How to Grow Potatoes in the UK
Potatoes were first grown in Peru over 200 years ago, long, long
before the Irish ever got their hands on them! Aside from dairy
foods, potatoes are the most commonly eaten food in the western world.
POTATO QUICK GUIDE
Site and Soil
Sunny, well-dug and composted. Do not add lime.
Plant to Harvest Time
From 13 to 17 weeks
Earlies, 1kg (2.2lb) per 3m (10ft) row (75cm or 2ft 6in wide).
Slightly less for maincrop.
Up to the 1800s, growing potatoes was only for the poor. Their
nutritional value and taste has been appreciated more over the
last 200 years and the humble potato has now
become part of the standard diet of the UK and Ireland.
Growing potatoes takes up a large amount of your
garden space, so think carefully before planting. It is best to
concentrate on the early potato varieties and those maincrop varieties which
are unsuitable for commercial growing.
This article concentrates on how to grow two varieties of potato; "earlies" (known as
new potatoes) and the "maincrop" potato. Both types of potato are planted in a similar
manner and nearly at the same time, however they are harvested at different
times. There are of course intermediate varieties which can be
harvested between the two main varieties.
To Grow Your Potatoes - Position
A potato plant will grow in most soils as long as it has been well dug. The
soil should be clear of large lumps and stones. Add as much compost as
is available, or bonemeal (or similar) at the time of digging. It is a
good idea to prepare the soil in
to allow it to
settle before planting and let the compost begin to break down. Although
not fussy about the soil type, the potato prefers a slightly acidic soil,
so do not add lime before, during or after planting.
Gardening Advice Center
Share with us your gardening experience!
Date posted: December 25, 2011 - 01:55 pm
Message: You've landed on the right page. Just carry on reading.
Date posted: December 25, 2011 - 11:52 am
Message: Hi,I need tips on how to prepare to plant potatoes
Date posted: December 21, 2011 - 03:52 pm
Message: Try another root crop, like carrots, beets, swede. These are crops that do not require fresh manuring.
Date posted: December 21, 2011 - 02:08 pm
Message: Hi,running along the topside of my allotment a have 2 large raised beds that i intend to split into four beds.....I want to use a rotation system on these beds....what other vegetables can i plant along with potatoes that require the same soil type and will make use of the rotation system...thanx andy
Date posted: December 18, 2011 - 02:56 am
Message: Dig in the manure now. It can break down over the winter and release nutrients to the soil. Potatoes do better with well rotted manure.
Date posted: December 17, 2011 - 06:50 am
Message: Hi,i am preparing raised beds for a potatoe crop next year,after turning the soil and de-weeding would it be better to cover the bed with manua and then dig the manua in a couple of weeks before i plant,or can i dig the manua in straight away....thanx andy
Date posted: November 10, 2011 - 04:13 pm
Message: Yes indeed. Take the seed from the tomato-like fruit,it may take some time.
Date posted: November 10, 2011 - 02:01 pm
Message: hello are potatoes grown by seeds
Date posted: October 25, 2011 - 02:52 am
Message: Plant new potatoes in early spring, maincrop varieties later, at the srt of summer for harvest in the autumn.
Date posted: October 24, 2011 - 11:30 am
Message: what months do you plant pototoes?
Name: Freddy Mcgroo
Date posted: October 05, 2011 - 01:49 pm
Message: I just planted some potatoes. i dont no what to do next.
Date posted: October 02, 2011 - 04:51 pm
Message: I just dug up my potatoes, some good and some bumpy but none invaded by pests. Are the bumpy ones ok to eat after you peel them? They are drying now. Then I guess to the dark til Im ready to use.
Name: Chris Reardon
Date posted: September 30, 2011 - 05:20 pm
Message: I've been growing potatoes in bags for a few months. Think I planted in May. The plants look dead, so I tipped the bag. There were some lovely looking potatoes, but, not many of them at all.About 15 pots in all - 3 larrgish ones, the rest small. What did I do wrong ? Should I have left them in longer, even though the plants looked dead ? Did they die too soon (end September) ? Thanks.
Date posted: September 15, 2011 - 12:04 pm
Message: Hi my husband planted potatoes this year and although they look lovely I'm afraid to eat them as wild flowers started growing through them and I was afraid the potatoes will make me sick is that possible?
Date posted: August 31, 2011 - 04:52 am
Message: thanks for info on potatoe fruits i did wonder what they where
Date posted: August 14, 2011 - 10:09 am
Message: The potato plants produce the small green fruits but they should not be eaten at all. The potato fruits that look like little tomatoes are toxic for consumption as they contain high concentrations of solanine. When the plants start turning yellow to brown dig carefully around one plant to verify that the potatoes are ready to be harvested.
Date posted: August 14, 2011 - 07:16 am
Message: i have just dug up my potatoes and have found some small tomato like growths on the foliage. can you tell me what these are as iv never seen them before. thanks
Date posted: August 11, 2011 - 05:05 pm
Message: I have planted late crop of Romano potatoes in April in a greenhouse.The stems have grown 50cm and the growing tips are curled over and the leaves dont open is this normal for this type of potatoe or do I have a problem any advise please.
Name: tesfai Gebreslasie
Date posted: August 05, 2011 - 09:27 am
Message: hi I am now start small scale farm i went to plant potato ,cucumber , radish but i don,t have more know loge , please help me what can i do, i need your adivce
Date posted: July 31, 2011 - 01:59 pm
Message: Hi, I have recently moved into a house and just found out that there are potatoes growing in the garden. I have dug up most of them as they were in the wrong place and overgrown but replanted a few elsewhere. My question is: Can I eat the potatoes I have dug up, or are they classed as 'seed potatoes' and not good for you to eat? (They look fine and healthy, only a few had small ones attached to the potatoes on the plant).Please let me know if they are ok to eat?
Potato plants take up a lot of room!
The ideal position for a potatoes is a warm and sunny site with little or no
shade in the UK. Do not grow potatoes in the soil for two years in succession,
this will increase the risk of disease. For the same reason do not plant
potatoes where tomatoes were grown the previous year. Both are
from the same family and will readily transmit diseases to each other.
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