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Getting off to good start with Seed Potatoes

by User Not Found | Feb 06, 2013

GET-STARTED-WITH-SEED-POTATOES
Getting off to good start with Seed Potatoes this Season

Potatoes are foolproof to grow, they are one of the favourite vegetables grown here in Ireland and are both versatile and delicious. Potatoes are crop for both a beginner and experienced gardener. There are a number of simple steps to taking care of your crop but with very low maintenance you can produce a crop that will surpass any potatoes you could buy in a shop.

Grow_your_own_Potatoes

Selecting Your Seed Potatoes

When it comes to selecting varieties you can either choose to sow early seed or maincrop seed potatoes. The early seed potatoes crop can mature in as little as 7 weeks after planting, of course that depends on favourable conditions (Keep your fingers crossed!). You can plant early seed potatoes from late February, remember wintery conditions may still prevail so you will need to protect your newly planted crop with frost protection fleece. Alternatively you can select a variety from the maincrop potato seed, most varieties are ready for planting in March through to mid/late April. While maincrop varieties of potatoes will take 15-18 weeks before maturing, they do take that bit longer than an early crop, but you will have a greater yielding crop.

 Grow_your_own_Potatoes

Steps to growing your perfect potatoes

  1. In a bright, frost-free area place your seed potatoes in seed trays or egg boxes during January-February, this will encourage them to sprout also called ‘chitting’, which takes a few weeks.
  2. The ideal time for planting your sprouting potatoes is when the sprouts are approx 2.5com (1”) and plant between March-April. Planting in a trench approx 10cm deep, add fertilizer to the trench before positioning the seed potatoes 30cm (1ft) apart and finally covering with top soil.
  3. As the shoots grow keep them covered with soil so that they are buried beneath the surface. This may be a step you need to repeat. However, it will encourage the potatoes to form underground.
  4. Depending on the amount of rain fall during the growing season, watch out for dry spells as your potatoes will need regular watering. Keep a look out for blight and blight weather warnings. 'Sarpo' varieties are a blight resistant crop.
  5. For early potato crops the best time to harvest is when the potatoes flower and the foliage is still green, later crops are best left until after the plants leaves have turned yellow and brown.
  6. Wash, cook, enjoy.

If you have any further questions on getting off to good start with Seed Potatoes this Season, please feel free to comment below, on our Facebook or Twitter page. To view our full range of seed potatoes on sale visit our Online Shop or call into your local CountryLife Store.

Best of luck with your potato crop for 2013.

Fergal.