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Potatoes

  • How to grow Potatoes

    What to plant Earlies:   Very good if you only have a small area. As they are lifted earlier, they are less likely to encounter problems such as wireworms, slugs and blight. Earlies are ready 15 - 16 weeks after planting in March onward.  Only plant when the conditions are right - be patient! Second Earlies:   Second Earlies take 16-17 weeks to mature after planting in April Maincrops:   Maincrops take 18-20 weeks to mature after planting in mid-April onwards. These take up the most space in the garden, but they are the best varieties to store.  They also
  • Chitting Potatoes

    What does chitting mean? Chitting is basically another word for sprouting. By exposing the seed potato to light and a small bit of warmth you are encouraging growth.  The eyes of the potato will start sprouting - the sprouts should be small, knobbly, and green/purple in colour. If you end up with long, white coloured sprouts, it means there’s not enough light. Why do you chit potatoes? By getting the potato to sprout you have started off the growing process so that the plants will have a head start when you put them in the soil.  In theory you will then get your
  • To get the best potato crop - add plenty of potash

    Potash deficiency in potato tubers Potatoes are heavy feeders. To get the best crop you should add plenty of fertility in the form of manure, compost or organic plant feeds. You might not be aware of how much they can benefit from a high potash feed. Potash is potassium (K) in a plant available form. Tubers with black in the middle are a sign of potash deficiency. Another sign is yellowing around the leaf margins. Sources of potash If you have a wood fire you can use wood ash to boost your potash levels. Take care to only use wood ash. Coal or peat ash is not a good
  • Growing potatoes in a greenhouse or polytunnel for a very early crop

    Potatoes can be planted at any time of year, provided you keep them free from frost. If you have a polytunnel or greenhouse then you can plant them in December or January and have very early potatoes on the table in March and April (early varieties take around 80 to 100 days before they are ready. If you have enough space, the seed potatoes can be planted in beds, just as you would outside. Another way to grow them is in large containers or grow bags. Filled with good quality potting compost and and a general purpose organic feed (such as Greenvale). The grow bags can
  • Controlling blight using organic methods

    It's the time of year to start thinking about preventing blight - especially in your potato crop. There are now some excellent blight resistant varieties suitable for organic growers. We saw great demand for these this spring and sold out quickly. We'll make sure to have as many blight resistant varieties as possible next year. Another way to avoid blight is simply to grow earlies or 2nd earlies and get them harvested before blight takes hold. This does mean that you may not get such a large yield, and may not be suitable for people looking to store through the

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