How to grow your potatoes

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Key dates

Tuesday 5th March 2019 – Harvest Tuesday 11 June 2019

Duration

Fourteen weeks

There are around 80 different varieties of potatoes grown in UK and over a thousand grown worldwide. These potatoes are classified according to the length of time they take to mature, but this can be influenced by weather. First early seed potatoes, like the ones you are growing mature in 60-110 days out in the fields. Planted towards the end of March, they are ready for lifting from late June or early July. Potatoes can be planted from mid March onwards as a rough guide dependent on weather.

To grow a successful crop of potatoes, either in the farmer’s field or in the GYOP grow bags, they need light, water, food, space and air. Read the following top tips to help you grow the biggest weight of potatoes:

Illustration of a potato plant's leaves growing from the ground with a smiling worm looking at it.

Space

The more room the plants have to grow, the better, so make sure you top up your soil to the top of your grow bag to give the potatoes more soil to grow in.

 

Light

Plants need lots of light to grow, so make sure your grow bags are placed somewhere bright and not in the shade.

 

Water

Potatoes need water to grow but make sure you don’t over water them or they will go mouldy. Ensure the soil is kept moist but not wet by watering every 3 to 4 days.

 

Food

Potatoes need food to grow. This comes from the nutrients in the soil. If you have planted your potatoes in compost this should contain everything your potato plant needs to thrive. If you do need to add some extra plant food, make sure you read the instructions carefully.

 

Temperature

The ideal temperature for growing potatoes is 10 - 15°C (50-59°F) and remember your potato plants hate frost so make sure you follow the weather forecast and bring them inside or cover them up if a frost is due.

Top tips

When your potato plants are nearing harvesting, you may get some beautiful purple or white flowers, nip these off and your plant will concentrate on growing potatoes rather than looking pretty.