Friday, 12 January 2018

Kestrel - Second Early Spuds Arrive

The 2kg sack of Kestrel - Second Early spuds courtesy of Marshalls arrived a couple of days ago and finally I have them in a tray ready for chitting, which is one of the first jobs of the veg gardening year.

Chitting potatoes means sprouting the tuber – putting it, most eyes upright, in a light, cool but frost-free place at about 50F (10C). Now you try and find somewhere that is light and 10C all day, it's practically impossible to find. They have been put in my Space Saver Greenhouse with a propagator over to keep the temperature up, it's 7C outside and between 8.1 to 8.5 in the greenhouse at the moment but we are looking at falling night time temperatures and possibly -1C and snow next weekend, so this weekend the bottom of the space saver will be cleared and I will start using the terracotta pot heater to keep the frost at bay or when extremely low overnight temperatures are expected bring the spuds indoors for the night.   

The blurb on the Marshalls Web Page said to expect a Pack of (25-30 Tubers) I actually got 24 because there are 7 much larger than the expected egg sized seed potatoes in my sack, indeed they are supposed to be 35mm - 55mm and I have a couple of 80mm, a couple if 70mm & a 60mm spud, but 24 is still enough for a bed and a half or a three row bed of spuds.

I'm using a 24 tray module and they were complimentary so I'm happy, but Marshalls need better quality control with regards size or reduce the number of spuds to 24 on their web site as some customers may not be happy.

They arrived in a box with four breathing holes on 2 on each side and for a moment I expected an animal and not spuds. I have to say they look extremely healthy, and have no large chits on them like you find when buying from a DIY store.   

I may use the three row and place watering pop bottles in the middle row where the holes are crossed which gives me 24 holes to plant in assuming I don't loose any between now and when they go in the ground which is scheduled for the last week of March

Kestrel seed potatoes produce smooth skinned tubers with purple eyes, and a winner of many prizes at exhibition. They have an old fashioned flavour, and make good chips and roasts well because the soft flesh does not absorb much fat. Consistently shows good resistance to slugs and blackleg. which I really need after the slug attacks last year. 

Link to Kestrel details on Marshalls web site

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