Register with us or sign in
in Fruit & veg
I'm a gardening newbie and I've planted a few chitted seed potatoes in grow bags today. Am I right in thinking that I only have to protect the leafy bits from frost when they start to poke through? And will a home-made cloche (recycled milk carton) do the trick for overnight/all day or should I use something else? fleece maybe? Or I was thinking, as they are in bags, I could easily stand them in the house or shed overnight when it's meant to be below zero.
As you can see, I really haven't got a clue! Any advice gratefully received.
Good for you for giving it a go Bexlloyd. I've grown potatoes in bags and containers many times. You are right that it's the leafy green bits you have to protect from the frost. A fleece should do fine depending on how low the temperature is ment to get. If you set them in a sheltered place that would help too. Good luck.
Hi Bexlloyd , it depends where in the world you are, is your grow bag on its edge i,e long side or short side or do you have it on the flat ,if its any of the above ,try this method :-
1/put a 2" layer of compost in the bottom of a purpose made potato grow bag .
2/place 5 of the seed potatoes on top of the compost .(shoots pointing upwards)
3/cover the seed by about 1/2" of compost .
4/Furl down the top of bag till its just above the top of compost .
5/when the Hume's appear wait until they are 4 " high and cover with compost .
6/ unfurl the grow bag and repeat adding compost as necessary and water every other day .
hope this helps
Thanks for the advice, I'm in Leeds, UK. I bought some potato bags as I couldn't find anything I could recycle - so short across the bottom, long sides. They're in a corner against a south facing wall, so fairly sheltered - think I just need to roll the tops down as clogherhead suggests and make sure I give them enough water.
Luckily I seem to be on the right track - I'm not a total novice, I grew lots of potatoes, tomatoes, peppers, onions and garlic last year, but I was living in SE Europe, so the weather was definitely on my side, by this time last year, we were between 20 and 30 C every day. It's the cold that worries me the most, but I've armed myself with a few books and hopefully it will all start to sink in at some point!
So what's the verdict on the forum about whether we can risk putting potatoes out? Mine have been chitting away quite happily for a few weeks and I think they're largely ready for planting (I'll use patio bags). I don't want to leave it too much longer as a few of the small ones are starting to go a bit soft.
But, even though the days seem / feel warmer, it's definitely still round about zero by night - I'm in Central London as well!
I know that potato foliage is frost-prone but is there enough warmth in the sun by day to get them started and then hopefully by the time shoots get above soil level, the frosts may hev ended..?
I don't yet feel ready to plant up my potato bags yet. Far to cold at night. But mine are evn slow chitting ina frost free garage. - just means late potatoes this year
I've planted 20 'Sharpes Express' and 20 ' Charlotte' this afternoon, in tubs and they will stay in the mouth of the garage until it warms up a little.
The others will have to wait until the soil warms somewhat.
I am still waiting to put mine out and I am in Cornwall. The days are bright and sunny but a bitter wind with hard frosts at night.
Qprfanatic wrote (see)
Would it work if I put fleece on my raised bed to warm the soil? I was hoping to put in first earlies this weekend or they are in danger of becoming first lates!!! Would recovering them with fleece help them get started? I am in Hertford shire.
Covering with fleece now is pointless-they will be what?- 4 inches deep?-no frost at this time of year will penetrate that-fleece is to protect emerging shoots-will not warm up the soil
Plant in the coming days -it is set to get warmer
Thanks for that. I can see your logic just worried potatoes won't get going! Have also grown peas in greenhouse which are ready tolant put. What do you think!
By the weekend this cold will be gone according to the foreacast -time to start hardening things off that will be planted outside
I've spuds been chitting since January, bought at a potato fair, surprisingly, they are a lot firmer than the one's bought from a local nursery and GC, but they are all ready to be planted out.
I'm in the NW and was going to start planting mine in bags next week unless the weather takes a steep dive for the worst.
I have planted my potatoes today .I planted in a large sturdy card board box .I put a mix of compost and leaf mold in the box put in chitted potatoes and covered with the rest of the mix about 3 inches deep and if it is to cold tonight ,I plan to fold over the flaps and cover with a fleece.I hope this works never done this before It does get down to about 3c at night here ,I was going to try growing in straw ,but with the wind we get it would be a mess.