Grow your own: Potatoes

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Grow your own potatoes
Potatoes are one of Britain's best loved and most versatile veg. We boil them, roast them, bake them, mash them and fry them - so why not grow them ourselves too? If you're new to gardening, potatoes are a good choice because they're not too complicated and you know they won't go to waste once you've grown them!

Did you know?

Potatoes don't actually count towards your 5-a-day, because they're classed as a starchy food. Starchy foods are still an important part of your diet though, so potatoes are a good choice (so long as you don't cook them in lots of fat) as they're a good source of energy, fibre, B vitamins and potassium.

What you need

  • Seed potatoes
  • Pelleted chicken manure
  • Trowel
  • Hoe
  • Copper based fungicide or dithane 945

When to start planting


When are they ready?

Mid autumn.

Where to plant

Deep in the soil in a sunny site.

Step-by-step guide

1. Dig deeply and then rake out shallow trenches 12.5cm (5in) deep with 75cm (30in) between rows.
2. In April set out the seeds along the base of the trenches 37cm (15in) apart and cover with soil. Add pelleted chicken manure.
3. When the top growths are a foot tall, use a hoe to earth them up with soil from between the rows to form ridges. This buries weeds and encourages more tubers to form. 4. Water during dry spells but keep the leaves dry to reduce the risk of the plant disease blight.
5. Spray every 14 days with dithane 945 or a copper based fungicide to prevent blight.


You can get a pack of seeds for around £2 - £3.

Top tips for growing

When your potatoes are due to be ready, dig up 1 or 2 and see how big they are. If you think they look a bit on the small side, leave them for another week or 2.

Goodtoknow's easy gardening rating:

3/5 - fairly simple and they'll grow in most soil as long as it's been dug well.

Continued below...

Potato recipes

- Bubble and squeak pittas
- 20 ways with potatoes
- More potato recipes

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