Is it a good time to get some spuds into the garden be ready for Christmas Day?
Unfortunately, it’s a little late to plant now and be harvesting by Christmas. Typically, you would be planting in August. However, if you still want to give it a go or at the very least have potatoes after Christmas, then plant out ASAP. Look for “Early potato” varieties like; Illam Hardy, Cliffs Kidney, Jersey Bennes, and Marist Anchor as they usually mature more quickly.
Preparation is critical to the success of your potato crop. The site should be north-facing with free-draining soil. The rows for the planting should be slightly mounded to ensure excess water doesn’t pool around the newly planted potatoes. If your soil is particularly heaving (clay based), incorporate plenty of compost to improve drainage.
Plant seed potatoes approximately 20cm apart and five to eight centimetres below ground level and if possible, have about 70cm between rows.
As potato shoots appear, regularly “mound up” the soil around the young plants. This process helps warm the soil so the plants grow more quickly, while also protecting against late frost and most importantly, preventing the greening of your young potatoes as they form.