How to grow your seed potatoes

Posted in All Gardening Advice, Vegetables and Fruit, February, on

On receiving your seed potatoes you will need to chit them. Find out details of how to do that in Sarah's chitting potatoes article.

After 4-6 weeks and the shoots are 2-3cm long, plant them out...

 

Earlies

Plant in mid-March in the south, a few weeks later in the north. Earlies need to be planted 12-15cm deep, spacing them at 30cm between each potato along the row with 60cm between the rows. As the leaves emerge, using a rake, cover with soil along the row, this protects the young leaves from frost.

When the plants are about 10cm high they need proper ‘earthing up’. This means piling the soil from around the plant up over the plants to form a ridge along the row, and will stop them going green.

Harvest the Earlies when the flowers have opened, or the buds have dropped off. This will be in June/July.

 

Maincrops

For main crops potatoes, plant them about a month later, in April or even May to get a good cropping succession after the Earlies. Maincrops tend to be less hardy too.

The same planting advice applies with Maincrops as for Earlies - except the planting distances, along the rows.  These make bigger plants, so plant the tubers 40cm apart with 75cm between the rows. And lift the potatoes only when the foliage starts to die down, but make sure all the tubers are lifted before the onset of frost.

 

Forcing Potatoes in bags

If you can get yourself organised, it’s good to force some potatoes to give you an early crop to eat in May and June before the outdoor grown crop is ready.

To find out how to force potatoes, please see our instructions for growing potatoes in bags.