Growing Potatoes

It was Potato Day in my neighbouring village of Dunblane at the weekend so we popped up with M&D to have a look. It was a busy old gathering of people and we bumped into friends, colleagues and clients while we were there! So, what happens at Potato Day and what has it got to do with growing potatoes, I hear you say?…

Potato Day

Well, Potato Day is a gathering of people who are selling a huge range of different varieties of potatoes. From your early potatoes to salad potatoes there was a variety to suit your garden. You could buy a bulk bag of your favourite variety or just individual tubers of ones you haven’t tried before to suit your allotment size. There was also a stall selling lots of seeds and onion sets so you could get your whole GYO area sorted out for the season ahead.

Potato Day in Dunblane

Potato Day in Dunblane

Our Picks

We opted to go for 3 different varieties of potatoes this year. We normally only choose one as we don’t have lots of space so it was a real treat to be able to choose individual tubers and get the exact quantities we wanted. You can also look at each tuber and make sure none are soft, mouldy or shrivelled. We chose:

1st Early – Arran Pilot. A very early traditional potato, the most popular potato grown in the UK in the 1930s! A new one to us.

2nd Early – Maris Peer. A great tasting early potato. We grow this potato lots and we love it!

Salad potato – International Kidney. This one makes a very tasty salad potato with a waxy texture. Another new one for us to try.

Potato Day in Dunblane

A great choice of potatoes

What next…

You need to “chit” your potatoes before you can plant them in the ground. Chitting means sprouting the tuber – putting it, most eyes upright, in a light, cool but frost-free place at about 10C. Old egg cartons are a great holder for your potatoes while they are chitting. Chitting potatoes gives you a quicker and slightly larger harvest.

Once you have healthy, short, green shoots, about an inch long, they are ready to be planted in the ground. Rub off all but 3 or 4 of the healthiest shoots at the top of your potatoes.

Dig straight, shallow trenches, two to three feet apart, in prepared soil. Plant seed potatoes 12 inches apart and cover with about 3 inches of soil. When the shoots reach 10 to 12 inches tall, use a hoe or shovel to scoop soil from between rows and mound it against the plants, burying the stems halfway.

Potato chitting

Potato chitting

Your first early potatoes should be ready to dig up around June/July with the second earlies about a month later. If you choose maincrops they will be ready from August through to October.

Happy potato growing!

Lulu & Tilda xx


How To Grow Potatoes

My latest blog tells you all you need to know to grow the perfect potatoes in an easy to follow guide. It’s gotta be simple, I’m only 5 right!

Lulu growing potatoes

Lulu growing potatoes

How to grow potatoes…

  1. Buy some seed potatoes
  2. Chit your potatoes on a window sill as soon as you buy them. Chitting just means letting the wee “eyes” grow a bit longer which gives them a head start for when you pop them in the ground.
  3. Plant them in the ground about 20cm deep and about 30cm apart.
  4. “Earth up” your potatoes as soon as shoots start to appear, raking up the soil around them and covering them back up, protecting them from the sunlight. You will need to do this 2-3 times in the growing season.
  5. Feed your potatoes every week, they will grow big and strong, just like me.
  6. Early varieties will be ready in 8 weeks, main crops in the summer. Gently move soil aside to pick your potatoes, you don’t need to pick them all at once and they taste best freshly picked.


Our potato crop

Our potato crop

Top tips:

Lulu x

Winter Jobs In The Garden

It looks like Spring hasn’t arrived quite yet but you know me, always desperate to get outside in the garden. There are always jobs to do, whatever time of year it is. I know ‘cos Mummy is always telling Daddy all about them 😉 So here is a list of winter jobs in the garden that can be done, both for grown ups (ie Daddy) or for littlies like me, in between rain showers…

Get wrapped up cosy and get outside. It's fun! Clearing the veg beds out is a perfect job for winter.

Get wrapped up cosy and get outside. It’s fun!
Clearing the veg beds out is a perfect job for winter.

Jobs for Grown Ups

Mummy is going to paint these troughs pink. Awesome. Wonder if she will add some glitter too...

Mummy is going to paint these troughs pink.
Awesome. Wonder if she will add some glitter too…

Jobs for Littlies

Potato chitting

I’ve already got out potatoes chitting

So there you have it. Grab your hat and coat and head outside for some fresh air, some Vitamin D and get the garden all set for Spring.
Hugs & kisses,
Lulu xx