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1. Select the correct varieties of potato.
2. Chit or sprout the seed potatoes
3. Plant the potatoes out.
4. Earth up your potatoes.
5. Weeding, feeding and watering them.
6. Harvest and store your potatoes.
7. Cook them and eat them!
By David Marks
First of all, get the timing correct for growing potatoes. If you start your potatoes off too early they will suffer from damp and cold soil. Starting them off too late is not such a problem but your potatoes will mature later than you want. The key to growing potatoes is to start them off at the correct time of year.
One thing is absolutely certain, the dates for growing potatoes on the South Coast of the UK are quite different from many cooler Northern areas. Any book or website which does not take this into account is unlikely to provide you with the correct dates.
To get round this problem of timing we provide a feature on this website which allows you to adjust all the dates automatically depending on the climate in your area. Click here (or top right of all pages in this website) and spend 20 seconds to automatically adjust every date on this site to be correct for your climate. If you don't adjust the dates they will be assumed to be average for the UK.
Now we know your climate, we can time the various potato growing tasks correctly for your area. Simply click on any subject area at the bottom of this page to be taken to a page which will explain in clear and simple language what you need to do and when you need to do it. All gardening terms (e.g. chitting) will be fully explained with lots of pictures to help you on your way.
Before you do that though, we provide you with a quick guide to growing potatoes throughout the gardening year. It's very simple to understand and of course is accurate for your area if you have used our gardening date adjuster.
POTATO GROWING CALENDAR FOR THE AVERAGE UK AREA
Start chitting /sprouting your potatoes in the third week of February
Plant out your sprouted potatoes in the fourth week of March
Fortnightly nitrogen feed (e.g. Growmore) from the second week of May to the fourth week of June
Fortnightly potash feed (e.g. tomato fertiliser) from the second week of June to early August
Earth up your potatoes when the foliage is about 10cm / 4in above ground
Water as needed if the weather is very dry.
Potatoes do have a temperature range they prefer, however there is very little the average gardener can do to control this. Ideally they prefer a soil temperature somewhere around 20C / 68F. A soil temperature above 30C / 86F will cause development problems.
COMMENTS / QUESTIONS LEFT BY OUR READERS
Sometimes our readers ask specific questions which
are not covered in the main article above. Our
Potato comment / question and answer page
lists their comments, questions and answers. At the end of that page there is also a form for you to submit any new question or comment you have.