How to grow potatoes….
From earthy new potatoes and bite-sized salad varieties, to floury bakers and roasters, the humble potato remains the nation’s favourite vegetable. If you’re a potato aficionado, there’s a huge number of exciting potato varieties you can grow that you’ll never see in the shops.
How to grow potatoes at home
Prepare the soil by digging and removing weeds, and then dig straight trenches 12cm deep and 60cm apart.
Grow your own potatoes from ‘seed potatoes’, which are small potato tubers rather than actual seeds. You can buy seed potatoes from late winter. Don’t be tempted to grow potatoes from old potatoes from the veg rack, as they won’t produce reliable crops.
You can find a link to our seed potato range here
Before planting, you need to ‘chit’ your potatoes
This involves letting the potatoes grow shoots, which will give you a bigger potato crop. Place seed potatoes in trays or egg cartons with the end that has the most eyes uppermost. Stand in a cool, light spot until 1-2cm long shoots have formed. This could take up to six weeks.
Home-grown potatoes do well in all types of soil, but the richer the better, so dig in plenty of well-rotted organic matter, such as garden compost. An open, sunny site is best.
While maincrop potatoes grow well in the ground, early or salad potatoes will also do well in containers. Polypropylene potato growing bags are designed especially for this purpose and are handy if you’re short of space. However, you can also plant potatoes in an old compost bag, with similar results.
How to plant...
When growing potatoes in the ground, plant earlies and salad types in March, 12cm deep and 30cm apart, with 60cm between rows. Plant maincrop potatoes later, in April. These need to stay in the ground longer and require more space to produce a decent crop. Plant them 12cm deep and 38cm apart, with 75cm between rows. Plant potatoes with the shoots (or ‘eyes’) facing upwards.