Greenhouse Sensation Newsletter - February 2014

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Chitting Potatoes – February Job

Chitting potatoes is a way of getting a head start on the season, by starting your potatoes indoors your tubers will already have developed shoots as soon as it’s warm enough to plant them outside.

Chitting takes 6 weeks after which your tubers are ready for planting as long as it’s not frosty outside.  

root veg and potato planter - greenhouse sensation potato growing guide

To successfully chit or sprout seed potatoes:
-  Place tubers side by side in a clean egg box or seed tray with the rose end (eye) facing up.

-  Store in a cool, frost-free room with light. This will ensure that shoots stay short, green and healthy.
-  6 weeks later the tubers are ready for planting - the sprouts should be around 2cm long.

Watch our harvest video from 2013 and have a read of our complete potato growing guide. We plant tubers into a Root Veg and Potato Planter around March (when there’s no sign of frost – hopefully).

Our favourite varieties are Pentland Javelin, King Edward (the best variety for home-made chips) and Arran Pilot, which we grew last season. 

Customer update

Growing chillies in the snow!  
Peter James Martin-Rozumilowicz's propagators are working hard to keep his chilli seedlings warm whilst the snow is settling on the ground outside. This hasn’t stopped his 15 varieties of chilli seedlings (Carolina Reaper, Bhut Jolokia, Devils Tongue, Ring of Fire to name just a few) from growing strong. Chilli soup for dinner will certainly warm Peter up!

growing chillies in the snow Seed sowing sieve

A nice surprise!
Hazel Burrows had a lovely surprise when she popped into her greenhouse last week - this little beauty was waiting for her! These mini Iris 'Harmony' were moved out of her chilly greenhouse and now have pride of place in a pot on her kitchen table! Hazel posted this fab photo on our Facebook page.

Get somebody else growing

Do a good deed and get somebody growing their own veg on a patio, in a conservatory or any small space. Our GardenPop growing kits include everything a beginner needs to grow great veg. The seeds were specifically selected for their reliability and the final planting pots look great. The step by step guide makes growing simple and if they do have any questions our Gardening Angels are here to help.

gardenpop instant veg growing kit

Treat yourself to bumper harvests with our Ultimate Tomato Grower’s Kit and Ultimate Chilli Grower’s Kit. Planting in the Chilligrow or Quadgrow prevents waterlogging so roots have better access to oxygen, which helps them to absorb more water and nutrients. This fuels faster growth and gives 2x bigger harvests than growing in standard pots or growbags.

Ultimate chilli Grower’s Kit


Ground preparation

If you’re sowing or planting out into the ground soon, covering the ground with fleece for a couple of days before sowing warms it up, giving the seeds a helping hand. The fleece can then be used as a cover to protect from frost, pests and birds. It is essential to keep plants warm when temperatures drop because frosts will freeze any water contained within the plant's cells, which will then rupture as the temperature increases throughout the day.

frost protection fleece Seed sowing sieve

When it comes to planting into your Quadgrow, keep your tender plants protected from the cold nights or sudden drops in temperature with these protective lids. The lids trap warm air around the plant and the vent provides humidity control to prevent damping-off. Plants have plenty of space to grow as the lids are 27cm tall.

Great new products - Organic growing

We love this new product because it produces free plant food! Collect up nettles or comfrey, add them to the plant food maker, add water, wait for 2 weeks and hey presto free food!

plant food maker Seed sowing sieve

We’re often asked for organic fertiliser and now we’ve found we really like. Once plants are in their final location give them a boost with this organic fertiliser adding some extra later in the season. 

Our Gardening Angels have been busy sowing, transplanting and chitting – but we like to keep them busy! If you have any questions, give us a call on 0845 602 3774 or drop us an email You can also post all your fab photos on our Facebook page – we love to hear how you’re getting on!

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