Planting, growing and harvesting potatoes.
This is a season specific activity. Plant in March for harvesting throughout the summer and autumn. Or plant in August/September for Christmas new potatoes, also called Second Cropping Potatoes. Buy seed potatoes in advance - they are not available year round.
Check out this great information about growing potatoes in bags courtesy of THOMPSON & MORGAN
Seed potatoes (chitted)
Peat free compost
Potato feed (for later in the season)
Seed potatoes, particularly earlies and second earlies benefit from 'chitting'. That’s the process of allowing them to ‘sprout’ prior to planting, to produce faster growth and heavier crops. Second cropping potatoes don’t require chitting and can be planted straight away.
To chit your seed potatoes, lay them out in a cool, bright, frost free position (10C/ 50F). A reliable, tried-and-tested method is to arrange them in empty egg boxes or seed trays. You’ll notice the immature shoots sprout from one end of the potato – called the rose end. Seed potatoes are ready to plant when the chits reach 25mm (1") in length, and should always be planted with the rose end facing up.
Here’s how to plant your potato bags:
- Fill an 8 litre potato bag with quality multipurpose compost to about 2.5cm (1") below the rim.
- Carefully plunge a single chitted potato tuber into the compost with the shoots pointing upwards, to a depth of 12cm (5") from the soil surface. Gently cover the tuber with compost.
- Place the potato bag in a bright, frost free position, water regularly, and wait for your plants to grow.
- Feed potato plants every other week with potato fertiliser and water the bags whenever the compost shows signs of drying out.
Harvest times vary depending on the growing season and how big you want your potatoes to be. The table above provides a rough guide for each crop type, but as a rule of thumb, start to harvest first earlies as 'new potatoes' when the plants begin to flower, approximately 10 weeks from planting.
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