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Get Ready for a Thriving Potato Growing Season with GYOP!

Grow Your Own Potatoes | Potato House
Looking after your growing plants

GYOP April 2024

As you embark on the exciting journey of growing your own potatoes with the Grow Your Own Potatoes (GYOP) programme, rest assured that we're here to support you every step of the way. Whether you're a seasoned gardener or just starting out, our aim is to make your GYOP experience a rewarding and successful one.

With the recent downpours bringing much-needed moisture to the soil, it's likely that your potato plants are beginning to sprout and flourish. This is an exciting stage in your gardening journey, but it's essential not to overlook a crucial step to ensure the continued growth and success of your plants: covering the emerging leaves with compost.

Grow Your Own Potatoes | Potato HouseWhy is this step so important?

Protection from Frost: Spring's unpredictable weather can bring unexpected frosts, which can harm young plants. By covering emerging leaves with compost, you provide a protective barrier that shields them, ensuring their continued growth and development.

Space to Grow: Adding compost not only protects your plants from frost but also provides essential nutrients and space for them to thrive. Think of it as giving your plants a cozy blanket to grow under, ensuring they have everything they need to flourish.

So, grab your spades and get ready to give your potato plants the TLC they deserve! Remember, a little extra care now will lead to bigger and healthier crops at harvest time.

Here are five things your growing potato plants need to survive:

  1. Space: Ensure your growing plants have ample space by topping up soil as they continue to grow.
  2. Light: Position your plants in a bright location, avoiding shaded areas that can hinder growth.
  3. Water: Provide regular watering to maintain soil moisture, but be cautious not to overwater, as this can lead to mold.
  4. Food: Ensure your soil contains the necessary nutrients for plant growth by using fertilizers or compost.
  5. Temperature: Monitor the temperature to keep plants within the ideal range of 10-15Β°C (50–59Β°F) and protect them from frost by taking necessary precautions.

Other seasonal gardening tasks to tackle in your garden at this time of the year (mid-spring).

As the rain nourishes your growing potatoes, it also encourages the rapid growth of weeds. Stay ahead by keeping on top of these fast-growing invaders, ensuring they don’t overshadow your precious crops.

With plants beginning to stretch skyward, it’s crucial to provide adequate support at this early stage of growth. Stake or trellis taller plants like beans and peas to prevent them from toppling over as they reach for the sun.

Now is also the perfect time to sow a variety of vegetables, ensuring a continuous harvest for fresh, tender produce. Sow seeds little and often to stagger your harvest, guaranteeing a steady supply of vegetables throughout the season. Consider planting beetroot, cabbage, carrots, cauliflower, lettuce, radishes, spinach and peas in short rows at two-to-four-week intervals.

By staying proactive and tending to these seasonal tasks, you’ll set your garden up for success and enjoy a bountiful harvest in the months to come.

Happy gardening! 🌱πŸ₯•πŸ₯¦

Share Your GYOP Experience!

Remember, your experiences and images are valuable contributions that can inspire and guide other schools on their sustainability journey. Whether it's a snapshot of your students tenderly nurturing their growing plants, a clever labelling technique you've implemented, a success story detailing waste reduction efforts, or an innovative approach to promoting eco-friendly practices in your school garden, we're eager to hear from you.

Your stories have the power to ignite change and motivate more schools to join in. To share your experiences, connect with us on our Facebook, X, or Instagram pages, tag us #gyopotatoes or send us a direct message.

Let's grow together!

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