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Growing potatoes in your own back garden may seem like a complex process, but with all the right tools and knowledge it’ll be a breeze! Here are a few simple steps to follow to grow the perfect spuds.
Before planting your potatoes into the ground, they first need to start indoors. It is particularly important, especially with Earlies, that you ‘chit’ the potatoes. This means allowing them to sprout shoots before they are planted.
To allow this, simply stand them rose end up (the end with the smallest dents, or eyes) in compostable pots or trays, in a place in your home where there is plenty of light and not prone to frost. You may want to label them if you’re growing different varieties. Once the shoots measure about 3cm (1in) they will be ready to plant. If you’re planting early potatoes, you will need to rub off the weakest shoots, this should leave you with around 4 shoots per potato.
When to plant your potatoes varies depending on what type of potato you are growing...
First earlies should be planted around late March
Second earlies should be planted a little later, around early to mid-April
Maincrops should be planted mid to late April
Similar to when planting, harvesting potatoes will depend on the type you are growing;
First early potatoes should be ready to lift in June and July
Second Earlies in July and August
Main crops from late August through to October
With maincrops, you will need to wait for the foliage to first turn yellow, at this point, cut the foliage down and remove it. Here’s the important bit: you will need to wait 10 days before harvesting the potatoes. They can then be left to dry for a few hours before being stored in a preserving bag.
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