Lets talk potatoes – Why not grow your own potatoes? – you dont even need a garden, a sack or a tub will do just as well and just think how you will feel eating your home grown potatoes. For me the first new potato signifies the beginning of summer, I feel so proud when we sit there with our home grown potatoes on our plates, yum! Potatoes really are so easy to grow and are fantastic for children to grow, they are easy to harvest and to them it is like finding nuggets of gold – ” its another one look!”
For those of you that came across us last year you will remember the sacks – yes we grew potatoes in sacks and they worked so well. Although we are lucky eneough to have a vegetable garden once you have planted your first earlies, then the second earlies and then maincrop they can take up all of your plot and I cant have that as I have huge amounts of other things I want to grow! So sacks and tubs are the answer, it is also hugely practical for us as we have a clay soil which at the moment is squelchy, so at least in a sack or pot the beautiful little tubers wont rot. So if you have a balcony or just a very tiny outdoor space you to can grow your own!
So what are we planting this year . .
First earlies: these are the first of the potatoes to be planted and harvested! and are those wonderful new salad potatoes. Depending on weather they can be planted from January to March and are then ready to harvest from May to July. First earlies take approximately 10 weeks from planting to harvesting. If planting in rows plant tubers around 30cm apart and around 60cm between rows.
Arran Pilot : A great salad potato with an excellent taste and each tuber produces many beautiful white skinned potatoes, just right for your salads. It is good in all soil conditions and it is slug resistant, what more can you ask for! Grows well in pots and sacks and the garden. 12 seed potatoes will be sufficient for 3- 4 tubs / sacks.
Rocket Potato: Rocket seed potatoes are quick to grow and will produce many round new potatos. Rocket is a good potato for container or bag growing. It is reccommended that you pick them early when they are still young and small – well that’s even better! 12 seed potaoes will be sufficent for 3-4 tubs/sacks
Second earlies: These are planted from March – April and are then ready to harvest around July to October, they take approximately 14 weeks from planting to harvesting. If you are planting in rows there should be around 45cm between each tuber and around 75cm between rows. They can also be planted in tubs and sacks.
Vivaldi: this has a quite a creamy texture and flavour, it can be boiled, roasted, baked or mashed.
Main crop: These are generally larger potatoes and take longer to grow. Plant between March to May and harvest around 15- 18 weeks later. If planting in rows planting in rows plant each tuber 60cm apart and allow 75cm between rows.
I haven’t decided on the maincrop variety yet but I rather like the look of ‘Highland Burgandy Red’ I so like to grow things that are that little bit different
Now that you have your seed potatoes you will need to chit them, at the moment ours are going chit, chit, chit in the greenhouse growing their little green shoots ready to spring into life. By allowing them to do this it gives them a great start. You dont need a greenhouse a tray indoors will work just as well!
As I walked down to the greenhouse the sun was shining, it is still freezing but the garden is coming to life
The Primroses in the woodland garden
The tete a tetes in Fairy Corner
and the Hellibores under the apple tree . .
It would be lovely to know if any of you are planning to grow your own this year – let me know how you get on and what you are growing.
We ordered our seed potatoes online at www.simplyseed.co.uk and they arrived in excellent condition and should be just fantastic, if you are looking for potato planters or baskets have a look at www.fieldsofblue.co.uk – I will keep you posted as to how our potatoes are doing – do keep leaving your comments it is lovely to hear what you are all doing.
Till next time and thank you for reading