How to grow potatoes
Growing potatoes is fun, easy and rewarding; there are only a few rules you need to follow in order to achieve a great yield.
When growing potatoes grow in a rich, organic soil or compost, in a sunny position and always keep them well watered.
Protect foliage from frost, and earth-up!
This simply means that as the plants get taller you continuously raise the soil or compost level around the base of the plant in order to keep the developing potatoes under the soil or compost level. If they’re exposed to the light they will become green, hard and toxic! Always make sure that ultimately there’s about 8” to 12” of foliage above the soil as you don’t want to completely bury all the foliage.
Grow in any garden, regardless of size
Another great advantage of potatoes as a crop is that you don’t necessarily need a huge allotment as they perform very well in pots, containers or specialised potato growing pods. If you select a pot or a container, make sure it’s approximately one and a half times the width of a standard bucket and about twice the height.
So you’ve selected a sunny, frost free spot, you’ve bought your container and you’ve chosen a fantastic compost such as ‘Tref’ to grow your potatoes in, now you just need to decide what type of potatoes to grow.
Again this is very simple, you can grow ‘early’ potatoes, ‘second early’ potatoes or ‘maincrop’ potatoes.
- Early potatoes are planted in late March and will be ready to harvest in June or July.
- Second early potatoes can be planted in early to mid- April and will be ready for harvesting in July to August
- Maincrop potatoes can be planted in mid to late April for harvesting in August.
Pick your potato!
The choice of varieties is huge these days and many have high crop yields and good disease resistance. There’s a potato variety for every culinary use and their textures can vary from waxy, to powdery, to creamy.
A great early variety is ‘Rocket’ with its round, egg size shape and waxy flesh, great for salads or smothered in mint sauce.
‘Maris Peer’ is a well-established second early variety with great disease resistance and tubers that are brilliant for roasting, boiling or steaming.
If you want to grow a really different maincrop variety then try ‘Pink fir apple’ with its long pink or red potatoes that are great for steaming and boiling. It’s obviously got a lot going for it as it’s been in existence for over a hundred years!
Now you’ve selected and got your seed potatoes home, you’ll need to ‘chit’ them, this simply means selecting the ‘rose end’ of the potato, this is the end with all the tiny, knobbly eyes, and standing them in trays or old egg cartons in a bright, frost free place with the rose end pointing upwards.
After a few weeks have passed the eyes will have sprouted and produced small shoots, your potatoes are now ready for planting.
Remember you can purchase everything you need to grow potatoes on our online shop.
Choose your potatoe varieties here
Purchase a container here
Order your compost here
and purchase your potatoe gloves here