Potatoes masterclass: finest skilled content material

Harvested potatoes in wicker basket

Homegrown potatoes have a flavour not like something you should purchase in a retailer
Picture supply: Potato ‘Picasso’ from Thompson & Morgan

On this masterclass, you’ll discover a number of the best recommendation on selecting, planting and chitting your seed potatoes. It comes courtesy of gardeners who not solely produce bumper crops at house or at their allotments, but additionally share their potato knowledge by way of their blogs, Instagram accounts and YouTube channels. If you wish to get one of the best out of your spuds this yr, you’ve come to the correct place – our round-up of skilled ideas that will help you develop good potatoes.

This text was reviewed by the T&M horticultural workforce and up to date on 2 January 2024.

Select potatoes for a low-maintenance allotment crop

Pink skinned potato in colander

Potato ‘Pink Fir Apple’ is a favorite crop at Actual Males Sow
Picture supply: Potato ‘Pink Fir Apple’ from Thompson & Morgan

Potatoes will not be essentially the most glamorous of veg to develop at your allotment, says Pete at Actual Males Sow, however he reckons they’re “a superb alternative for the time-constrained allotmenteerist.” With this in thoughts, he gives his high six arguments in favour of rising potatoes, starting with the truth that they’re low-maintenance. As he says: “I very not often water my potatoes as soon as they’re planted, selecting to let the rain do this, and have by no means been disillusioned with my crop.

Use a potato-selector to seek out the right selection

Potatoes in bowl with butter

Second early ‘Charlotte’ potatoes are a well-liked buyer favorite
Picture: Potato ‘Charlotte’ from Thompson & Morgan

Study the distinction between second earlies and second cropping potatoes with this jargon-busting potato selector information from Sue Sanderson at T&M. Not solely does she define the 4 foremost forms of potato together with planting and harvesting instances, she drills down into particular varieties that will help you discover the right spud to your favorite recipe.

Chit early seed potatoes to present them a head begin

Man showing red yellow potatoes

An incredible crop of potatoes!
Picture: Simplify Gardening

For these with questions on sprouting or chitting potatoes, Tony at YouTube Channel, Simplify Gardening gives a superb overview of the topic. His recommendation is to purchase your seed potatoes as early as attainable to present you time to sprout them able to plant out because the soil begins to heat. That is particularly helpful for early and second early crops, as a result of the pinnacle begin helps them to thrive within the comparatively cool spring soil.

Begin your first earlies off with a bit of heat

Potatoes on ground next to garden fork

For the right waxy new potato, strive Pentland Javelins
Picture supply: Potato ‘Pentland Javelin’ from Thompson & Morgan

For those who’d wish to be the earliest you will be along with your first early potatoes, you’ll love this piece by Alan at Right down to Earth. He says “An early begin, chitting sprouts, proper containers, proper compost and a bit of heat will get you heading in the right direction.” Alan discusses one of the best varieties to go for too – he grows ‘Pentland Javelin’ which he says has good flavour, in addition to some previous favourites together with ‘Maris Bard’ and ‘Woman Christl’.

Develop potatoes in massive containers

Chitted potato ready for planting

Dan exhibits you the way he crops his chitted potatoes in massive containers
Picture: Allotment Diary

Planting your potatoes in pots? Watch as Dan, big veg grower on the Allotment Diary crops up his containers – he says he finds the 60 litre pots extra manageable as a result of they appear to retain moisture higher than the smaller ones. Dan’s video is evident and simple to comply with and exhibits you precisely the best way to fill your pots, add fertiliser, and pop your chitted potatoes in – he fills the bins half full with compost, including extra soil because the potatoes develop.

Potatoes will be grown in sacks or baggage

Potato planting in grow bag

For those who don’t have a lot house, merely pop a number of seed potatoes into baggage on the patio
Picture supply: Rising Household

For those who don’t have a lot house however you’d nonetheless wish to eat scrumptious homegrown spuds, Catherine at Rising Household teaches you the best way to develop potatoes in baggage. She says, “All you want is your seed potatoes, some compost and a bag. You should utilize any massive, robust plastic bag to plant them in, for instance, an empty compost bag. Bin baggage are a bit too flimsy.” It is a nice article for potato newbies and a very good reminder for individuals who’ve grown them earlier than however may do with a refresher.

