About the project
Launched in 2005, Grow Your Own Potatoes (GYOP) was one of the first primary school based growing projects. Since then it has become the largest of its kind with over 2 million children taking part in learning where potatoes come from, how they grow and that potatoes are a healthy food. Its simplicity and the fact that GYOP is a hands on activity makes it perfect for young pupils.
Schools that register to take part (in Feb) receive a FREE growing kit containing everything they need to grow a successful crop.
Competition 1: Heaviest weight of Rocket Potatoes
Prize 1: Junior Octobrunch Picnic Bench
Competition 2: Heaviest weight of regional variety
Prize 2: 10 x £100.00 of National Gardening vouchers
Competition 3 & 4 The Sun.
Prize 3: Gardening vouchers
Once again for 2019, The Sun newspaper is offering additional prizes of gardening vouchers for the single heaviest and the greatest number of potatoes from one bag.
Friday 24 January 2020
Register now for Grow Your Own Potatoes 2020. Kits are limited so don’t delay.
Registrations for 2019 are now closed.
Please be aware that ONLY Primary schools in England, Scotland & Wales (5 to 11 year olds) are eligible to take part in the GYOP project and will be allocated kits in 2019.
Tuesday 19 February 2019
Start chitting your seed potatoes on Tuesday 19 February 2019 this will take about two weeks
Chitting will speed up the ageing process of your potatoes, by exposing it to light and, more importantly, a bit of warmth. This will cause the eyes of the seed potato to start sprouting and should result in a better crop.
Tuesday 5 March 2019
All schools taking part in the GYOP competition will be planting on this date to give them 14 weeks to grow a successful crop before harvesting.
You should by now have chitted your potatoes but don’t worry if not you can still plant them, just be extra careful not to over water them before they have had a chance to get established.
Don't forget also to label your grow bags to help identify the variety growing. Show us how you labelled your bags and you could win a prize for your school.
Tuesday 5 March - Tuesday 11 June 2019
14 weeks from planting to harvesting
To grow a successful crop of potatoes in your grow bags, your potatoes will need: light, water, food, space and air.
Make sure you find the perfect spot to stand your bag, keep the soil moist but not wet and dont forget to top up your soil as the plant grows to give the potatoes lots of room to grow.
Watch out for late frosts too potato plants hate frost!
Tuesday 11 June 2019
Now is the exciting time when you find out if all of your hard work has paid off, just 14 weeks since planting.
If you remove the green tops from your plants, it makes them really easy to pull out of the bag without damaging it, this means you can re-use the bags to grow something else.
Once out of the bags the fun begins, roll up those sleeves and rummage through the soil to find your potatoes, just watch out for the mother tuber!!
Why not try and win the overall GYOP prize of a Junior Octobrunch for your school, by entering the weight of potatoes that you grew from the three Rocket seed potatoes?
There is also the opportunity for your school to win one of ten regional prizes of £100 worth of gardening vouchers by entering the weight of your second variety ( one per region – East Scotland, West Scotland, Wales, NE North England, NE South England, NW England, Central North England, Central South England SE England & SW England).
Plus, there are more prizes on offer from The Sun’s competition for the heaviest single potato and largest number of potatoes from one bag (any variety).
Your kit this year will include:
- Instruction leaflet
- 2 x nets of seed potatoes (national & regional)
- 2 x HADO grow bags
- Chitting tray - you will find this built into the lid of your box
Using your chitting tray: Simply pull open the tray and remove the contents. Fold the tray back into place and support it with the small tab at the back of the box. Pop out the seven round disks in your tray and rest your seed potatoes on top making sure the chits are facing up. Remove the outer lid along the perforation.
Each year all of the seed potatoes grown as part of the GYOP project is supplied free of charge by the potato industry and for this we are very grateful. Each school that signs up to take part in GYOP receives two varieties; Every school receives Rocket variety for the national competition and then a second variety depending on where they are regionally.
Not a primary school?
Due to changes in the Grow Your Own Potatoes project , we are unable to supply kits to bodies not teaching to the KS1 & 2 curriculum, including home educators, childminders, brownies, scout packs and other similar organisations.
With your help the children in your care could still learn all about potatoes by following the key dates and information