Our new selection of seed potatoes for 2017 is now in store, including the extremely popular Ulster Prince variety. It is important to buy properly certified, virus-free seed potatoes. Our supplier is one of the top growers of seed potatoes in the UK.
Are you confused about the difference between a “first early” and a “maincrop”? If so, read on.
Early varieties, or new potatoes, can be planted from February to April, and then harvested from May to August, depending on the planting time. Plant under cover for a really early crop. “Second earlies” can be planted from March to May to be ready for lifting in July to mid-September. Main crop potatoes will germinate later and are normally planted between April and May for harvesting from September to October. They can be used straight from the garden or stored for the winter.
After buying your seed potatoes, store them in shallow trays and in a dark, cool place, protected from the frost. About two weeks before planting them they need to be started, a process called “chitting”. Simply move them into a light (not sunny), but still cool, area and lay them out with most of the buds facing upwards. They will be ready to plant when the shoots or “tubers” have started to form thick sprouts, about half an inch to one inch long. Egg boxes or apple crates come in handy for this. Once the seed potatoes have chitted, plant them with the tubers facing upwards.
It is not necessary to plant potatoes in the ground. They grow just as well in containers with good drainage. If planting in containers, then used multi-purpose compost.