Garden And Gardener

Everything for the Gardener and their Garden

Growing potatoes

by Sarah - January 11th, 2010.
Filed under: allotment. Tagged as: , .

Potatoes are grown from seed potatoes. That’s potatoes grown specifically for
re-planting. You should always buy seed potatoes rather than using those sprouting
under the sink as they may have diseases on which would then spread to your
garden. Seed potatoes should be picked according to the types of potatoes you
use most in the kitchen! You should always aim to grow what you eat!

Unwins potatoes offer
Fancy growing some potatoes this year?
Save an extra £1.00 when buying the "Unwins Potato Growing
Bags Variety Pack" via this link only
Unwins Potato Growing Bags Variety Pack
Voucher code: GrowBags1111 Condition you must use the above link for this
code to work Expiry: 31.01.2010

There are different types of potatoes. Early and main crop. Earlies grow earlier
in the season and these are often known as new potatoes. They are picked when
small and are at their very best when got from ground to pot quickly. By growing
your own and harvesting potatoes just before you use them you will experience
a freshness and taste not achievable from shop bought potatoes.

First Early Potatoes include:
Arran Pilot Seed Potatoes
Pentland Javelin Seed Potatoes
Rocket Seed Potatoes
Swift Seed Potatoes

First earlies are planted first and with a shorter cropping time can be lifted
from late June or early July. They are smaller and are generally eaten as new
potatoes – boiled and good with salads.

Second Early potatoes include:
Kestrel Seed Potatoes
Lady Balfour Seed Potatoes
Maris Peer Seed Potatoes
Maxine Seed Potatoes

Second early are ready from the middle of July. They can be used as new potatoes
or left to swell so they are bigger and then stored. Kestrel is good for roasting
and chipping with the other varieties being good for baking or boiling. Two
weeks before you harvest them you should give them a good soak as this improves

Main crop potatoes

Cara Seed Potatoes
Desiree Seed Potatoes
King Edward Seed Potatoes
Maris Piper Seed Potatoes

Maincrop potatoes are planted latest and are allowed to grow large. Some varieties
are better for long storage. They are good for everything but Maris Piper is
well known for making excellent chips!

All seed potatoes should be chitted. This means allowed to sprout. You need
to do this in a frost free place and in the light. You can place them in a tray
or some people use egg cartons. Plant only the strongest healthiest potatoes
if you’ve got limited room. Discard any that haven’t done very well or show
signs of rot. Some people believe spraying them lightly with seaweed fertiliser
is essential at this stage. The aim of chitting is to have a small number of
strong healthy shoots. If you have a lot of long shoots then the energy of the
potato is being used up too soon. You can rub sprouts off to limit the number
of potatoes but they should be bigger.

Potatoes should be earthed up as the shoots grow. This prevents foliage being
damaged by any late frosts, as well as ensuring any potatoes that grow near
the top are not exposed to light making them go green.

Fertiliser needs to be applied to ensure a good crop. You can use any sort
you like as long as it’s high in potash and not nitrogen. Nitrogen causes the
leaves to flourish and with potatoes you need the tubers to develop!