When and How to Plant Potatoes

As we head towards Spring now is the time to start thinking about Potatoes.

The best time to plant potatoes in the South of England is from mid-March to mid-April. This will allow the potatoes to grow during the warmer months and be ready to harvest in late summer or early autumn.

To plant potatoes, follow these steps:

            1. Choose a sunny, well-drained spot in your garden with loose, fertile soil.
            2. Dig a trench that is about 15cm deep and 60cm wide.
            3. Add some well-rotted manure or compost to the bottom of the trench.
            4. Place the seed potatoes in the trench, with the shoots facing upwards and about 30cm apart.
            5. Cover the potatoes with about 10cm of soil.
            6. As the plants grow, keep earthing up the soil around the stems, to create a ridge of soil. This will help to encourage more potatoes to form and protect them from light which can cause them to turn green.
            7. Water the plants regularly, especially during dry spells.

Potatoes are typically harvested from late summer to early autumn, depending on the planting time and variety of potato. The plants are usually ready to be harvested when the foliage has died back and turned yellow or brown.

To harvest the potatoes, gently dig them up with a fork or spade, being careful not to damage them. Once you have harvested them, leave them to dry for a few hours before storing them in a cool, dark place. This will help to prolong their shelf life and prevent them from spoiling.

Happy Gardening from Rainbow Garden Nurseries