How to Grow Potatoes

Sowing 

Growing potatoes is much easier in a container at the back door or on a patio. E

Potato seeds benefit from being ‘chitted’. To 'chit' the seeds, place in an open egg boxes on a sunny ledge. When the ‘eyes’ sprout to about 2-3cm tall, find the strongest sprout and place the seed in the soil with this one facing up. Flick off the ones on the opposite end.

Place the container in a sunny, sheltered position as frost will damage the plants right up to early May. Add approx 15cm of compost to the bottom of the sack and add the potato seeds. Bury them so they are just covered with eyes pointing up.  You can put 6 -10 in a large growing sack. 

Grow your own potatoes

Growing

First early potatoes should be planted into the soil by late March and the main crop in late April. The tasty earlies will be ready in June or July and the main crop from August (16-20 weeks).

The stems will grow bushy but need to be protected from light, so as they grow add more compost - this is called 'earthing'. Cover them with more compost leaving a few green shoots sticking through. Repeat 2 or 3 times as the potato plant grows until it is well developed. Feed the soil every so often to promote the green foliage, you can use liquid seaweed for this.

Harvesting 

Potatoes will flower, this is a sign that they are approaching maturity, as the flowers start to fade and the leaves yellow it is time to harvest them. Usually this is around 90 days after planting.

First cut the leaves off at ground level and leave them in the sack for approximately ten days to allow the skins to harden a little.

To dig them up, it’s easier to tip and the sack out and look through the soil with your hands. Using a garden fork or trowel risks damaging the potatoes.

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