Seed potatoes have been chitting in trays on my windowsill since January and now have lovely fat shoots on them, last weekend I took advantage of the lovely weather and planted the Charlotte salad potatoes. Charlotte are a yellow-skinned, oval-shaped new potato which are perfect for barbecues and adding to salads, they’re a second early potato and can be planted out from mid March through to April, depending on the weather for your area.
There are many different ways and methods of planting potatoes – deep trugs, potato bags, containers, digging trenches etc, I plant mine into a long raised bed. Before I plant my seed potatoes I place them on top of the soil (approx 12 -15 inches apart depending on variety) spacing them out evenly, then I dig a planting hole for each seed potato using a hand fork (approx 6 inches deep) and pop a seed potato in with the shoots pointing upwards. After planting, I mound soil over the rows straight away. As soon as the top growth (leaves) emerge through the top of the mounds of soil, I carry on earthing up (covering the potato leaves with soil) using excess soil between the rows for as long as possible.
If a late frost is forecast I cover the rows of potatoes with large pieces of thick cardboard, removing the cardboard first thing in the morning. Main crop potatoes will go out sometime next month once I figure out where to put them. Which varieties are you growing this year?