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Potato Growing Guide

Growing from seed potatoes is easy and really rewarding.

There are many different varieties of seed potatoes available, these are normally categorised by harvest and sowing time, commonly known as first earlies, second earlies, maincrop and salad varieties, which in essence refers to the times you plant and harvest them.

Step One: Choosing your seed potatoes
Use the harvest selector to choose the month in which you want to harvest your potatoes. Note the colour coding and match the colour accordingly to the pack to select the variety of your choice.

Step Two: How to plant your seed potatoes
Seed potatoes will grow well in the ground or in a growing bag. Bags are ideal if you are limited for space.

In the ground: Prepare & Plant
Choose a sunny spot (avoid frost pockets) and dig to break down the soil, removing any clods. Dig a trench in the soil 15cm (6in) deep by 15cm (6in) wide before laying out the seed potatoes with the shoots or rose end facing upwards. Position the seed potatoes 25-30cm (10-12in) apart allowing 60cm (24in) between each row and cover over with the excess soil. First shoots should appear within a few weeks.

In a growing bag: Prepare & Plant
Fill a potato growing bag with 15cm (6in) of compost. Position three to four chitted seed potatoes evenly on top of the compost, with sprouts facing upwards. Cover potatoes with a further 10-15cm (4-6in) of compost and ensure compost is well watered. First shoots should appear within a few weeks.

Step Three: Harvesting your potatoes
When the potato plant starts to flower (approximately 12 weeks after planting), it is usually a sign that your potatoes are ready for harvesting. The longer you leave your potatoes the larger they will be and the bigger the yield (especially for yellow packs of Unwins maincrop potatoes). To harvest from the ground carefully dig up from the side using a garden form to avoid brusing your crop.

From a growing bag, carefully remove the whole potato plant. Wash the potatoes ready for use. Store potatoes in a cool, dark, frost-free place.
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