Grow together - potatoes

It’s always fun (and tasty) to grow a pot or two of new potatoes, particularly if you have kids. First and second earlies are a good choice for containers as they mature fastest, giving delicious new potatoes around July.

I’m growing ‘Arran Pilot’ as I found this grew best in some tests I did, but any first or second early variety will do. I’m growing some in a flower bucket and some in an old ‘bag for life’ with drainage holes cut in the bottom.

I’m use compost that has several years old - so I’m adding some fertiliser (blood fish and bone in this case) and worm compost (not essential) to replenish the nutrients. New compost will probably work even better - but I find they seem to grow quite well in old stuff… we’ll see.

In the bucket I am putting one seed potato, in the bag for life, two.

Here they are in their final position. I’ll keep you updated on how they do

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PS be careful not to overwater at this stage… potatoes need lots of water once the plant gets bigger, but if the compost is too wet at this stage the seed potato can rot. It needs to be moist not soggy.

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very helpful indeed to have pictures and short vivid instructions and reasoning. have never grown potatoes, though lots of other things; but now i feel able enough to try. thanks!!

How many potatoes will come from just those 3 that you planted? I always thought that one potato planted gave you one potato grown but in hindsight that’s just silly! :upside_down_face: :crazy_face:

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Were these proper seed potatoes, or just ones that had sprouted? (and is there a big difference?)

Is there? Interesting…

Proper seed potatoes. The main difference is that seed potatoes are rigorously bred and grown to ensure they don’t carry diseases. Normal potatoes from the shops will usually grow fine - but they are not recommended for growing as they might spread disease. But this is much less of a risk in a pot at home than in say an allotment.

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Each bowl of potatoes (each a different variety) in this picture was harvested from just one seed potato planted in one of those small buckets flowers are displayed in.

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The top middle ones look especially abundant and tasty!

The potatoes are up… At this stage I will earth them up (this weekend).

If you’re not sure what earthing up is, all it means is adding more soil.You want to leave at least six inches or so growth at the top each time. I’ll fill the bag about an inch or two from the top.

Thanks Mark, that’s really helpful. Are you supposed to ‘chit’ seed potatoes? I can’t remember the variety I got but I tried to 'chit them and nothing much happened so I planted them and they’ve come up ok.

I’ve earthed them up and now them seem happy, but I think I’ve put too many in the bags I got.

I got really confused with the different varieties - early, main, late, blah, blah so just picked one randomly, which is probably not the best approach but hey no, least there’s something coming up :grin::joy:

You can chit them but it is not necessary. Some people say it makes a difference, others say no difference at all. I never seem to have to time - so I just plant mine straight like you.

The different varieties are confusing. Basically, the names refer to how quickly they grow - so first earlies are ready first, then second earlies, then main crop. Most people grow first earlies as they take up less space and new potatoes are always such a treat.

That is what I did. On 27 May I planted three potatoes (Vivaldi) from the biological shop. A couple of days ago some leaves appeared. I will see what happens.

Two weeks since I last posted and the foliage has grown a fair bit. As the plant starts to get bigger, it starts to need more watering. Particularly on hot or windy days, a lot of water can be lost by the growing number of leaves.

This is now fully ‘earthed up’. I earthed them up with old compost mixed in with a bit of worm compost and a little organic fertiliser.

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Ten days on and the yellow bag I’m using as a pot is almost impossible to see due to all the foliage… We’ve had hot days and a lot of wind so I’m watering them daily at the moment. Probably still a few weeks until they are ready.

Lots of foliage on my potatoes too. It looks like they are doing fine.

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So, the potatoes are ready to harvest! I emptied the first bucket on Saturday. 913g of potatoes from one seed potato which is not bad. Just the right size, too, small and delicious.

Will harvest this bag next week (the orange bag for life is only just visible through the foliage).

I harvested one of the bags today - 1.7kg, including one or two whoppers! I guess these are a bit past ‘new’ potatoes, but they still taste pretty good.

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I harvested the last two potato plants. The plastic plant bag with three potatoes (Vivaldi) from the biological shop was 40 cm by 40 cm and 30 cm deep. I already harvested one plant (275 grams). The last two plants resulted in 340 grams and 804 grams. Happy with the result of 1419 grams of potatoes.

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I grew 3-4 tubers each in 14" pots this year, I wonder if I’d have at least as good luck putting just a couple in,.