complete novice wants to grow potatos!

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Jimmy Splash

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complete novice wants to grow potatos!
« on: April 09, 2009, 10:16 »
hello. have got my own new allotment. i've just dug up the soil in one area, put some weedol down and i think it's ready for planting. i'd like to grow some spuds so, as a self confessed thicko i'd like some advice on how to prepare the soil, how to plant them etc....

please can people offer me their expertise so i can reap the rewards of eating my own potato? :)

thank you

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iwantanallotment

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Re: complete novice wants to grow potatos!
« Reply #1 on: April 09, 2009, 11:21 »
Hello JS, & congrats on your new allotment  :)
I've only grown potatoes in the ground once, but will share my experience anyway til someone else comes along.
I dug trenches, about a foot deep...put well-rotted manure & compost in the bottom....popped my seed potatoes in about a foot apart and about 18" between rows, then filled in the trenches with soil and 'earthed' them up, to form mounds.
As foliage grew through, they were earthed up again until they were large, healthy plants soon to flower.
It was very easy and a good crop, although hopefully others who do it every year will soon be along with better advice for you  ;)

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Lynne

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Re: complete novice wants to grow potatos!
« Reply #2 on: April 09, 2009, 11:52 »
Iwantanallotment does it much like me. As manure around here is a potential problem, I use chicken pellets, compost etc. I also put crumpled newspaper in the trech to help retain moisture as the soil at our plot is very dry. If you are planting maincrop, I think the distances between potatoes should be greater (about 18") and 2 foot between rows.

I also earth up all in one go, to save time later, and don't have a problem.
Lynne.

So much to do, but so little time.

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GreenOwl

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Re: complete novice wants to grow potatos!
« Reply #3 on: April 09, 2009, 14:40 »
Potatoes are dead easy.  You need to get some seed spuds if you haven't already, then bung em in the ground!

I just put them on the ground in two staggered rows with roughly 18" between tubers and then plant with a bulb planter.  When the foliage is showing about 8" or so, I add compost to earth up.  That's it until the plants start to flower or go yellow and fall over.  I grow earlies so that's usually June, then I dig them up.

You will probably get a bigger crop if you prepare the ground as the others have said but at the end of the day seeds (and tubers) want to grow so don't stress too much.  They'll grow despite you!



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