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Slow potatoes


By Tosh

Essex, United Kingdom Gb

Hello folks - its a lovely day here in Essex and I've been out to inspect the potatoes I planted in my mothers garden. Cant remember the variety, but they went in (after chitting) almost a month ago, and as I'm a complete novice as to potatoes, I am unsure how they are supposed to look at the moment. I planted about 20 tubers and although they all seem to have some growth, only about 4 of them have growth of more than a couple of inches. I know I have to bank them up, but don't know if this slow growth rate is normal. Should I put more soil over the ones that don;'t seem to be doing much? Would it encourage them. I had expected more action before now, and now have another variety chitting that will be ready in a few days. Eek! Whatjareckon guys?



I am glad your potatoes are growing slowly, start earthing them up. Cover any that are through as we can still get hard frosts. The warmth of the sun on the ridges will bring the others on.

18 Apr, 2009


Hello Bob and Tosh,
I'm enjoying reading around for tips on potatoes, as this year is the first time we've tried seriously to grow any. Does this earthing up thing only go on as long as there is a risk of frost, or does it serve some other purpose pls?

18 Apr, 2009


Weeding, I've only just found out from BBC gard. world, that you have to keep covering up potatoes as they grow. Either in a trench or in a big bag. I'm not sure how much top growth is allowed to show thro' tho'. Hopefully someone else can tell us!

I'm interested in this as my hubby wants to try these next year.

18 Apr, 2009


Hi Weeding and CN,
As I have said above, the warmth on the ridges will develop your potato crop. If you have planted your rows wide enough, North to South, the first earthing up will protect the green parts from the frost, if late frosts are forecast cover your plants with straw or fleece.You can earth up two or three times, not always covering the green growth. Any very green potatoes which have been washed out of the earth are not edible. Just prior to the first earthing up, as many are thinking organic practices, dress the top of your plot with Blood, Fish and Bone. Potatoes need water, it is better in dry weather to spray them over before the sun is up, rather than putting a sprinkler on them.
Hope this will be helpful.

18 Apr, 2009


Thanks DoctorBob! Have done as you suggested. As an afterthought - how big would you expect your sprouts to be on your chitted potatoes before you plant them out? Don't know if I'm letting them chit too long or not long enough!

19 Apr, 2009


Hi Tosh,
They will grow better in the ground now, chitting only reduces the energy in your seed potato. Often long chits will be broken off as you plant them or even rot underground. Chits should be no longer than an inch or two. Check them before you plant as they often have greenfly on them.

19 Apr, 2009


Thanks Db, very interesting and informative, you're a star!

20 Apr, 2009


Good info DoctorBob.Ta

20 Apr, 2009

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