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15 messages
30/09/2013 at 19:43

Hi everyone,

I was wondering when is the earliest you can plant potatoes and which variety give big potatoes ?

I planted new potatoes this year and had a good yeald but the seconds that I planted in a large bag container (about 1 meter width and 24inches deep) which I planted about 8 potatoes in didn't do as well as I was hoping and they were very small even though the plants grew really well and I left them in even after the plants had died off.I planted them in about March and got them up over the last couple of weeks.

I have a raised bed so I'm thinking of growing them in there next year so I can earth them up properly.  So I would be very greatful for any advice given.

Many thanks

30/09/2013 at 20:18

Normally you plant potatoes around Easter. If you plant much earlier the frosts will get them in the open ground (unless you live in the channel islands or cornwall.)

01/10/2013 at 00:02

Sounds like the potatoes in the bag were too crowded to thrive either that or you didn't give them enough water or both.

You can plant potatoes early if you give them some protection from frosts. I grow mine under clear plastic and the early start means I'm ahead of the blight spores when they invade.

Marfona or Picasso can be nice large spuds if you feed them well. So can Sarpo Mira but I wouldn't touch them with a barge pole as they are like eating cardboard (not that I ever have).

King Edwards and Mayan gold are on the small to medium size but size takes second place to taste for me. If you want a really tasty second early spud that looks good and reaches a decent size try either Marfona or Vivaldi. Vivaldi are just slightly better flavoured but there isn't much in it. Marfona have a firmer texture but both spuds will roast and bake and won't fall apart if you have to boil.

I've just grown Blue Belle (maincrop) for the first time this year and they have been the most productive spuds I have ever grown, nice big spuds too.

18/12/2013 at 14:54

Hi what kind of container would anyone recommend to grow potatoes in as im limited for space and at what time of year.

KEF
18/12/2013 at 16:38

I only grow 1st early spuds ( new potatoes) I like Pentland Javelin, they taste good and save well. I've still got quite a few in a paper sack in the garage.

I plant at Easter (ish) in a potato barrel and in potato sacks from GC or where is the cheapest, I don't have space in veg' garden. I don't get huge amounts, but plenty to keep 2 going.

Rude of me, hello Flowergirl4  Hi Andythink my answer answers your ?

18/12/2013 at 22:55

Kef do you use old compost, new, soil???? I'm limited for space And grew one tuber in a builders black bucket. It provided a meal for 2 Per bucket, would have liked more but  suppose a bucket is small!! Unless I start in bottom bucket and when they show, cut bottom out of second bucket and then fill this so in essence earthing up. Would this work/get bigger yields??

KEF
19/12/2013 at 08:47

Red Dahlia, my method might make for expensive spuds but I use new multipurpose compost and a handful of Growmore per sack. I keep earthing up with new stuff. I give a couple of veg liquid feeds during growing.

The compost gets used on veg bed when harvesting done. 

The sacks were cheap to buy from Wilkinsons, they will be okay for a 2nd year and then the plastic will probably fall to bits. They have handles on so you can move them around, so if space is tight you could maybe just "hide them" when you need areas to look nice.

The potato barrel is much sturdier and deeper. It looks better and has lasted for 6 years. I thought it expensive for what it was but I've had my money's worth. Plus you can get spuds out from the door at the bottom as and when, rather than tipping the lot out.

I did once use an old plastic dustbin, but the amount of compost needed for not very many spuds was silly.

Going back to your question about yield I'd maybe have put 2 seed spuds in the bucket. Cunning plan to build upwards with buckets, but I think cost of buckets etc.. I'd have a look at potato barrels. Suppose with barrel you could plant flowers in it after spuds harvested.

19/12/2013 at 08:49

you can get potato bags from pound land and they are quite good. you dont have to bother about crop rotation either. no digging just pour into wheelbarrow and sort then use the soil/ peat mixed with new for planters ect. and you can use potato fertilzer. 

19/12/2013 at 09:52

Will save buckets for tomato then and take a trip to pound land!

19/12/2013 at 10:28

Would they grow in bags in a greenhouse if started now?

19/12/2013 at 10:42

I had some in ready for xmas and the tops frosted and went mushy as it's unheated so no doubt it. I will probably start some in buckets or tubs in my conservatory in late feb early march. 

KEF
19/12/2013 at 10:43

Artjak I think it's too cold in my unheated GH. I've tried before to grow for Christmas and they "stood still".  I know you can grow spuds without chitting, but I always chit and doubt there are any seed spuds to be bought.

Maybe some people do, I would also like to know.

p.s. start saving egg boxes in the new year for chitting

19/12/2013 at 11:46

i know people who put potatoes in bags for xmas about two months ago . Pound land have not got any at the moment probably back in the spring . i had some in the greenhouse in the ground the last two years but got good results from the bags and old planters this year. i even got some out of the greenhouse (quite a lot actually) from spuds i missed digging up last year.

19/12/2013 at 13:21

For second Early I opt for Kestrel and Charlotte. Kestrel can be treated as a main crop and will produce some quite large tubers,ideal for baking and store very well.  Charlotte will store but tends to lose it's flavour over time.

19/12/2013 at 14:07

Thompson and Morgan have got an offer on potatoes i ordered some for delivery in January. They also have a seed offer buy 3 packs for £1.49 each get one free. And free delivery. I am going to plant a wild garden around my orchard and after watching Monty Don last week i found out how to do it you need to start with Yellow Rattle as it suppresses the grass and allows the wild flowers to thrive. i got this from Emorsgate seeds only £5.20 for 13 grams free delivery over £5.00. this has to be planted now as it needs the winter cold to start it off. there is also quite a lot of prep before hand to create bare patches in the grass to sow onto . I success as it will help with the pollination of my fruit trees and encourage more wildlife.

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