Growing your own fruit and vegetables is getting increasingly popular, both for being more self sufficient and environmental purposes. If you are new to growing your own produce, seed potatoes are an ideal place to start. They are so easy to grow and take little looking after. Please click here for our online potato, onion, shallot & garlic brochure.
A guide to choosing your seed potatoes
Seed potatoes are split up into 4 growing groups:
- First Earlies – Planting in March and April. Harvesting in June to August.
- Second Earlies – Planting in April and May. Harvesting in July to September.
- Maincrop – Planting in April and May. Harvesting in September and October.
- Salads – Planting March and April. Harvesting in July to September.
First earlies and salad potatoes are best when they are small and fresh, whereas maincrop are best for storing. You’ve also got their use to consider, for example some are better for chips, roasts, baking, mashing, salads and boiling or steaming. Please click this link for a table which shows a table of Seed Potato Variety Information
How to grow potatoes
As mentioned previously, potatoes are a relatively easy to grow crop as long as you know the basics. Please follow the easy steps below, or click our link at the bottom for a more in depth growing guide.
- Choose your seed potatoes
- Chit your potatoes. This is where you place your potatoes in a shallow tray or egg boxes in a cool, but frost free light area a few weeks before planting. It helps the potatoes to develop chits or sprouts ready for planting.
- Dig over the soil ready for planting (see above the best month to plant the different potatoes). Or you can plant them in well drained tubs.
- As the potatoes start to grow up, “earth up” (pile earth up around the growing potatoes). This enables more potatoes to grow, keeps light off the potatoes, and improves drainage whilst keeping small weeds at bay. Repeat this until the foliage is too big.
- Harvest you potatoes. See harvest times above. You can tell when to harvest the maincrop potatoes once the foliage has died back for 2-3 weeks (this allows the skins to set for storage).
- Lay the harvested potatoes on the soil for a few hours to dry off, then store in a cool and dark aired space.
Please click here for the full potato growing guide from our supplier WCF Horticulture.
- Planting seed potatoes in rows makes them easier to earth up
- Make your rows at least 45cm (18in) apart
- Plant your potatoes roughly 10cm (4in) deep
- If you plant your seed potatoes in soil with plenty of nutrients (from garden compost or manure) and in a sunny spot, you will get a better crop
- Chicken manure pellets are also good to feed the soil as they release nutrients slowly
- If planting in containers, add perlite at the bottom to allow for easy drainage
- Do not over water your potatoes as they can go mouldy
- Although a lot of potatoes have been grown to resist potato blight, this can still occur. There are varieties which are particularly disease resistant. Please click here for more information from a previous post about it.
- Please click here for more information on all of our seed potato varieties we offer via our online brochure.