Monty Don has shared an egg box potato-growing tip to help you grow your own delicious spuds. The gardening expert and Gardeners' World host says that storing 'chitting' potatoes in this way will help them thrive in the soil.
Learn how to grow potatoes at home, and your Sunday roast will taste all the better. Here's how old egg boxes can be used as a handy tool when growing your own veg.
Monty Don's egg box potato-growing tip
Writing on his blog (opens in new tab), which is full of advice and gardening jobs to do every month, Monty explains that potatoes grow from sprouts emerging in the spring from tubers (potatoes that grow from the mother tuber of the potato plant). He comments that we've all seen the transparent sprouts that appear on potatoes stored in a kitchen cabinet.
But seed potatoes need to be exposed to light in order to grow new sprouts. These will be knobbly and dark green.
'Place the seed potatoes in a seed tray or egg box and put somewhere bright, cool but frost-free,' says Monty Don. Try placing them on a kitchen windowsill or in a greenhouse and keep an eye on the temperature if you live in an area that's still experiencing subzero temperatures.
Egg boxes provide a snug spot for potatoes to sprout, with a good amount of airflow. Plus, they're easy to transport once they're ready to be planted into soil in containers or your kitchen garden. 'The knobbly shoots will start to appear after a few weeks and can then be left until the soil is warm enough for planting,' says Monty.
This process is called 'chitting,' and helps seed potatoes to grow more quickly and successfully. 'This is especially beneficial for first earlies or maincrop varieties grown where blight is likely,' Monty Don adds.
Potatoes are great options to try if you're feeling inspired to try growing vegetables in pots too. No 'proper' garden needed – you can even grow them old paint pots on a small balcony or windowsill.
Will you be trying this tip?
Millie Hurst has worked in digital journalism for five years, having previously worked as a Senior SEO Editor at News UK both in London and New York. She joined the Future team in early 2021, working across several brands, including Gardeningetc. Now, she is Senior Content Editor at Ideal Home, taking care of evergreen articles aimed at inspiring people to make the most of their homes and outdoor spaces.
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