Palmers Garden to Kitchen with Emma Galloway: Planting Potatoes
As part of my @palmersnz Garden to Kitchen series, today I want to show you how we grow potatoes! While early crop potatoes can be planted from mid-September and you’ll be eating by Christmas, main crop varieties are best planted in November and will be ready to harvest in March. Potatoes can be grown in the ground, in raised beds, grow bags/large containers and even old tyres… and yep we’ve tried them all over the years!
How to grow potatoes (in the ground or raised garden beds, check out stories for tips on growing in bags/large containers):
Dig a trench, at least 20cm deep
Add comfrey leaves, if you have them, or a little good quality compost.
Comfrey is a rich source of minerals and can be used as fertiliser for vegetables. The leaves decompose quickly in the soil making plant food quickly available. It’s great for tomatoes too and also for making garden ‘tea’ aka natural homemade liquid fertiliser.
Space your seed potatoes 25-40cm apart with the shoots facing up
Cover gently with soil and wait
As the shoots emerge, continue to mound the soil around the shoots until the potato branches start to flower (I will show you how to do this in the coming weeks on stories)
Feed regularly with organic liquid fertiliser
When watering, avoid the foliage to help prevent blight
Main crop potatoes are ready to harvest once the plant has flowered and died off, but this isn’t always the case for every potato variety