Here Brian, Sam and Michael (who farm potatoes commercially in the fields around Eastfield Garden Centre) share their top potato growing tips.
- Don’t plant your potatoes too early, although everyone says plant before Good Friday, the key thing is wait for the soil to warm up, if the soil is below 10C they will not grow, and might even rot.
- Plant potato tubers about 10” apart, chitting them (starting them in the light) means the potato should show be about 2 weeks ahead of ones planted unchitted.
- If you are growing in pots and tubs then don’t put in too many potatoes, no more than 6 would be our rule.
- It really helps if you dig well-rotted manure into the bottom of the trench when planting, but never sit the potato on manure or it might rot.
- Work a little Growmore fertiliser into the planting trench to nourish the potato roots as they start to grow.
- For a nice skin finish, keep the soil moist.
- You can harvest small potatoes after around 10 weeks from planting, if you would like smaller new potato style tubers.
- For maincrop potatoes wait until the tops die down before lifting.
- Don’t overfeed your potatoes, or they will be all top and no potato.
- Make sure tops have been dead for two weeks, so the skin has set on the potato, before lifting them. Store at 4C in the dark where plenty of fresh air can get at them.
Brian recommends Harmony as a wonderful eating potato. Romano is an excellent performer and has good slug resistance, and has an attractive red skin.