Grow Your Own Potatoes
- To avoid disease potatoes must not be grown in the same place each year, rotate them around your vegetable garden. Potatoes need deep soil. They can be grown in deep containers or bags. Dig the soil throughly, remove stones & add compost.
- At some point during January to March lay your seed potatoes in an egg box in a cool, light place, protected from the frost. A cool window sill is ideal. Knobbly green sprouts about 2.5cm long should form (not translucent white ones). This takes about 6 to 8 weeks and is called Chitting. You can plant you potatoes straight in the ground, but chitting gives them a better chance of growing & gives a heavier, slightly earlier crop. Ensure each potato only has 2 to 3 sprouts. Remove any more than this.
- Plant chitted potatoes at a depth of 15cm & approx 30cm apart; the wider the spacing the bigger the potatoes; new potatoes can be sown closer together. Cover over with soil.
- As the potatoes start to sprout build up a little hill of soil around their stems. It doesn't matter if you cover all the green as this can
help to protect them against frost. Do this a couple of times during the season. It kills weeds, helps growth & drainage & prevents potatoes growing near the surface turning green in the sun (DO NOT eat green potatoes).
WATER & CARE
- Water is important for potatoes. They need a steady supply throughout the season, but water is most important 6 to 10 weeks after planting. Ensure that the water has soaked deep into the soil, rather than being sat on the surface.
- Harvest your potatoes approx. 100 to 130 days after planting. The potatoes can stay in the ground while the leaves are still green. If the green goes over then you need to get them out quickly!
- Fresh potatoes taste great just boiled with a bit of butter. DO NOT eat green potatoes as they contain solanine, which can cause symptoms of poisoning in humans if eaten in large quantities.
Potato & Egg Salad
- Peel & chop 5 large potatoes into rough 2cm squares (or leave the skins on if you want added fibre).
- Boil in salt water for approx. 10 minutes (or until soft).
- Hard boil 3 eggs.
- Leave the potatoes & eggs to cool.
- Pick some chives from your herb garden & chop.
- Roughly chop the eggs.
- Mix everything together in a large bowl, with mayonnaise, salt & pepper to taste.
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