Start Planting Home Grown Potatoes!
Mid March is the perfect time to plant your chitted potatoes. The soil should have warmed up by now, but if you have snow in your area – best to wait til April.
Not sure how to plant out your potatoes? Start by digging a trench 7.5-13cm (3-5in) deep, the exact depth should vary according to the variety of potato you’re planting so check before. Add some fertiliser to your trench before you being planting – but not too much!
Note that early potatoes should be planted about 12in apart with 16-20in between the rows. Second earlies and maincrops about 15in apart with 30in between the rows.
Gently set your potatoes into the trench shoot upwards but be careful not to break the shoots. Then cover the potatoes lightly with soil. Earth up each potato by covering it with a ridge of soil as soon as the shoots appear. Do this regularly and by the end of the season each plant will have a small mound around it.
- Potatoes like plenty of sun.
- Avoid planting them in frost-prone sites.
- Potatoes can help swamp out weeds, so don’t avoid planting them in a new patch because of them.
- Potatoes will grow equally as well in a container or planter, but make sure to take a look at recommended spacing before starting.
- Water your potatoes regularly once they have started to grow. You’ll notice the difference in size if you don’t!
Get ready for harvesting your potatoes between June and September (depending on the variety and growing conditions). Earlies can be lifted and added to your home cooked meals as soon as they’re ready. Above ground growth should still be green and the flowers will have just opened.
Second and maincrop varieties should be kept in the ground much longer, until September rather than June. Don’t let the above-ground growth fool you, it may be looking past its best but you must keep your potatoes in the ground. Cut the growth off at ground level about two weeks before harvesting. This gives the potato skin time to toughen up, making them easier to lift and store.