Care and Cultivation of Late or Second Cropping Potatoes
What to do first
Our virus-free seed potatoes have been specially prepared for planting in late July to early August. Please check them immediately to ensure they are exactly what you ordered and in the condition you’d expect. Let us know within 7 days ifthere are any problems.
These potatoes do not need chitting and should be planted as soon as possible after arrival. To prevent any build-up of pests or diseases, it is best to plant on ground that has not been used for growing potatoes for several years. Before planting apply a dressing of general fertilizer.
Plant at a spacing of 38cm (15in), in rows 50cm (20in) apart. Place the tubers 10-12cm (4-5in) deep. Water in thoroughly if the soil is dry and keep well watered; adequate moisture is crucial for a good crop.
Earth up around the plants with soil as they grow. Earthing up is important to prevent tubers turning green through exposure to light and also controls weeds.
When the weather turns colder in October, start to protect plants at night and on colder days with large cloches or fleece. Plants should still be left uncovered on milder days. Straw placed around plants in November will give additional protection in any severe weather.
Can start as early as the first weeks of October. Plants are ready to dig for the first ‘new potatoes’ when the tops reach full size. Weather permitting, they will usually attempt to produce flowers, or at least buds, at this time. Even when mature, late cropping potatoes keep best if left in the soil and should be dug as needed, right up to Christmas and even into the New Year.
These potatoes can also be grown in containers. If using this method ensure there is good drainage in the base of the container. Use containers at least 30cm (12in) wide and deep and a rich but well-drained mix of good top-soil and compost or well-rotted manure. Plant one tuber in a smaller container and up to four in a large one. Place the tubers on 10-15cm (4-6in) of the soil mix in the bottom of the container and then cover with a further 10cm (4in) layer. Keep moist and, as the stems grow, gradually add more soil mix until the container is full. During the early stages of growth feed with a liquid feed to help plants become established.