Growing Guide

Potato Growing Guide..

To help you with growing your potatoes we have put together this Growing guide to help you with each stage.

Stage 1 - CHOOSING SEED

Always use healthy classified seed potatoes! The classified seed potatoes are the highest grade of potatoes available. Check the label on your seed potatoes - it should show the classification number, Grade and size, certifying authority and many other details. Be very suspicious if labels are not present or if the label does not contain all the legally required information.

Stage 2 - CHITTING

Undo your seed potatoes and place in a shallow tray or egg tray in a cool, light, frost free place several weeks prior to planting. The seed potatoes will develop strong sprouting shoot (chits) which will help them grow quickly once planted. This is a helpful but not essential process.

Stage 3 - SOIL PREPARATION & PLANTING

Growing Potatoes is easy!! Dig the potato plot in autumn or spring, so that seed potatoes can be easily planted once soil temperatures are over 8 degrees centigrade. 

Stage 4 & 5 - EARTHING UP

When potatoes have emerged a few inches, pull earth around the plant with a rake, leaving peaked rows. Earthing up gives the plant more soil to grow in, stops sunlight turning exposed tubers green and improves drainage. It is also a quick and effective way of controlling weeds. Repeat the process as required, until the foliage is too big.    

Stage 6 - HARVESTING

Earlies - 65-100 days

Second Earlies - 100-130 days

Maincrop - 125-180 days.

These are guidelines dependant on planting date and growing conditions.

Before harvesting, carefully scrape away some soil and check that the potatoes have grown to the size that you like.

First earlies are best enjoyed when they are small and fresh un June/July/August and Second earlies follow on. Maincrop varieties are best left until October for size and skin set. Once the maincrop foliage has died back the potatoes should be left in the ground for 2-3 weeks to allow the skin to set, ready for storing.

PLANTING AND HARVESTING GUIDELINES

MATURITY PLANT DEPTH DISTANCE WIDTH BETWEEN ROWS HARVEST
FIRST EARLIES MARCH-APRIL 10CM (4IN) 30CM (12IN) 45CM (18IN) JUNE - AUGUST
SECOND EARLIES APRIL - MAY 10CM (4IN) 30CM (12IN) 45CM (18IN) JULY - SEPTEMBER
MAINCROP APRIL - MAY 10CM (4IN) 37.5CM (15IN) 67.5CM (27IN) SEPTEMBER - OCTOBER
SALADS MARCH - APRIL 10CM (4IN) 30CM (12IN) 45CM (18IN) JULY - SEPTEMBER

STORING YOUR POTATOES

Dry the tubers by laying them on the soil for a few hours once you've dug them up. Some varieties (generally maincrop) are good keepers and will remain dormant and not start sprouting until April. The storage conditons should be cool, frost free, airy and away from light as this can cause greening. Hessian sacks allow for excellent air circulation, paper sacks are good but avoid plastic.

We have all you need to Grow Your Own and Store Your Own.

BLIGHT

Potato Blight is widespread, common and more serious during periods of warm, wet weather during early Summer, and is less problematic during a drier period.

It is preventable by using a Copper Fungicide (We stock: Bayer - Fruit and Vegetable Disease Control Fungicide.)

For more information on Blight, see the Potato Council's campaign and Join the "Fight against Blight" here