Potato preparation can begin under glass

Gardeners looking for a good potato crop this year can boost their chances by taking the time to prepare either in the shed or under glass in the greenhouse.

According to the Daily Telegraph, the chances of success are increased by keeping young potatoes protected from frost by carrying out potato-chitting in January prior to their outdoor planting in April.

"Place your early potatoes on egg boxes or trays in a cool, frost-free shed rose end up to allow the tubers to develop firm shoots," the newspaper advised.

"Sprouts will form within a few weeks and help newly planted tubers race away when planted out in spring."

Chitting is something the Royal Horticultural Society (RHS) also advises is beneficial, however it warns that they are kept in a cool, but frost-free environment and out of direct sunlight so gardeners should bear this in mind if storing seed potatoes in the greenhouse.

The RHS suggests that while unsprouted tubers can be planted, the chitted potatoes have the advantage of a "flying start".