Growing potatoes and onions

by Jane Moore

My main crop bed is already prepared. I dug it over and raked in blood, fish and bone.

PotatoesIt's always good to aim high, isn't it? I had lofty ambitions of getting all my potatoes in last weekend, along with my shallot and onion sets. But it wasn't to be. I literally ran out of steam with an aching back and tired feet.

So round two will take place this week. I'll be planting main crop potato varieties and onion sets. The lighter evenings make such a difference I'll be able to pop down after work.

My main crop bed is already prepared. I dug it over and raked in blood, fish and bone. I'll also add compost to the bottom of the trench before planting the potatoes, as they're such greedy, speedy growers.

Onions really love growing in firm ground, so ideally, it should have been prepared in the autumn or winter, then left to go really hard. But instead, a quick forking over, followed by treading the ground to firm it before planting will just have to do. After all, I'm not hoping to grow prize-winning specimens, just some good ones for eating.

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Gardeners' World Web User 03/04/2009 at 11:20

Not sure why, but I am completely terrified about growing the potatoes. As you can probably gather I am new to all of this and I have never grown potatoes before. All this stuff about chitting them and growing them in bags etc. then piling up the soil around the green growth. Guess I just need to get in there and get growing.

Gardeners' World Web User 03/04/2009 at 11:49

Tony - don't worry about it! You don't really need to chit them, some argue it increases the yield but it's not essential. If you do, here's an article on chitting potatoes. The easiest thing to do is just grow them in an old compost bag or dustbin - just pop them over roughly 10cm compost, cover with another 10cm compost, then keep topping up with compost as the leaves start poking through until you get to the top. Increase watering frequency when the potatoes start to flower, then when they've died down, your spuds should be ready!

Gardeners' World Web User 04/04/2009 at 13:58

Try some perpetual spinach - I put a row of seeds in last year and we have been eating it all winter - also had enough to keep our 6 chickens and 2 guinee pigs going as well. You just pick the leaves and it comes back again. Other good grows last year were marrows and broad beans. Just think about what you like to eat and have a go.

Gardeners' World Web User 04/04/2009 at 15:19

I grew potatoes in raised beds last year and har a couple of really good crops. This year I want to grow something else in the beds. Can anyone tell me what should go in after potatoes? I have some onions and garlic started off in the greenhouse but not sure if that's the right thing to put in next.

Gardeners' World Web User 04/04/2009 at 20:33

Hi! I Made Up An Idea For Growing Vegatables And Recycling At The Same Time. Get A Pesto-Size Jar And Wrap It Up In Folded Newspaper. Tuck In The Top Of The Paper And Take The Jar Out. When You Have A Paper Cup, Fill It With Compost. Put Your Seed In And Watch It Grow!

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