How to grow potatoes – a step-by-step guide

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Learning however to turn potatoes is 1 of the easiest room gardening accomplishment you tin acquire. They marque a great, staple harvest successful adjacent tiny backmost yards, and they necessitate precise small looking after. They look large successful rootlike patches and borders and, amended still, erstwhile harvested, they tin beryllium transformed into a myriad of delectable dishes. 

There are a immense assortment of potatoes to take from, specified arsenic the accepted ‘Maris Piper’, cleanable for garnishing a Sunday roast. Or wherefore not get originative and turn ‘salad blue’ potatoes. Rarely recovered successful the supermarket, they volition marque a splash connected the meal table. 

Use this elemental usher to turn potatoes effortlessly – and observe each our proposal and ideas connected our gardens page.

How to turn potatoes

Whether you take to turn potatoes successful a bag, a pot, successful borders oregon successful a dedicated room garden, present is each you request to know. 

Choose your assortment of potato

How to turn  potatoes

(Image credit: Monika Grabkowska/Unsplash)

The benignant of murphy you take to turn volition not lone impact erstwhile you request to works it, but besides however agelong it volition instrumentality to grow. It is champion to ever acquisition effect potatoes from the plot centre to grow. 

‘Don’t beryllium tempted to usage the spidery ones from the backmost of your room cupboard arsenic these won’t nutrient a reliable crop,’ warns Kate Turner, Gardening Guru astatine Miracle-Gro (opens successful caller tab)

Chit your potatoes


(Image credit: RHS/Tim Sandall)

‘Chtting is simply a method of preparing tubers for planting which breaks their dormancy artificially and initiates growth,’ explains Francesco Ponziani, Horticulturist astatine RHS Garden Harlow Carr. ‘Reducing the clip successful which potatoes are acceptable to harvest.’

Chit your potatoes by placing them successful an ovum container oregon tray. Position them successful a chill airy place, ideally a windowsill without immoderate nonstop sunlight. Leave them for astir six weeks, until they statesman to nutrient shoots. 

Francesco recommends allowing lone 4 to 5 of the sturdiest shoots to grow. When these shoots are astir 2.5 cm they are acceptable to works out. 

Plant the potatoes

Potatoes turn successful astir ungraded conditions, arsenic agelong arsenic it is not excessively soggy oregon compact. However, the richer the ungraded the amended the crop, truthful it is simply a bully thought to hole the ungraded by incorporating a bully prime compost into it.

Choose determination that is sunny and frost-free. ‘Try to debar increasing them successful ungraded wherever potatoes person grown for 2 years antecedently successful succession, different this volition summation the hazard of disease,’ adds Francesco. 

The accepted planting method is to excavation a trench and works the potatoes 10 to 12 cm heavy and betwixt 30 to 37.5 cm isolated depending connected the assortment you are planting, with the shoots pointing upwards. Add compost truthful that the potatoes are covered. Keep the compost well-watered successful adust upwind until the tubers commencement to form.

However, you tin grow potatoes successful a container if you take tiny varieties. For truly tiny backyards, you tin adjacent grow potatoes successful a bag. Just marque definite the potatoes person capable abstraction to turn upwards arsenic good arsenic downwards. 

Potato companion planting volition assistance guarantee a healthier harvest and bring diverseness to your garden, too.

Earth up your potatoes

How to turn  potatoes

(Image credit: Lucas van Oort/Unsplash)

When the greenish shoots scope betwixt 20 to 30 cm gangly adhd other ungraded astir the stems to halt immoderate airy reaching immoderate potatoes that are increasing person to the surface. This process is called earthing-up and prevents your murphy harvest turning green. You volition request to proceed doing this arsenic your potatoes grow. 

However, you tin skip this measurement by increasing the potatoes nether achromatic polythene. This is simply a debased attraction planting method arsenic you won’t request to world up, and determination is nary digging progressive successful harvesting the potatoes from conscionable beneath the ungraded level. 

Harvest the potatoes


(Image credit: RHS/Tim Sandall)

Dig up the full works with a fork oregon spade, being cautious not to spear immoderate potatoes arsenic you go. ‘Make definite that you cull immoderate greenish potatoes arsenic these tin beryllium poisonous,’ advises Kate.

How agelong does it instrumentality to turn a potato?


(Image credit: RHS/Tim Sandall)

The magnitude of clip it takes to turn a murphy volition beryllium connected the assortment you person chosen. Potatoes are categorised into 3 groups: archetypal earlies, 2nd earlies and maincrop. 

First earlies are your caller potatoes, these are the quickest to turn and volition beryllium acceptable 10 weeks aft planting. ‘Because of the tiny size of archetypal aboriginal potatoes, these potatoes turn good successful containers oregon murphy sacks,’ points retired Francesco.

Second earlies see somewhat larger and much absorbing tasting potatoes specified arsenic ‘Jazzy’, ‘Kestrel’ and ‘Ratte’. These volition beryllium acceptable 13 weeks aft planting.

Maincrop potatoes see murphy staples specified arsenic ‘Maris Piper’ and ‘Desiree’ cleanable for roasting, baking and mashing. These volition beryllium acceptable 20 weeks aft planting.

What period bash you works potatoes?

Knowing when to works potatoes truly depends connected the clime portion you unrecorded in. As a wide rule, the perfect clip for planting potatoes is betwixt March and May. First aboriginal potatoes should beryllium planted successful aboriginal spring. Second aboriginal potatoes are champion planted successful mid-April. While maincrop potatoes should beryllium planted successful precocious April.

How bash I cognize erstwhile my potatoes are acceptable to harvest?


(Image credit: Miracle-gro)

If you person planted an aboriginal murphy variety, you tin archer that your potatoes are acceptable to harvest erstwhile the flowers unfastened oregon the buds drop. This volition usually beryllium astir June. 

Maincrop potatoes are usually acceptable to harvest betwixt August and October. The RHS proposal is to hold until the foliage turns yellow, earlier cutting it disconnected and waiting 10 days earlier harvesting.

If you are readying to store your maincrop potatoes, permission them a fewer hours to adust retired earlier storing.