Top tips

More tips from our winners

It’s not surprising that previous winners The Greenway Primary School won either. They sang regularly to their plants. One potato, two potatoes seemed to be a favourite!

Most of the winning schools also said that they made sure they watered the plants on a very regular basis. Our expert farmer in Suffolk says that the amount of water you give your plants has a direct effect on the size of you spuds. Don’t forget that a potato is 80% water and it has to come from somewhere!

Some of our winners found volunteers to come in and water the plants during the holidays while others asked parents to take the potatoes home for the holidays. The children loved to have a bit of responsibility and it helps to enforce the key messages about growing and looking after plants. They are so proud of their achievements when they harvest the crop.

If you have any hot tips, please let us know.

Chris Colin - the Blue Peter Gardener

 

 

From Chris Collins,
the Blue Peter Gardener

  • Remember that potatoes need drainage, if you’re growing them in a container, stand the container on bricks.  If you’re growing them in open ground and the soil is clay, dig some gravel into the area beneath the planting hole.
  • A good tip to help your potatoes to grow, is to do a task called ‘Earthing up’. This is just adding more soil around the base of the plants. Repeat   this two or three times throughout the growing season.
  • Potatoes like the sunshine so make sure your container or bed isn’t in shade.
  • Potatoes are quite hungry plants; so don’t forget to feed them. Mix in some manure to the soil, as they will enjoy this. You can also give them a liquid feed.  Collect some nettles and place them in a bucket with water.  After two weeks you can drain off the water and place it into water sprayer.  You can spray your potatoes with this in the early morning. This is a very good organic feed.
  • When watering your potatoes, always water to the base of the plants, onto the soil and not the foliage.
  • Potatoes like plenty of water, the more they get to drink the bigger the crop. As water is precious why not collect rainwater in buckets or a water butt. This way you can give your plants plenty to drink.
  • A trick to make your potatoes grow bigger is to keep an eye on the plant, to see if they if they produce flowers. If they do pinch them out, this will save the plant energy and help focus on tuber production.
  • Keep an eye for unwanted visitors on your plants. Always check you plant over, get to know your plants. 
  • An important tip is to dig up your potatoes when the weather is dry.  Dig them up carefully as you don’t want to bruise them.  Leave them in the sun for an hour to let them dry.

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