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Growing Potatoes


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Below are general guidelines for growing potatoes, including plant height to enable you to plan exactly where to place them when growing amongst other plants.


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Plant Height

Up to 60cm/24" 

Time between planting and harvesting

16-22 weeks

Where to plant

Outdoors in open ground or in containers

Planting time

March- April  - temperature +10C/50F

How to plant

Most people buy "seed" potatoes. These are just small potatoes which have been certified as virus free. When you receive them usually in February, set them with the rose "eyes" uppermost in a light frost-free place. They will begin to sprout in about 6 weeks. Once the sprouts are about 2cm/3/4" long plant as below.

Open Ground - Plant the whole sprouted potato, sprouts up, about 12cm/5" deep and at least 30cm/12" apart in rows at least 60cm/2ft apart or in groups/blocks.

Containers - Best for growing small "new" potatoes. Use  containers at least 30cm/12" deep. Place a 10cm/4" layer of soil or compost in the bottom of the container then rest the sprouted potatoes (space as above) on top of the soil. Add enough soil/compost to cover them by 2.5cm/1" only. See "growing on" below.

After Germination

Protect from frosts. Keep weeded.

Growing on -  in Pots

Once the shoots emerge and have reached 15cm/6", add another 10cm/4" layer of soil/compost. Repeat to within 5cm/2" of the top of the container. Make sure you keep the tubers well covered with earth so they don't go green as this is poisonous. Keep watered. This method will give you a pot full of potatoes from base to top.

Growing on- in ground

Keep weed free.  Make sure you keep the tubers well covered with earth so they don't go green as this is poisonous. Water  well in dry weather. 


As above.


Early/New Potatoes -  Flowering usually indicates that potatoes have reached an edible size. Lift as required.

Maincrop - These can be lifted as required or left in the ground until the foliage has died back. They can then be lifted for storage.

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