Grow your own potatoes

Mashed, roasted, boiled or chipped. There's nothing like a potato. Especially when it's grown from scratch right in your very own garden. 

You don't need a ton of space to grow your own potatoes. You can get growing in pots or planters if you don't have room for a veg patch. Here are our top tips to get you started. 

Growing in the ground

You'll need:

  • Potatoes (ones for growing are called seed potatoes)
  • Seed trays 
  • Garden fork/spade
  • Plant labels
  • Watering can
  1. Lay your potatoes in seed trays in a bright, frost-free place. This will encourage them to sprout. Look out for ‘early’ potatoes, as they are easy to grow.
  2. Plant your sprouting potatoes in March-April. Dig a trench that’s about a trowel’s depth and then carefully position the potatoes 30cm apart.
  3. Cover the shoots with earth as they grow so they are just buried (you’ll need to do this several times). This encourages the potatoes to multiply.
  4. Water your potatoes regularly, especially if there’s little rain through the spring and early summer.
  5. Now for the good bit – digging them up. Do this as soon as your plants start to flower, but when the foliage is still green.
  6. Use a garden fork to dig up the plants, taking care not to damage the precious crop with the prongs.

 

Growing in a pot

You'll need:

  • Seed potatoes
  • Seed trays
  • Potato-growing bag
  • Multi-purpose compost
  • Plant label
  • Watering can
  1. Lay your potatoes in seed trays in a bright, frost-free place. This will encourage them to sprout. Look out for ‘early’ potatoes, as they are easy to grow.
  2. Plant your sprouting potatoes in March-April. Put a layer of compost in the bottom of your growing bag – to the depth of your hand is about the right amount.
  3. Carefully position your sprouting potatoes on the surface of the compost – use about three per bag. Cover with more compost and water well.
  4. Cover the shoots with compost as they grow so they are just buried (you’ll need to do this several times). This encourages the potatoes to multiply. Water regularly.
  5. Your potatoes will be ready to harvest when plants start to flower but the leaves are still green.
  6. Now what you’ve been waiting for – the harvest! Tip to bag up and gently shake its contents onto your patio – the compost will be bursting with new potatoes.

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TOP TIP

Potatoes are just the crop to try on a new veg patch as their tubers break up the soil as they grow making it easier to work after harvest. Use a large plastic pot if you haven’t got a veg patch or growing bags – plastic is best as it retains moisture and keeps compost moist.