
        20200328_113202.jpg

        Cut each one into 3 to 5 pieces, each with an 'eye' and trying to keep each piece about the same size. Before:


        20200328_113603.jpg


        After:
        20200328_113731.jpg

        I used to puff yellow sulphur onto the wounds, but these days I let them dry/callous for a couple of days before planting. I now have four times the amount of seed:
        20200328_115733.jpg
         
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        • Scrungee

          Scrungee Well known for it

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          If you want to try an experiment, keep some rose ends and other ends separate and compare the yields/size of tubers.
           
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          • JWK

            JWK Gardener

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            I might if I can find time to keep them separate. My guess would be the rose ends will produce more tubers and bigger weight.
             
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            • Scrungee

              Scrungee Well known for it

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              I got a Blightwatcht alert at 6:02 this morning and I haven't even planted a single spud out yet. If this is their idea of a joke I'm not amused.
               
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              • Kristen

                Kristen Under gardener

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                I'm on slightly different approach this year (to take advantage of the new bigger-greenhouse)

                I've always grown half a dozen Bags, or large Pots, of .... ermmm ... Pots :) but I find them a nightmare to water in the final stages (maybe it is just me??) Either too dry, or a whole "vertical zone" that is water logged. (**)

                I used to start the Bags / Pots off in Utility room, until they were "above-compost", then conservatory and then, once the cold greenhouse was warm enough, and the plants were getting uncooperatively big, the greenhouse. And then when space was needed from Toms etc. "outside" for the last bit. Moving them with all that foliage was a challenge too, particularly if I forgot to put stakes in at the outset, to string-around ... which (you know me :) ) was "most years"

                So this year instead of chitting the super-early ones (4 Rocket, don't like the flavour much, but can't argue with them being well-named for their Speed :) , Arran Pilot for the Early First Earlies and then Charlotte thereafter) I've potted them. The tiddler Seeds in 9cm, the bigger ones in 1L. Talking of which ... I've got my Seed Potatoes from JBA for donkey's years, but their grading is dreadful ... some I would be impressed to have created myself for Baking ...

                Starting them in small pots takes up a lot less space than Bag/Big-Pot initially, and then my plan is to plant them straight out into greenhouse bed and, at the same time, plant the (by then) chitted ones too so the ones at start-of-row will have a head start.

                Clearly the soil will be quite cold still ... perhaps I should plant those extra-early ones on into Deep Rose pots before then planting out somewhat later? Am I likely to have trouble with getting the rootball to hold together during planting?

                I should be doing some the old way, in Bags/Pots, for comparison of course ... but I'm not.

                (**) Reminds me of an interesting video by Terry King; I enjoy watching him; I like to think that I'm a practical bloke, but he effortlessly engineers solutions to problems I didn't even know I had :) He seems to be able to find discarded 40L fabric-mat RhizoPots, which have been used for a suitable cash crop :whistle: to pay for LED Grow lights, and are still filled with best-quality Coir compost. By the by, stumbling on a stash of them by the roadside would be a Find; doing so repeatedly would raise eyebrows, right? Terry seems to have done it as often as the fancy took him :)

                The stuff is bone dry of course. As an experiment he stuffed a doubled-up strip of capillary matting up from underneath, and dangled the loose ends in a trough of water, and the whole pot re-irrigated itself, by itself. Might well be the right answer to Potato bags/Pots.



                Its 5m55 in (direct link) - don't think its possible to SET that with embedded video here?
                 
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                • Debra-the-Zebra

                  Debra-the-Zebra Apprentice Gardener

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                  Wow, I didn't know you could cut the tatties up to provide more seeds! I was looking at mine (which I'm planting out in a couple of weeks) and thinking I should have bought more, so thank you.
                   
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                  • Scrungee

                    Scrungee Well known for it

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                    I've been starting my earlies off in cell trays for years. Got the idea of starting off Kondor seed potatoes (for biggest potato class) from other growers methods posted online. Their foliage responds well to growlights.

                    Earlies in cell trays prior to topping up with MPC

                    spuds in cells.jpg

                    Kondor (restricted to one stem to produce single large tuber) in 3L pots shortly before planting out

                    big spuds2.jpg
                     
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                    • Kristen

                      Kristen Under gardener

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                      Thanks. That's a lot easier than potting them ... I could start a tray-full off chitting and fill up e.g. one row with MPC once a week, and after 5 weeks the tray would be filled and Spuds with one-week headstarts

                      Are they for show? (If so didn't know that you did that sort of thing ...)
                       
                    • Scrungee

                      Scrungee Well known for it

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                      One of my spuds:

                      GC kondor.jpg

                      The World Record:

                      PG Kondor.JPG
                       
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                      • Kristen

                        Kristen Under gardener

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                        Ah .. its a self portrait rather than a show bench exhibit :)

                        Do you do Long Parsnips or anything else along those lines?
                         
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                        • Scrungee

                          Scrungee Well known for it

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                          Only Marrows and long Runner Beans. And everything gets eaten except suff saved for propagation the following year.


                          marrow biggest 2015.jpg

                          long bean.JPG
                           
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                          • Scrungee

                            Scrungee Well known for it

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                            In addition to planting earlies in 15x cell trays to get a head start before planting in bags/pots initially under cover in polytunnels, when my heavy clay soil has still been waterlogged approaching maincrop planting out time for open ground, I've put the chitted tubers in 5"? pots so they can continue growing until ground conditions improve.

                            @Kristen @JWK is another GC member who starts off seed spuds in compost
                             
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                            • JWK

                              JWK Gardener

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                              Yes I do, to get some really early spuds. They are now in old plastic recycling boxes in the greenhouse. When I remember I'll take some photos, had to fleece them over tonight in case of frost.

                              This year all my seed potatoes are starting in MPC, mainly because I sliced them into 4 parts and wanted to get them started quickly before they shrivelled too much.
                               
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