Part 1: Potatoes
Anyone can grow potatoes, even if you are living in the city and don’t have a garden!
There is something quite special about growing your own organic produce, harvesting and then eating.
I’ve used the plastic potato sacks (3 in a pack with carrying handles … reusable) from the garden centre. You could use a thick black bin liner, an old tin drum etc. Just make sure there is drainage holes. Seed potatoes are available from the garden centre, spring to autumn.
- If you plant the seed potatoes in intervals, 4-6 weeks, you can harvest over a longer period.
- Each shop bought planter is suitable for about 5 seed potatoes.
- Line the planter with good quality potting compost to 4cm. Place the seed potatoes with the shoots facing upwards and cover with a further 6cm of potting compost.
- Keep the soil damp but not waterlogged. Feed with a high potash/ low nitrogen feed.
- If there is danger of frost, then cover with a fleece until this has passed.
- When the shoots have grown 7cms high add another layer of compost, so it covers the tips by a couple of CMS. Continue to do this until the shoot are CMS above the planter.
- Now leave the plant to grow. Watering when its dry but not too saturate the soil. Feed as before, periodically.
- The plant should produce small flowers and once these have died then then potatoes are ready to harvest.
- Some varieties don’t flower but start to die off. Just feel beneath the soil to see if there is any hidden treasure… there probably is so its time to harvest!
- Tip the bag out, collect your treasure and wash.
- Wash out you bag, if you used a commercial one and plan your Maris Pipers for Christmas lunch.
- I’ve just planted mine today. (27 Aug 15)
-Deborah DOAF x