Seed potatoes are now available to buy from our garden centres, but do you know how to achieve a bumper crop? Keep reading for our handy guide to growing seed potatoes.
Chitting (yes really…this is a proper horticultural term not a typo)!
January is too early to plant the seed potatoes outside as they’ are not frost hardy. Planting out should be done from mid to late spring, but you can start the potato growth now. This process is called chitting (careful how you say it) and it helps ensure better and bigger crops in the summer. This is especially great for early varieties, but it will also improve the performance of main crops too.
When you get the tubers home, stand them upright with the eye-end, that’s the end with the most buds or eyes as they’re often called, uppermost. An egg box is particularly useful as it will help keep the potatoes stable and upright. You then need to then put them somewhere reasonably cool, but frost free and in good light.
Within a few weeks the tubers will start to sprout and produce young shoots from the eyes. It’s important that the tubers are kept in good light otherwise the shoots become long and thin. You want strong, healthy, squat shoots that reach a couple of inches high by planting out time. Then when it comes to planting out, always add plenty of organic matter to the soil plus a good dressing of a general granular fertiliser.
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Growing potatoes can be done in all gardens including small patios. Many of our team have grown potatoes successfully in sacks and large pots. We sell small bags of seed potatoes as well as larger ones and with lots of varieties to choose from all that’s left to plan are your potato recipes!