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Potato question
This is my third year at growing potatoes and would like to avoid a couple of problems I have had in the past. My first effort saw many of the pots very small, like marbles. On the second occasion most were of a good size quite a number had scab but were fine to eat after peeling. I usually like to eat my pots with the skins on. They were all grown in bags and I sprinkled fertiliser on them. Any ideas how I can get perfect pots this time? They are already chitting.



I have been growing potatoes in bags over several years as I no longer have an allotment or a large garden. I would always stick to early varieties as they require a shorter growing season and are more suitable for growing in large bags. Lots of water and lots of feed is the order of the day. I plant them with about 6 inches of compost and as they grow through, I keep topping up. Then put 4 canes down the sides of the bags and tie string around to support the growing leaves. Don't be too keen to plant unless you have a light frost-free environment as they will soon catch up when the weather warms up. As far as the scab is concerned then some varieties like Maris Bard will be less susceptible.

14 Jan, 2017


Potato Scab is caused by lime in the ground. Particularly in the Limestone Belt which runs from the Humber to
Dorset across the country.
Every Autumn get some pig manure, or chicken manure and dig well in to rot down over the winter. Then dig over in the Spring to break down the soil into a nice humus.
Get some soot from a sweep, keep 6 months to cool down.
Dig a trench 10" deep line it with soot in the base, and sow the potato seed in it. Cover with Comfrey leaves if you have some. Or Seaweed fertiliser, they like that.
Never plant seed potatoes in newly manured soil, as they will be ruined by black Thrips and no good.
Never sow seed Potatoes from your last year's crop, or supermarket packs. This is how people get Blight. Buy best quality Scottish seed potatoes. The farmers up there know this job, they rotate their seed areas every 3 years so you get the best quality seed potatoes. I once knew a gardener who lived next to a potato field in Scotland. The farmer grew extra bags of potatoes every year for all the neighbours as he would not allow them to grow potatoes of other varieties over the fence in their gardens because of cross pollination.
Rotate your soil every 3 years. Keep a plan with dates.
That means using fresh soil that was manured last Autumn if you have a space somewhere in the garden.
Recycle the soil every Autumn from your bags to avoid Blight.
Using the same soil every year was the cause of the Irish
Potato Famine, 1845-1847. Thousands starved. Its a plant that needs very careful growing conditions.

15 Jan, 2017


Thanks very much for your input!

17 Jan, 2017

How do I say thanks?

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