First lot of potatoes in the ground (well dirt at least!).

After chitting the potatoes back in February I just got the first lot in the ground. I put these seed potatoes (four varieties) to chit much earlier than I normally do, so they’ve been slow. Normally three weeks would be sufficient to get some sprouts about 25mm long. After five weeks these Red Duke of York (first earlies) were ready so into the soil they can go.

Seed potatoes laying in a green tray chitting.
Seed potatoes chitting

Once you have 25/35mm of shoots, just pinch all but one, then place them upright into the ground.

Normally I place spuds in trenches in the ground, but in the past few years I’ve been putting First Earlies into these repurposed water butts (that were leaking). I put them half way down, cover with a bit of soil, then as the shoots appear keep earthing over until the butts are full. Potatoes grow above the seed potato so if you keep them deep you get more potatoes! Otherwise any that grow above the ground, and get exposed to light, go green (which makes them poisonous!).

Seed potatoes laying ion alayer of earth
Seed potatoes at the bottom of a waterbutt
Two green waterbutts by a fence on the river's edge.
Waterbutts