Growing your own Potatoes

Nothing tastes better than your own home grown potato!

1 kg (2.2lb) of seed potatoes can grow 20kg (44lb) of eating potatoes!

Potatoes Potato plant Potato plants

  1. Select a sunny well-drained site with good soil. If you have heavy soil or swampy soil, consider making a raised bed 30cm (12in) deep by mixing good soil and compost with existing soil. Potatoes like new soil, try to plant them in a new spot every year. Potatoes are a great way to break in new ground for growing other vegetables or crops. 
  2. Mix in as much well decomposed compost as you can spare. 
  3. Turn the ground over with a spade at least one full spade depth and break clods with the back of the spade. 
  4. Create furrows that are 20cm (8in) deep and 40cm (16in) apart, at the deepest point, so potatoes are ready for planting. 
  5. Plant fresh certified seed potatoes as they will give highest yield with less disease. Also certified seed potatoes will not infect your land with potato diseases. 
  6. Plant seed potatoes 25cm (10in) apart in rows ad cover with 10cm (4in) of soil, leaving the potatoes to grow in the bottom of a shallow furrow.
  7. As potato plants grow, use a hoe to cultivate weeds in rows and as you cultivate slowly close furrows around the potatoes and hill soil around the stem of the potato plant. Do not bury too much of the plant at any one time as this will inhibit growth. 
  8. After several months of growth, potato plants should have soil hilled 20cm (8in) up the stem and have furrows instead of mounds on either side. It is these hilled up areas of soil where the new potatoes will grow and swell easily.
  9. As potato plants grow, top dress with Blood and Bone and all-purpose fertiliser. Keep plants moist while growing by irrigating regularly. Be particularly diligent and water heavily as the plants flower. 
  10. Baby Potatoes. A gourmet delight, these can generally be harvested around Christmas if the seed was sown by mid September. Dig around the base of the plant and see when they are ready. 
  11. Harvesting highest yield is obtained by digging potatoes after the plant has died to the ground, but you can dig potatoes any time from when the first bite-size baby potatoes are formed. To harvest use a garden fork, insert it deeply in the furrow beneath the hilled area and then push the fork up through the soil, lifting potatoes free of soil. 
  12. Once plants are dead and all potatoes have been harvested, store the potatoes in a dark cool spot.

NOTE: Never eat either a seed potato, or any potato with green on it!