Chitting Potatoes and Digging Over. Still Using Paraffin Heater

Digging the plot

It was lovely and sunny to start the day but my customers all seemed to decide Friday morning was the time to drop little jobs on me. The beauty of working from home and being your own boss is you can choose your own hours of work. The truth is that you work for two masters – the customers and the bank.

Anyway, come the afternoon I dropped onto the plot. I really felt in need of some fresh air, looking further than a computer screen and some exercise. So nearly finished the digging on the bottom patch of plot 5.

The soil is pretty waterlogged as the photo shows and it was tiring. I dug over about 10 square yards and really feel it in my shoulders as I sit here and type away.


Returned home just after 4.30 pm – it was still light. The days are getting longer, thank goodness. Into the greenhouse where it was dropping in temperature so lit one side of the paraffin heater.

Chitting Potatoes

The potato order arrived yesterday so I’m chitting them in the front, north facing bedroom. It’s the coldest room in the house being above the integral garage which is unheated. This house is very warm – double glazed, cavity wall insulated and roof insulated – so it’s about 15 degrees in there, which is warmer than I’d like but the shed is a little risky if we have a hard frost. See photo and this article on growing potatoes.

I’ve got the following varieties:

  • Adora – the ‘low calorie’ potato. Well it was free.

  • Anya – my favourite salad potato, nutty tasting and it seems very slug resistant.

  • Sarpo Mira – we grew this maincrop last year with excellent results but it does not fry or roast well at all.

  • Sarpo Axona – the new ‘Sarpo’ which should be more of an ‘all rounder’. The Sarpo types are blight resistant, slug resistant (to some degree) and prolific.

I still need another first early but I only want about half a bag – maybe I can do a deal with Larry and split a bag of Arran Pilot.


While I was in the bedroom I noticed the brassicas have germinated. Because the greenhouse is full the sowings are taking over the rest of the house!

I’ll move them on to modules as soon as they are big enough to handle.

Solar Power

I mentioned buying some solar powered cooling fans for the greenhouses and that I thought they cost little to make and might even import them myself. Well I tracked down the manufacturer in Hong Kong and have placed an enquiry. I’ve a pal who has contacts there as well and reckon the shipping costs will work out to about 50p a unit. More on this as it develops.

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