In many areas, it's quite possible to plant potatoes in August.
Depending on weather, you should be able to start
harvesting your potatoes two to three months later. With a bit of
luck you will also have potatoes on your Christmas table and a few
weeks into the New Year.
This is an easy guide with pictures showing
exactly how to go about planting potatoes in August. We will add
a final picture on the right when December 25th comes along and I
harvest some of our potatoes on Christmas Day!
A crop of potatoes in early October from an August planting.
Order your seed potatoes from an
online supplier, we ordered ours from Dobies. They supply
potatoes which are ready to be planted immediately and
require no special treatment.
We ordered the variety
Vales Emerald but demand was too high and we actually
received Maris Peer. This is a second early variety which
is good for boiling, chips and wedges. It's also good cold
for salads. Very tasty!
Clear an area of land from weeds and dig it over to a
spade's depth. Draw furrows (three in the picture to the
right) about 12cm / 5in deep and lay the potatoes (any way
up will do) in the furrows at the recommended distance
apart. We spaced our potatoes 38cm / 15in apart, with the
furrows 50cm / 20in apart exactly as in the instructions.
Planting distances vary with variety so read the
Then simply cover the potatoes with earth and lightly
firm the soil down. If conditions are at all dry water
Water is the key to August planted potatoes. If
the weather delivers a dry spell, water the potatoes. By
mid-September there should be enough rainfall to keep them
We planted our potatoes on 4th August and this is a
picture them three weeks later on 25th August, not bad
progress by my reckoning!
Don't plant potatoes on land
that has been used for potatoes over the past two years and
if the soil is low in nutrients after growing a crop
earlier in the year, apply some well rotted compost or
general purpose fertiliser on the surface of the soil.
When the potato plants are around 25cm /9in
high earth them up. To earth up potatoes, simply use a hoe or
rake to pull up earth between the rows around the stems. No
problem if some of the leaves are covered, the potato plant will
simply grow through.
Here are the potatoes on 13th September, yes really only
6 weeks later!
It's all down to the soil which has been warmed by the
last 2 months of summer. These potatoes are about a month
from being ready for harvest. Our ambition of potatoes for
Xmas may have been premature because the potatoes have
actually matured even earlier than we expected!
Potatoes planted in August
are prone to blight infection if the long periods of damp occur.
This is a serious disease which can be avoided. First, pick a
Avoid the following varieties if you can: King Edward, Arran Comet,
Arran Pilot, Epicure, Foremost, Golden Wonder, Home
Guard, Kerr�s Pink, Majestic, Sharpe�s Express and Ulster Chieftain.
Varieties which have some resistance to blight include Cara, Estima, Kondor, Maris Peer, Pentland
Crown, Valor and Remarka.
Second, spraying with
Bordeaux mixture before the plants are infected provides a good
degree of control. Note that tomatoes also suffer from blight so
the same advice applies to them. If the weather is warm and damp
for a few days, then start spraying with Bordeaux mixture,
especially if the forecast is for more of the same weather.
Spraying should occur at 14 day intervals or according to the
instructions. If you see any leaves with brown freckles on them,
remove and burn as soon as possible because they are infected with
The potatoes should be ready for harvest when the plant
stops increasing in size. At this time flowers or buds will
normally appear. Harvest only those you need. Mature
potatoes can remain in the ground for a month or more with
On the left is a picture of Maris Peer
potatoes. Click to enlarge.
If a frost hits the plants, the tops will go brown
and start to die. However, the potatoes under ground will still
continue to grow although more slowly. Good luck with your
potatoes, and hopefully a Christmas harvest will be yours.
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Date posted: July 21, 2011 - 10:44 am
Ive planted some maris piper seed potatoes n have grown well n have flowered. Now i have what looks like little green tomatoes r theese seed spuds cud i plant these, do i leeve these o grow?
Name: John Braam
Date posted: May 27, 2011 - 02:25 pm
Message: Does the size of the seed potato have any bearing on the size of the potato that you harvest?
Name: Maqbool Ahmed
Date posted: November 01, 2010 - 02:13 am
Message: Thank full to u for ur this work