I'd better explain, for fear of scaring off the casual or accidental visitor to this blog, that the picture to the right is a tray of pink fir apple seed potatoes, laid out in the study for chitting, rather than some sort of visceral modern art installation.
Chitting, for the uninitiated, is the process of exposing seed potatoes to sunlight and a tad of warmth so that they put out shoots from their eyes and begin to grow before they are planted. It isn't absolutely essential - the tubers will grow without being chitted - but it's one of those practices that gardeners swear by, evincing their own method as The One True way™. Most people use egg boxes to put the tubers upright, allowing the shoots to grow freely. It can take anything from two weeks to two months, depending on the conditions and the variety: seek advice from your seed potato supplier. Then when it comes to planting, remove all but one, two or three of the shoots, depending on your preference. (I am a two-shooter for what it's worth.). The shoots will be well away as soon as they are under the ground, giving the plant a head start and guaranteeing lots of delicious spuds.
PFAs are known to be fussy chitters (my, doesn't that sound unintentionally rude) so while the other potato I am growing this year (Sante, I think) are already thoroughly chitted, the others lie sullenly in their polystyrene tray, shootless. I've moved them from the garage to the study, which although warmer isn't as warm as the rest of the house.
Provided they now get growing, the PFAs will get planted by the middle of April at the very latest. In the meantime I am also going to reconcile my rather forlorn to-do list with what I've actually managed to achieve so far, and attempt to comfort myself, at least by sowing some artichoke and tomato seeds.