How to grow your own vegetables

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.
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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.
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  • 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

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