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How to plant Christmas potatoes

What is a Christmas dinner without potatoes. Christmas potatoes are ideal for growing in pots, grow bags or vegetable patches.  

Using pots or a grow bag:

If planting into pots or grow bags use a good quality multi-purpose compost and follow our step by step guide: 

  • Plant mid-July/early September, ideally as soon as possible after purchasing  

  • Place approximately 10cm/4” of dampened compost into the base and evenly space 3 tubers on top 

  • Cover with another 10cm/4” of compost 

  • Water and feed regularly, keeping the compost moist at all times but not allowing it to become waterlogged  

  • Once the plants reach approximately 10cm/4”, add more compost 

  • When the plants have grown through this compost, repeat.  Continue to do this until the container is full 

  • Pots or grow bags should be moved to a frost-free area for Christmas harvesting 

Planting in open ground:

If planting into open ground, please follow this step by step guide:  

  • Dig over the area, remove any weeds, incorporate well-rotted compost if available and add a general fertiliser 

  • Plant 10-13cm/4-5” deep, 20-23cm/8-9” apart in a row, and the rows 50cm/20” apart 

  • Autumn can be dry so keep the potatoes well-watered, avoid getting the leaves wet as this can encourage blight 

  • When the plants get to approximately 10cm/4”, carefully draw earth up the sides of the plants; this encourages additional potatoes to grow from the covered stems and excludes light from the tubers 

  • In sheltered gardens with a light soil, piling extra earth over the rows and covering with straw for insulation may be sufficient protection from frost to store the potatoes in the ground until Christmas.  In cold areas, or where the soil is wet and heavy, it is better to lift the potatoes by the end of October 

  • Potatoes should be ready in approximately 12 weeks, or after flowering.  Harvest only as required, the remainder can be left in the ground for up to a month