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  • New to the grapevine

    Hello, what a great forum!
    This is my first attempt at growing vegetables, something i have always wanted to do but never had the space. In my desperation i decided to make what little room i have into vegetable plot. I have made a very small polytunnel (3m x 2m and 1m tall), bought a minature green house (one of those polythene ones with four shelves) have two long pots for broad beans and peas and have four large pots for potatoes and an attempt at sweetcorn . My windowsills are full of very lovely looking seedlings and i am ready to get started. The only thing is i have no experience of this so i was delighted to find this forum full of information and tips.

    My first question is......I have seed potatoes 'Pentland Javelin' and two nice big pots, when should i put the potatoes in the pots and should i start them off inside? I was gradually going to build them up, so when the shoots start growing i cover with soil and keep doing this till the shoots reach the top. Is this the best method for pots of potatoes?
    The closer to nature I become the more alive I am!

  • #2
    Welcome to the vine Wendy. You are right, it is full of useful information and helpful people. Sounds like you are at the same stage I was this time last year! I had great fun experimenting last year and hope you do this year.

    You sound like you have it about right for the spuds idea but I am not sure about the time to put them in - have read somewhere that St Paddy's day is the right time. I wouldn't worry about keeping them indoors as by the time they have shoots outside the soil the danger of frost should be over. Not quite clear on the reason for earthing up in stages over filling the pot at the start of the process but followed the earthing up method last summer and had lovely spuds so will do that again this year.

    Enjoy your gardening and my biggest tip is right everything down in a big notebook - that way you can try different things and compare the results.
    Happy Gardening,


    • #3
      Hi Wendy and welcome. Good to have another Cousin Jack on board, we will have to swap pasty recipes!

      As far as potatoes in pots go, Bubblewrap planted ours a couple of weeks ago and they don't seem to have come to much harm yet.

      We are going to put some others in the lottie though, and they haven't gone in yet. I think in pots, if you keep them deep and fairly sheltered they should be alright. Some people grow them this way for Christmas.

      Best of luck with everything. Keep us posted.


      • #4
        Hi Wendy and a warm welcome to the madhouse oft known as the 'vine!

        Your spuds should be planted sometiume about Easter, being in Cornwall the frost risk should have passed by the time they get above ground, but for now I'd suggest chitting them, by placing in a cool (frost free) light place, with the 'rose' end uppermost (the rose end is the one with the most eyes), egg cartons make ideal holders for chitting your spuds!

        Anyhows, just wanted to welcome you to the vine and hope you find it as much fun as the rest of us do!
        Suzanne (aka Mrs Dobby)

        'Garden naked - get some colour in your cheeks'!

        The Dobby's Pumpkin Patch - an Allotment & Beekeeping blogspot!
        Last updated 16th April - Video intro to our very messy allotment!
        Dobby's Dog's - a Doggy Blog of pics n posts - RIP Bella gone but never forgotten xx
        On Dark Ravens Wing - a pagan blog of musings and experiences


        • #5
          Welcome Wendy, enthusiasm is the only thing you need to grow your own, everything else will be picked up along the way.

          Te audire non possum. Musa sapientum fixa est in aure


          • #6
            Welcome to the Vine Wendy. Hope you have a great growing season. With regards to your question about filling the potato containers to the top to start with, or earthing them up as you go - well - it's up to yourself. Some people have done it both ways and say it makes no difference. I earth up as I go with good results. I do it because - psychologically I can see the beauties coming, and it has always worked for me. I think with many things there is no right and wrong way - do what feels right for you. Happy growing and keep us posted with progress, ideas, questions - we all learn from other grapes questions.
            CORNWALL - how lovely. Would be good to know if you have an earlier growing season there than the rest of us.

            From each according to his ability, to each according to his needs.


            • #7
              Welcome Wendy, I used to live near Plymouth (many years ago now). You're really lucky living down there - you don't usually have problems with late frosts. If you're putting your spuds in pots and can protect from frost you could try starting them now. I wouldn't put any into open ground until around Easter though.


              • #8
                Hi Wendy welcome to the vine. I know someone called Horace from Plymouth do you If you can give them a bit of shelter theen you could plant them now but I would wait a couple of weeks. I usually put a layer of compost in the bottom of the tubs then the spuds then about 3" of sompost over them and as the shoots grow I top them up till they are full - I don't know why I do it this way other than thats how my dad did it and it worked for him!

                Once the Haulms are tall you may want to put some canes down the side of the pots with some string around them to give them a bit of suport as some varieties can get quite large.
                Last edited by nick the grief; 14-02-2007, 08:15 PM.
                Never be afraid to try something new.
                Remember that a lone amateur built the Ark.
                A large group of professionals built the Titanic



                • #9
                  Hi - I've got some Pentland Javelin too. I'm just starting to chit them and will probably plant them out, here in Bristol, in 5 or 6 weeks, towards the end of March.


                  • #10
                    hello and welcome wendy, guess all i can say is enjoy every moment in your veg plot and i know your going to enjoy all the moments on here.


                    • #11
                      Hello Wendy and welcome to the Vine. You will be growing things entirely different to me, being either end of the country, but it is enthusiasm and enjoyment which are the main ingredients! Have fun!
                      Aerodynamically the bumblebee shouldn't be able to fly, but the bumblebee doesn't know that so it goes on flying anyway.
                      ~ Mary Kay Ash


                      • #12
                        Wow! thanks for your comments you lovely lot, i feel all welcome now! Great idea about the note book Shirley, i will do that, i think its all gonna be trial and error (or success) this year!
                        Looking forward to sharing experiences (and pasty recipes!) with you, to be honest im getting a bit obsessed by the whole vegetable growing thing.
                        I dont know Horace, Nick but im defo gonna try this potato in pots building up gradually like your Dad did (Mums and Dads know best!).
                        Greenlung thats two coincidences now, same potato type and i come from Bristol too, i moved to Cornwall 19 years ago i was on a weeks holiday and never went home again........too lovely down here!
                        Thanks again everyone
                        The closer to nature I become the more alive I am!



                        • #13
                          Welcome Wendy.....
                          "Nicos, Queen of Gooooogle" and... GYO's own Miss Marple


                          • #14
                            welcome aboard am sure you'll find plenty of advice on here
                            The love of gardening is a seed once sown never dies ...


                            • #15
                              Welcome to the madhouse Wendy, enjoy.
                              Bright Blessings

                              If at first you don't succeed, open a bottle of wine.


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