Prepare Seed Potatoes for Planting

Begin chitting your seed potatoes, place them in a tray or an empty egg box with the ‘rose’ end (the end with most ‘eyes’) uppermost. Keep them in a cool, fairly light position but avoid direct sunlight (don’t put them in the dark - this will only produce pale spindly sprouts and weak growth).

Shoots will begin to form on your Potatoes in a few weeks and the tubers will be ready to grow away as soon as they are planted. Do not plant before March in sheltered southern areas or April for chillier parts of the country, unless you have warmed the soil and can give some protection against frost.

There are four main types of seed potato available:

Salad Potatoes: Known for their firm, waxy flesh and unique flavour, these are ready relatively early in the season.
First Earlies: These are the very first potatoes to be ready in the year, maturing from as early as May when planted in February. These are often known as ‘new potatoes’.
Second Earlies: These follow-on from the first earlies and are usually ready to harvest from June as well as being suitable for storing until August.
Main Crop: Ready to be lifted from September to October, these can be eaten straight away or stored for up to three months.

When to Plant:

Salad Potatoes: March – April
First Early Potatoes: February – April
Second Early Potatoes: March – May
Main Crop Potatoes: March – May

Harvest Time:

Salad Potatoes: June – July
First Early Potatoes: May – June
Second Early Potatoes: July – August
Main Crop Potatoes: September – November

Our Top Varieties

Salad Potatoes: Charlotte, Annabelle, International Kidney.
First Early Potatoes: Rocket, Casablanca, Maris Bard.
Second Early Potatoes: Maris Peer, Kestrel, Mozart.
Main Crop Potatoes: King Edward, Maris Piper, Desiree.

Site and Soil:

Potatoes grow well in most soil types but ideally they should be grown in well-drained, loamy soil that is not too heavy. The soil needs to be deep, well dug and with plenty of well-rotted organic matter incorporated. The plot should be cleared and dug over in late autumn/early winter so that the frost can break down the soil structure, which will make for easy planting in the spring. Alternatively, you can successfully grow a good crop of potatoes in Gro-Sacks.

Ideally, potatoes should only be planted in the same part of the garden once every 7 years but, given that this is not practical for the vast majority of gardeners we recommend a minimum of 3 or 4 years. Aim to develop the longest rotational system you can.

When to Plant:

Salad Potatoes: March – April
First Early Potatoes: February – April
Second Early Potatoes: March – May
Main Crop Potatoes: March – May

Harvest Time:

Salad Potatoes: June – July
First Early Potatoes: May – June
Second Early Potatoes: July – August
Main Crop Potatoes: September – November