Nothing beats the taste of home-grown new potatoes with your turkey on Christmas day!
Growing spuds is easy and rewarding and, if you plant now you’ll have potatoes ready to lift during the festive season. By growing in a container, such as pots or bags, these tender vegetables will be protected from frost, as you can move them into a greenhouse or cover the leaves with fleece, keeping out both the cold and blight spores in the air. They will grow quickly in the heat of summer – there’s no need to chit. So water regularly until the foliage dies off in late October. Leave the crop in dry compost, and on Christmas morning, harvest tasty new potatoes ready for the pan.
Best spuds to buy for a Christmas crop are Duke of York, Pentland Javelin, Charlotte, Maris Peer, Arran Pilot. The potatoes on sale are mainly first and second early varieties that have been kept in cold storage to stop them sprouting.
Step by Step Guide for Growing New Potatoes in a Bag
Step 1: There’s no need to chit summer planted seed potatoes. Place three on top of a 20cm layer of multi-purpose compost in a grown bag.
Step 2: Cover with a further 20cm layer of compost, water well and stand in the sun. When shoots appear cover with more compost until the bag is full.
Step 3: Water regularly, especially once the leaves emerge, and feed with a specialist potato fertiliser to ensure a heavy crop.
Step 4: Put the bag in a greenhouse or cover leaves with fleece when frosty. Remove foliage when it dies and leave the spuds in compost until required.