This guide will help you Grow Your Own potatoes at home.
Any gardener will be able to tell you how satisfying it is to be able to dig up and eat your own home grown veg. Potatoes are one of the most common vegetables to grow. They are easy to plant and take very little effort to look after and therefore it is easy to get a good crop of them.
There are so many potatoes to choose from that suit different gardens and different needs. We have selected the best of the best that will suit any garden and any need! Whether you want a quick cropper to turn into potato salad, or a longer cropping baked spud, they’re all just as easy to grow and look after and are guaranteed to give great results, and taste.
The best thing is, you don’t even need a garden – you can grow in a bag or a pot on a patio, balcony or terrace. Make sure you pick a light, warm and sunny spot in your garden to plant them and that you have a good supply of potato fertiliser to ensure even greater yields.
On receipt of your seed potatoes, stand them in an egg box in a cool, light room, so they can begin shooting or “chitting” as it is known. ‘Chitting’ is simply the process of allowing your tubers to grow shoots on before planting them which will encourage faster growth and heavier yields.
Leave them for 3-4 weeks and wait for short, dark shoots to emerge. Take care not to damage these when handling or planting! Now you’re ready to get planting, just follow these easy steps below, whether planting into containers or straight into the ground.
How to Plant and Grow Your Own Potatoes
Step 1: To plant using our planting kits, put 10cm of good compost on the bottom of each pot. Place 5 tubers of each variety spaced out evenly on this compost. then add 10cm or so of compost to cover and firm down, adding a sprinkling of potato fertiliser as well. If you are planting direct into garden soil, dig a trench about 20cm deep, and plant tubers in the bottom. In both cases, water in well.
Step 2: After a month or so, the leaves will emerge from the top of the compost. Add sufficient compost to bury these leaves and a little more, and allow them to grow again. Repeat covering the leaves until the pots are full. Allow them to grow for a further 5-6 weeks.
For potatoes grown in the ground, ‘earth up’ by covering them as the leaves grow, building up into a ridge about 15cm above ground level. The more stem you cover with soil, the heavier the crop will be.
Step 3: In dry spells, water all potatoes well when they are in leaf. This will have a major increase in crop yield – 2 or 3 times greater yield compared with low-watering.
When the leaves begin to die back, it’s time to harvest. Simply empty the bucket out, and break open the root ball and collect your delicious fresh crop. If you’ve planted them in the ground, just dig them up!
Early Season Potatoes
Early season potatoes are the perfect choice if you want to grow smaller new potatoes and don’t much space. This is because they can easily be grown in pots and containers.
Plant from late January up until the end of May for a harvest roughly 8-10 weeks later. Wait until the flowers open or buds drop, then the tubers will be ready to harvest.
An early such as our seed potato ‘Swift’ are fast growing (it’s all in the name!) and ‘Swift’ in particular has a magnificent flavour. A heavy yielder of good sized tubers, ‘Swift’ is one of the best potatoes for growing in patio pots and containers, but will do equally well in garden or allotment.
Maincrop potatoes will produce larger potatoes than earlies that are perfect for roasting and baking.
They can be planted any time from January onwards until the end of May for crops about 16-20 weeks later. Depending on when you’ve planted them, they should be ready to harvest between July and October.
Maincrop varieties are perfect for growing in the ground as they have a bit more space, but are just as happy grown in pots and containers.
One of our most popular varieties, ‘Desiree’ is brilliant for growing your own. Simply delicious and highly versatile, ‘Desiree’ is a great all-round variety. These can be made into delicious chips, roasties, jackets or just boil them up and smother in butter! Heavy cropping and easy to grow, it’s not hard to see why ‘Desiree’ is so popular.
Known for their waxy flesh and unique nutty flavour, salad potatoes come in a variety of shapes and sizes. Their versatility and relatively quick cropping habit makes them ever so popular.
Plant from January until the end of May for harvesting from July to October.
‘Charlotte’ is probably the Number 1 new potato variety grown in UK gardens. It produces great yields of delicious, medium-sized tubers that are perfect in potato salads, hot or cold, or boiled dripping in melted butter. Easy to grow in containers or straight into the ground, ‘Charlotte’ has good resistance to to blight and scap, so you’ll get consistent crops of delicious spuds!
Our Patio Potato Kits are a cheap and fuss-free way to get reliable crops of fresh potatoes from your own garden, in the minimum of space. They include pots, fertilisers, and different varieties of seed potato. We also sell separate packs of seed potatoes.