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James Davis

Hi, I've recently dug up a potato crop and most of them are quite small. I prefer to grow veg naturally no feed only sun shine (HA !!) and water.

Any advice to make potatoes bigger?



Simple-you have to feed plants or feed the soil so they can take up nourishment-potatoes are heavy feeders-no plant will flourish on water and sunshine alone -can you?

James Davis
That was very blunt! I only a beginner with little knowledge.
I feed the soil with manure, I was told to do it over the winter months?
Miss Becks

LOL Geoff. I didn't realize you had to fertilize potatoes as well! Tut, wish you could get foods stamps for plants!

James, this will be my first attempt to grow potatoes in time for Christmas, so glad you asked, or mine would have just had sunshine (when applicable) and water as well, producing many marbles I suspect.



Ah, but you said 'No feed' - manure adds nutrients to the soil - did you manure your potato patch last winter or is this a very new plot?  

I only started our new plot this spring so I did not manure the potato patch as freshly manured ground is liable to cause potato scab.  We are growing 1st earlies to eat as 'new potatoes' we've had a reasonable yield per plant (enough for a meal for two people each plant) - the size of the potatoes has been quite variable.  We're growing Annabelle - what variety are you growing?  

We like to garden fairly organically (although not strict about it) so I've used some organic chicken manure pellets and a little organic seaweed fertiliser powder on the veg patch as the nearby tree roots had made the soil quite 'hungry'.


Gary Hobson

All plants can (almost) make something from nothing by photosynthesis. But they actually need more than sunshine and water. They need nitrogen.

One way of supplying nitrogen is through animal dung. Another way is through crop rotation. Legumes (peas and clover) are capable of fixing nitrogen from the air. Growing potatoes on a plot formerly used for legumes would be one way of solving the problem.

So it is possible to produce food from air and water.

James Davis
This is a new plot, well new to my wife and I. We move into our house not that long ago. read our blog

I'm using horse manure from a friend's stables. I'm not really up on names of potatoes, in all honesty we planted some potatoes that started to grow shoots in cupboard. It worked !! the pictures on our blog.

I've just read about using bags for winter potatoes so you can take them inside when the frost bites.

Thanks Dovefromabove I didn't really think of manure as feed. When some says feed I think a liquid. That's what you get for being a Newbie!!
James Davis wrote (see)
That was very blunt! I only a beginner with little knowledge.
I feed the soil with manure, I was told to do it over the winter months?

You didn't say you were a beginner -you also said you hadn't used feed-my advice was based on what you wrote-sorry if you feel that was blunt


James Davis
Never mind I didn't know manure was feed. Rookie mistake. Still from the first post i'be learnt a lot.

I think you'll find potatoes want a high potash feed.

Nitrogen is likely to produce too much Haulm instead of potatoes.

This what I use as a feed and slug repellant, .

We all have to learn sometimes, nobody knows it all.


You also need to leave them in the soil longer.  You have dug them up too soon.

I dug up about 3lb of potatoes today and I didnt even intend to grow them.. the peelings in the compost sprouted and grew, I just transplanted them somewhere else in my beds and they have grown but I was fed up with all the leaves taking up space so I cut them down and found the spuds... I havent fed them anything either.  they just grew on their own from peelings.  I have cooked them for a potato salad tomorrow, and at least two of them were as big as baking spuds.  As for feeding the rest of my veggies they get it if I remember and we always get a good crop... so far so good.

p.s.  I dont know what I am doing either - we are 2nd year rookies and need as much help as possible.,  Did you see Monty Don tonight on Gardeners World.. even he  had rotten crops with his potatoes and carrots this year.

the tidy gardener

my first crop of potatoes was the best.just put them in,and watered them and they were brilliant.never did anything to the soil!this year has been the worst ever.frost,cold,wet,everything thrown at them.the ones in bags are o.k. but the ones in the ground..i dont think theyve grown more than a few inches!i dont know whats happened.dug around,and theyre o.k. just very very tiny spuds.i think this year is the worst for fruit and veg!


I agree with you Claire.  I dug some earlies up the other day and there were about 3 tiny potatoes on each plant.  My beans and courgettes are suffering too!

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