The Potato Diaries: January 2019

20190119 swift first earlies (2)

I bought these seed potatoes from the garden centre on 19 January – just as the first snows of winter started.

An independent assessment of this variety by Garden Focused indicates there are a good choice for a first attempt as they have good resistance to pests and diseases, and crop well.

Swift can apparently be planted as early as mid-February, but the website advised me to check the link for dates in my own area.

And they put me in Zone 4, though my nearest town on the list is eight miles away and only 30 metres above sea level, we are at 170 metres.  Perhaps I shouldn’t start chitting my potatoes until the first week of March.

But mine already looked like this when I bought them.

20190119 swift first earlies (1)

I gently removed most of the existing shoots and placed then in individual ‘peat’ pots in the greenhouse to see if I can achieve the desired short and stumpy green shoots.

20190120 (5)

For now, I’ve placed a square of plastic mesh on top in case the field mouse population drop in for a free lunch.

20190120 (7)

I’ll check on them once a week, that way I can remove the mesh before any shoots grow through.

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