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Tempted to plant the potatoes early


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Michael196
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PostPosted: Sun Jan 25, 2009 3:48 pm    Post subject: Tempted to plant the potatoes early Reply with quote

I bought some earlies seed today. As the sun is beaming down on some well composted raised ground ready for planting potatoes.

While March is the timeline fro planting, could I proceed at risk ? in the next week or two ?

Am in the sunny south east. What is the earliest people have gone at ?


This is my second year on potatoes, with a successful crop last year.
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Organicgrowingpains
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PostPosted: Sun Jan 25, 2009 9:13 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hi Micheal, I know Wexford is the sunny south east but it is a bit early yet. I got British Queen seed on Saturday but have them indoors in the shed chitting before putting them out hopefully around March. You don't say if you are chitting them or putting them straight into the ground?
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ian
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PostPosted: Sun Jan 25, 2009 11:03 pm    Post subject: earlies Reply with quote

hello michael, last year i put my earlies at the end of february (they were foremost) i covered the area with glass raised three inches off the ground, this kept them frost free and also warmed the ground. i did'nt chit them and was harvesting a fine crop before june, leaving the precious little room available for the main crop harvested in october. i would certainly give it a go if i was in the south east, keep raising the glass as your crop grows until april. best of luck ian, plot based in tallaght.
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Michael196
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PostPosted: Mon Jan 26, 2009 2:30 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hi Ian

I had not thought of using glass. I have a few glass panes hanging around, and I am very tempted to give it a shot, using some cover.

maybe even one of those small plastic tunnels might do the job untill april.
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nemo
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PostPosted: Mon Jan 26, 2009 7:13 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

my potato orla from fruit hill farm in bantry are planted in a polytunnel for almost 2 weeks now i planted them and covered the soil over them with plastic to raise the temperature a little .this will be removed in a few weeks depending on the weather the rest of them will be planted this week.i have been doing this for a while now and touch wood everything will go fine again this season
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Michael196
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PostPosted: Tue Jan 27, 2009 7:00 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I bought some small plastic tunnels yesterday, so I have some time off on wednesday to do this.

Nemo, Do I realy need to chit before I plant ??
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Michael196
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PostPosted: Tue Jan 27, 2009 7:18 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Nemo, when are you harvesting when you plant so early ??
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Organicgrowingpains
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PostPosted: Tue Jan 27, 2009 11:57 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hi to all on the subject of to chit or not to chit.Maybe you would like to visit my blog to see what happened to mine!
www.organicgrowingpains.blogspot.com Crying or Very sad Crying or Very sad Crying or Very sad Crying or Very sad

I will do a post later when i have time to upload the photos.Watch this space!

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Organicgrowingpains
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PostPosted: Tue Jan 27, 2009 11:39 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I put seed potatoes to chit in the shed on 25th jan.The following morning I opened the door to let in some light and could not believe what I saw. They had been chewed, there were chunks taken out of some of them.
I have since been told that rats love potatoes and any stored produce can fall prey to them.
My shed is slightly raised off the ground and I have been told they could be nesting under there for the winter!
2 compost bins are close by but I don't put anything cooked in to them, the usual veg peelings, teabags ,paper etc.
Compost bins will have to be moved as soon as the weather improves and a wire mesh shield around the base of the shed to deter them from getting under.
I have also been told bait should be set under a shed or raised decking as they provide shelter near housing for them. The wire mesh stops them getting in and prevents household pets from getting in if bait is laid.
I chitted seed there last year without any incidents.I went back to the garden centre with my tale of woe and I was told I could still use the potatoes just cut off the damaged parts as long as there were eyes in the remaining piece they would chit.This is what farmers do if this happens.I can't see me handling them! I will replace the seed as soon as I think the coast is clear or bring them inside.
I bought a small (1 kg) bucket of bait in the CoOp and there was a huge stock up to quite large bucket size so I am not the only one with the problem. I set out the bait in 3 plastic containers , on the shelf and floor and it was all gone this morning.I have refilled the containers this evening so will update on that.
The first photo shows the seed sitting pretty eyes up in their trays (egg boxes)! the other two photos show the damage done to them.
GPI question: Do potatoes need to chit , apart from this ,is there a school of thought for and against? Confused Confused Confused



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James Kilkelly
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PostPosted: Wed Jan 28, 2009 12:56 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Organicgrowingpains wrote:

GPI question: Do potatoes need to chit , apart from this ,is there a school of thought for and against? Confused Confused Confused


Thanks for the warning post Organicgrowingpains. The only way i like to see potatoes demolished is on my plate. Confused
I added a link to your sad but valuable post in this article as well How to chit potatoes

Your question.....
Chitting gives your seed potatoes a head start in terms of growth, as it forces the seed potatoes to produce buds before they are even planted, an encouragement that results in earlier and heavier cropping. Earlier cropping has the added bonus of getting your first and second earlies in and out of the soil before potato blight becomes a problem.

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Organicgrowingpains
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PostPosted: Wed Jan 28, 2009 1:31 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thanks GPI ,will have another go at it. Poison has been completely taken on two mornings running so I think there is more than one rodent running around!
Mad Mad Mad

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Michael196
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PostPosted: Thu Jan 29, 2009 9:00 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Coleen

DId I read on you own site that you were loooking for Coleen ?? I have seen these seed potatoes in a shop locally, I can arrange to colect and post if you wish. they come in taylors bags with 10 seeds for about 2:49 euro
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Michael196
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PostPosted: Fri Jan 30, 2009 4:18 am    Post subject: Sown in January 09 Reply with quote

Hi folks

Just planted (27th jan) Coleen and epicure new potatoes under plastic,

and broad beans. Also have some tomatoes in the propagator.
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Organicgrowingpains
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PostPosted: Tue Feb 03, 2009 1:12 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Rodent update: I put out 3 pieces of bait in a plastic container as per instructions on bucket . I used four containers, 1 on the bench where the seeds were, 1 underneath on the floor, 1 just inside the door and 1 outside underneath the shed. All of the bait was taken on 4 mornings!
None of it has been touched for the past 2 mornings so I am hoping?
I will do more seed for chitting at the weekend and hope for the best.
Smile Smile Smile Smile

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Organicgrowingpains
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PostPosted: Fri Feb 06, 2009 11:59 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Well eternal optimist that I am, I set new seeds today! I received new seed potatoes from Micheal in Wexford, thanks Micheal. They are organic first early Coleen which I was having trouble locating here, I discarded all potatoes that had any sign of a tooth mark and the egg boxes they were in. Over half of the original seed are gone. I had bought another bag of the British Queens , a second early,so the photo shows on the left the survivors, in the centre the replacement ones and on the right the Coleen. The plastic trays at the back still have bait ( I am not that optimistic)! which has been untouched for 5 days now and I also have it on the floor and underneath the shed outside. Cool Cool Cool Cool


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