Strive rising no-dig potatoes within the floor

Charles Dowding showing no dig planting potatoes

Charles demonstrates how the ‘no-dig’ technique removes the necessity to dig trenches
Picture supply: Charles Dowding

If no-dig is your factor, there are few specialists who examine to Charles Dowding. For the reason that early Eighties, Charles has labored his personal no-dig market gardens, and his weblog explains the ideas and practices of this time-saving manner of rising nice veg with few weeds. Planting potatoes, he explains in his quick video, is so simple as utilizing a trowel to make a slit in your compost mulch and slipping the chitted potato into the soil.

Try a no-dig potato haul

Collection of potatoes images

A improbable potato haul, even in a yr that wasn’t nice for rising
Picture supply: Inexperienced Lane Allotments

For years we planted potatoes the normal manner – the exhausting manner,” says Sue from Inexperienced Lane Allotments. That was earlier than she and her husband discovered the no-dig technique. For those who’d like a bit of extra proof that merely troweling your chitted seed potatoes into fertilised soil does the trick, try the images of the harvest. It wasn’t an amazing rising yr for something, they are saying, however their crop of potatoes appears to be like fairly good!

Water potato crops on the base

Watering potato plants

Water potatoes on the base of the stems to assist keep away from potato blight
Picture: Shutterstock

Potato blight is the worst drawback that the potato grower faces,” says John at Allotment & Gardens. A blogger with a wealth of gardening know-how to supply, his complete article on this damaging potato illness provides you a number of data that will help you beat blight, in addition to recommendations on what to do should you’re unfortunate. Keep away from watering your potato crops from above, says John – it’s a lot safer to use water straight to the bottom of the plant.

Resolve whether or not to take away potato plant flowers

Removing potato flowers

Matt Peskett removes flowers from his potato crops in a managed experiment
Picture: @growlikegrandad

Do you have to take away the flowers out of your potato crops, or go away them be? That’s the query Matt Peskett from @growlikegrandad units out to settle when he decides to select the flowers from half of his Charlotte potatoes, whereas leaving the opposite half to bloom unhindered. Do head over to his weblog the place he’s revealed the total outcomes of his experiment – and put together to be stunned.

Uncover how ‘Potato Pete’ helped the conflict effort

Freshly earthed up potatoes

This floury maincrop selection has a wonderful, old style, new potato flavour
Picture: Potato ‘Sharpes Specific’ from Thompson & Morgan

For an enchanting perception into potato historical past, freelance science author Emma, aka The Unconventional Gardener, writes engagingly about one in all historical past’s unsung heroes – ‘Potato Pete’. Not an actual individual, Pete was a cartoon character dreamed up by the Ministry for Meals throughout WWII to encourage the plenty to develop and eat spuds. For those who fancy a style of nostalgia, Emma even has some wartime potato recipes on provide. As she says, “you’ll be able to have a distinct, and scrumptious, potato dish for each meal of the day fairly simply.

Earth up potatoes to guard from blight

Pink cream potatoes in dark earth

Earthing up potatoes and selecting a blight resistant selection like ‘Cara’ helps with a wholesome crop
Picture: Potato ‘Cara’ from Thompson & Morgan

The Sunday Gardener, Carol gives a superb video explaining why you must earth up your potatoes and the best way to go about it. She says elevating the extent of the soil not solely stops the rising tubers from turning inexperienced and inedible, but additionally gives some safety from the scourge of potato blight, ought to it strike. For those who’re pondering of attempting your hand at rising potatoes, do take the time to learn Carol’s article – whether or not you’re rising within the floor or in containers, it gives sensible recommendation on one of the best blight-resistant varieties to strive.

Act rapidly on the first indicators of potato blight

Potato blight leaf closeup

Early potato blight is first sen on the crops’ leaves
Picture Shutterstock

When educated horticulturist Katelyn from @inatinygarden seen blight on a few of her potatoes, it had already unfold to all however one selection – the blight resistant ‘Sarpo Mira’ which she grows simply in case. If that’s the state of affairs you face, Katelyn says you want to minimize all of the foliage right down to the bottom as quickly as attainable. The potatoes underneath the bottom should still be OK offered you act rapidly sufficient. Watch her quick potato video and comply with her on Insta for extra sensible rising ideas.

