Do you want to try your hand at growing some vegetables but don’t know where to start? Have you always wanted to dig your own crop out of the ground and take it straight to the table?
If you want to grow potatoes but are worried about needing acres of space or loads of gardening know how then read on and we will explain just how easy it is to grow your own potatoes.
- You don’t need lots of space
You can grow potatoes in a small container, half an oil drum or even a black plastic sack! It isn’t about how much space you have, it is all about making sure the environment is right to get the best out of your crop.
- Potatoes like the sun
When you are thinking about where to plant your potatoes, have a look around your garden for the spot that gets the most sun throughout the day. These are plants that like warmth and light so avoid areas where they might be hit by frost as very cold temperatures can damage the shoots.
- Don’t worry about weeds
Potatoes are fast growing and have lots of foliage which is perfect for overtaking weeds. While it not ideal to try to grow a new crop in ground covered by weeds, they are better at thriving in a hostile environment so if you are starting a general vegetable garden the best plant to grow first would be potatoes.
- The best soil
Potatoes grow best in a light, loose soil which is slightly acidic. Bear this in mind when preparing your container or bed and you will make sure your potatoes get off to the best start. Potatoes can be grown from spring but it is worth waiting until the temperatures stabilise and remain high for several weeks as the ground needs to be warmed for the potatoes to root easily.
- Preparing your seed potatoes
About two weeks before you want to plant your potatoes outside, take your seed potatoes and put them into a hot, light area. They should be kept warm for at least two weeks so they start sprouting. Then just before you plant them outside, cut the seed potatoes into small pieces, about two inches square, making sure that you don’t cut away the sprouts. Small seed potatoes, about four inches square should just be planted whole.
- Make sure the plants get plenty of water
Once your tubers have started to grow, you should make sure the potatoes get plenty of water. If there isn’t enough rain, make sure you water the plants every day or you risk getting a small, bitter tasting crop.
- Make sure water can drain away
Potatoes like to be in soil that is easily drainable. If you are putting them in a container, make sure it is at least two feet deep and equally round. You should half fill the pot with soil then place your seed potatoes in the container. Once they are in place, fill to the top with compost and soil.