When the weather tricks us like this, with warm sunshine through the window, it’s hard not to get sowing seeds - but I know it’s too early. It’s still February for goodness sake! 

I’m already thinking of getting the potatoes chitted and have ordered some International Kidney (Jersey Royal) seed potatoes. They are early/second early potatoes and let’s face it, the best new potatoes for a potato salad. They should arrive in the next couple of weeks and I’ll get them into the ground mid March for starting to harvest early June I hope. 

photo from Thompson-Morgan.com

photo from Thompson-Morgan.com

If you don’t know about chitting potatoes - it’s all about giving the shoots a head start before they go in the ground. You place the seed potatoes in a light place with the eyes facing up and let them shoot. You then plant them shoot up in the ground and they charge up toward the light. You only need do this for earlier varieties. later ones have enough time in the warmer ground to sort themselves out.

The garden plan I wrote last Autumn was always going to be open to change. I’ve still got an area of turf I haven’t lifted yet so some of the things I planned will either have to move or be grown in pots. There were some real successes last year which chef wants us to repeat such as the spinach, the runner beans and the lovage, but the one thing I will be able to get started on before the end of February is the pea shoots. These sweet shoots, bursting with pea flavour, are great garnish for some of our dishes and particularly the home-made Black Pudding served with poached egg and bacon sprinkles. I also plan to grow rocket to be harvested young, and micro radish.

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