Go for blight and pest resistant potato varieties

Potatoes being tipped from container onto ground

Potato ‘Valor’ is proof against blight and eelworm
Picture supply: Potato ‘Valor’ from Thompson & Morgan

For those who’ve by no means skilled homegrown potatoes, you then’re in for a shock, says Simon at The Backyard of Eaden. He reckons that in comparison with shop-bought, “consuming potatoes that really style of potatoes could be a little bit of a revelation.” However not if blight or slugs destroy your crop earlier than you get it to the desk. With this in thoughts, Simon has provide you with this glorious information to one of the best slug and blight resistant potato varieties to develop to beat them each – a should learn for all potato growers.

Potato blossom helps you’re employed out when to reap

Potato flowers closeup

The blossom on a potato plant will help you’re employed out one of the best time to reap
Picture supply: Shutterstock

Would you wish to know when to reap your potatoes? Though first early, second early, and foremost crop potatoes mature at completely different charges, Huw Richards says one of the best ways to inform when your spuds are absolutely grown is by watching out for the blossom. He says, relying on how large you want your potatoes to be, go away it a few weeks to a month after you see the flowers earlier than digging up your crop.

Do not forget that some first earlies don’t flower

Harvesting potatoes in the garden

Harvesting wholesome potatoes is a joyful occasion
Picture supply: Beautiful Greens

Rising first early potatoes? Tanya at Beautiful Greens says as a result of these varieties don’t all the time produce flowers, a great way to inform if this crop is prepared is to maintain a lookout for falling flower buds and yellowing leaves. In fact, many first earlies do flower, which is an effective indication that they’re able to dig up. She says at this stage, “the potatoes from earlies will probably be in regards to the measurement of an egg with skins so tender that they’ll soften in your mouth.” Do try the remainder of her article for extra ideas that will help you spot the indicators that later cropping potatoes are prepared to reap.

Potato sacks make harvesting simpler

Black potato bags with earthed up potatoes

Plant a single seed potato in an 8L bag to extend yields and defend a nasty again
Picture supply: Black reusable potato rising baggage from Thompson & Morgan

Utilizing potato sacks to develop your spuds is a good possibility for individuals with unhealthy backs, says Andrew at Life on Pig Row. There’s additionally the added benefit that you just don’t lose any of your harvest from leaving it undiscovered within the soil. Rising this fashion makes earthing up simple too – simply preserve including extra soil because the crops develop and also you’ll be rewarded with a superb crop. Check out Andrew’s submit for the low down on why inexperienced potatoes are toxic and what indigenous individuals do to make their toxic potatoes edible.

We hope you loved our rundown of all one of the best potato-related blogs and YouTube movies, and that it lets you develop your individual scrumptious crops. If we’ve missed your favorite potato associated content material, do tell us. Simply drop us a line through our Fb web page. Discover extra steering on rising and selecting your potato varieties at our hub web page.

Professional contributor record

  • Charles Dowding, No-dig gardening pioneer, horticulturalist, writer.
  • Matt Peskett, Agritech Writer & Digital Guide. Allotment chair and RHS volunteer.
  • Dan Unsworth, Allotment holder, YouTuber, Big Veg Present Exhibitor.
  • Tony O’Neill, Gardening content material creator, writer, YouTuber. Winner of Ezoic Writer of the 12 months award 2021.
  • John Harrison, Allotment blogger, winner of Develop Your Personal’s ‘Nice British Rising Awards’ 2015, writer and backyard author.
  • Sue Sanderson, BSc. (Hons) diploma in horticulture, e-Commerce Horticultural Government at Thompson & Morgan.
  • Sue Garrett, Allotment holder because the Eighties, backyard blogger.
  • Katelyn, Horticultural Stage 2 & 3 Licensed, RSPB ambassador, gardening content material creator.
  • Emma Doughty, Masters diploma in Ethnobotany, gardening author, podcaster.
  • Catherine Hughes, Freelance journalist and author, writer.
  • Simon Eade, Horticulture (Business), FdSc, backyard author and YouTuber.
  • Pete, Gardening blogger, new caretaker of the ‘Actual Males Sow’ weblog.
  • Alan Down, Backyard author, blogger, radio & TV marketing consultant. President of the Horticultural Trades Affiliation.
  • Carol Bartlett, Gardening blogger and content material creator.
  • Huw Richards, Gardening YouTuber, writer.
  • Tanya Anderson, award successful writer, instructor, and YouTube content material creator.
  • Andrew Oldham, gardening blogger, columnist winner of GMG’s Gardening Columnist of the 12 months 2022.

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