How do you grow potatoes in your Patio Growing Kit?
Posted by Dobies Staff on 27 January 2015 11:35 am

Unpack the Potatoes and stand them in a shallow tray or egg box with the end showing most ‘eyes’ (or buds) at the top. Keep each variety together with its label. Stand them in a light, frost free place - a windowsill in a cool room is ideal but do not expose them to direct sun. After a few weeks short green sprouts (or ‘chits’) will develop and your potatoes are now ready to plant in the container. This sprouting process is not essential but it does get the plants off to a faster start.

Do not plant outside in containers until risk of frost is past - sprouted potatoes can be held in a cool, light room for many weeks if necessary.

Add a 10cm (4") layer of compost a multipurpose soil-less compost - either peat based or peat free (but not of the John Innes soil based type as this is too heavy and dense). Then gently sit 3 seed potatoes (one variety per container) of each variety, evenly spaced, in the compost in each container, with the best sprouts facing upwards. Cover with about another 10cm (4") layer of compost. Water carefully to avoid disturbing the compost too much.

Regular watering will be needed whenever the top surface of the compost looks dry. In hot weather when the top growth is fully developed you will probably need to water every day. A good way to check whether watering is necessary is to push a dry bamboo cane or stick down through the compost close to the wall of each container (so as not to damage the developing potatoes) then pull it out and if the lower end of the cane is wet, go easy on the watering. Rocking each container to feel the weight can also be a useful indicator

After a few weeks, green shoots will start to push up through the compost surface. As the shoots develop add 10cm (4in) layers of compost until the container is full to within about 5cm (2") of the rim, but do not cover the tip of the shoots

After they have been growing for about a month, start to add some liquid feed to your can when watering. A high potash formula such as any tomato feed is ideal and will result in you getting a better crop.

The crop should be ready 10-12 weeks after planting and about 2-3 weeks after the plants have flowered. This can be from mid-June through to late July depending on when you started. Cut off the top growth and tip out each tub onto a large board or plastic sheet. Then gently break apart the compost and roots and you will find your potatoes. For best flavour cook and enjoy as soon as possible.

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