The world of domesticated potato growing is a venerable one, going back some 9000 years to the shores of Lake Titicaca on the border of Peru and Bolivia. This ‘super food’ (it has pretty much got every nutrient you need keep healthy) has since become the fourth most important food crop in the world. The biggest cultivator of potato is China.

However with over 5000 varieties of potato worldwide, the potatoes grown in China or Africa or in South America are probably different from those we favour in Ireland. Our favourite spud bought by almost half of Irish consumers is the Rooster, which was bred here expressly to suit the Irish palate.

Early varieties (such as Colleen or Orla) get sown first, followed by ‘second earlies (such as Carlingford) a few weeks later. The main crop (such as Rooster) is planted later in Spring to mature later giving a bigger yield and some is stored until the ‘earlies’ are harvested the next year.

Before planting my few Orla seed potatoes in grow bags at the end of February, I first show them light in a frost free environment for a couple of week so that they sprout. This can speed them on their way once they are planted in a soil and compost mixture.

Chitting is the word used to sprout seed potatoes before planting. It is a simple procedure as the following video shows. The only precaution worth noting is be sure your seed potatoes are disease free. I make sure I buy mine as ‘certified seed potato’, for peace of mind.


7 responses to this post.

  1. Cool! My dad just bought some seed potatoes. I must tell him about the egg carton. 🙂

    Also, your cat is gorgeous.


  2. Hi Trevor,
    Thank you for your video it was very informative as I am interested in starting a small vegetable patch. I live in rented accommodation it has to be small. I wonder if you can recommend seed boxes suitable for potatoes,veg, salad & flower seeds. Price is a consideration and locally sourced as I do not drive but live in Crumlin. I appreciate any advise you can give me on this as I am very keen to start soon.

    Kind regards
    Colette O’Toole


    • Dear Colette,
      Good to hear from you. Growing in a small space is very satisfying. Sprouting mung beans etc on a window sill is where I began. Then I planted one seed potato in a plastic bag of soil, keeping it watered on a small patio. I grow radishes and lettuce in a window box. Let me know how you get on.
      happy growing,
      Trevor Sargent TD


    • Sorry for delay, Colette. I hope a look around a garden centre now spring is arriving will answer the questions you pose. regards. Trevor


    • Hi Colette,

      Hope you got the containers you needed to get food growing.

      Happy growing,
      Trevor sargent


  3. […] STARTING EARLY POTATOES IN EGG BOXES! – FIRST WEEK IN FEBRUARY 2010 February 2010 2 comments Possibly related posts: (automatically generated)#1 Page and Top 3 Posts In 2009Reboot11,000!!! LikeBe the first to like this post. […]


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