Potato Planting Begins

Seed potatoes have been chitting in trays on my windowsill since January and now have lovely fat shoots on them, last weekend I took advantage of the lovely weather and planted the Charlotte salad potatoes. Charlotte are a yellow-skinned, oval-shaped new potato which are perfect for barbecues and adding to salads, they’re a second early potato and can be planted out from mid March through to April, depending on the weather for your area.

There are many different ways and methods of planting potatoes – deep trugs, potato bags, containers, digging trenches etc, I plant mine into a long raised bed. Before I plant my seed potatoes I place them on top of the soil (approx 12 -15 inches apart depending on variety) spacing them out evenly, then I dig a planting hole for each seed potato using a hand fork (approx 6 inches deep) and pop a seed potato in with the shoots pointing upwards. After planting, I mound soil over the rows straight away. As soon as the top growth (leaves) emerge through the top of the mounds of soil, I carry on earthing up (covering the potato leaves with soil) using excess soil between the rows for as long as possible. 

If a late frost is forecast I cover the rows of potatoes with large pieces of thick cardboard, removing the cardboard first thing in the morning. Main crop potatoes will go out sometime next month once I figure out where to put them. Which varieties are you growing this year?

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4 comments

  1. I’ve been planting mine out on the plot all week! 20/25 each first early Vales Emerald, salad Charlotte (which also keep well), second early Kestrel (an excellent all rounder) and maincrop Desiree. This year I didn’t dig trenches but individual holes using my bulb trowel. It proved to be relatively easy and quick, but still a rather boring task! xx

  2. I planted some ‘Swift’ last week, still have ‘Anya’, ‘Charlotte’ and ‘Lady Christl’. I am planting them the same way as you, except that I am leaving earthing up until I see the first signs of growth. I’m also going to experiment with mulching with straw with some of them, just to see…

  3. This is my first year of potato growing. I chose Duke of York first earlies. I have no idea why because the more I read I find that nobody else seems to grow them. So my second earlies will be of a more favourite variety.

    ps – love your blog!

  4. Ours aren’t in yet. Well, we do have some Rocket in the polytunnel in the hopes of some ‘extra-earlies’ and they are peeking through. Mo

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