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  1. #1
    Wendy's Avatar
    Wendy is offline Sprouter
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    Feb 2007

    Default 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?

  2. #2
    shirlthegirl43's Avatar
    shirlthegirl43 is offline Gardening Guru
    Join Date
    Jul 2006
    Pembrokeshire, South West Wales


    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. #3
    madderbat is offline Cropper
    Join Date
    Dec 2006


    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. #4
    Mrs Dobby's Avatar
    Mrs Dobby is offline Early Fruiter
    Join Date
    Sep 2006
    Partington, Manchester, UK


    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. #5
    Geordie's Avatar
    Geordie is offline Tuber
    Join Date
    Sep 2005


    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. #6
    Alice's Avatar
    Alice is offline Mature Fruiter
    Join Date
    Feb 2006
    Perthshire, Scotland.
    Blog Entries


    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. #7
    rustylady's Avatar
    rustylady is offline Gardening Guru
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    Oct 2006
    Lowestoft, Suffolk
    Blog Entries


    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. #8
    nick the grief's Avatar
    nick the grief is offline Gardening Guru
    Join Date
    Jan 2006
    Sunny Nunny, Warwickshire


    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 at 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


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