Originating in the Andes Mountains of South America potatoes are a member of the Solanum (Nightshade) family.  It is the worlds largest food crop after rice, wheat and corn.


Potatoes are easy to grow, just plant the tubers 10 cm  under the ground about 60 cm apart in late March to Early April.  Keep them well weeded, and water well in dry periods.  When the plants flower the potatoes are forming,  sometime after which the plants will begin to dieback.  Harvest any time the tubers are big enough to eat!


They also grow well in containers.  One way is 15 cm of potting compost in a black plastic bag and put three tubers on the surface of the compost then cover with another 5 cm of compost.  Roll the bag sides down and when the plants have grown  a few centimetres  almost cover the plants with another layer of compost and roll the bag sides up to the level of the compost.  Keep repeating this till you reach the top of the bag.  If you keep them well watered you will be able to see the potatoes bulging through the plastic.  Harvest when they are hens egg size or larger.


Beware potatoes do not tolerate frost  so take measures to protect them if the weather forecast indicates a frost.


If you decide to show your potatoes you should select the correct number of  even clean tubers.  At our show you only need to have 3 tubers.  There is a class for white and a class for coloured potatoes.  Apart from growing good potatoes to start with, to win you need to  have a set of tubers that are nice shallow eyed and as even  and similar in shape as possible.

Potato information


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Alan Romans