February 1

Early, early potatoes

This year I am going to see how early I can harvest potatoes and how late I can harvest them. The reason is that I found a bag of potatoes sprouting and rotting in the back of the garden shed that I had forgotten about and it started me off wondering whether I could harvest potatoes all year round.

I know harvesting potatoes late is a ‘thing’ because many¬† people grow new potatoes to harvest for Christmas day or around that time. I wonder how long you could leave them in the ground and harvest them – end of January?

I have looked around to see what others are doing in this area and the answer is quite a lot.

The earliest potatoes are grown in Cornwall and Jersey on south facing slopes and so if I want early earlies, I need to see if I can mimic these conditions which I can in my greenhouse and polytunnel. I am going to grow them in pots so that I can move them in and out of the polytunnel but will grow 2 Charlotte and 2 Sarpo Mira in the polytunnel and greenhouse just to see whether pots or undercover is best. The green house is at home so those plants may well get more attention as they will be the ones nearest to me and that I will see most days.

Once they are ready, I will cut off the haulms and store the pots outside ready to harvest when I need them.

I also want to grow my own sweet potato slips so am going to give the following video a try.

I have grown sweet potatoes before in the polytunnel and will do so again this year. I have always had mixed results but if the year is like last year, there should be enough sunshine for a good crop.  Which? recommend Beauregard, Beauregard Improved and Carolina Ruby.

How are you growing your potatoes this year?