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By Aina

Hertfordshire, United Kingdom Gb

Hello all Happy new Year.
I have a question about potatoe seed.
Can you save some of the seed for next year if there is not enough space to plant it all?

I would also like to know if any one has successfully used a shop brought potatoe. As other half is moaning about price of seed potatoes.

Also with the first earlies how big a crop would you expect to get?



Hello and Happy New Year to you too!

Starting with last question first ... the size of your crop depends largely on your compost, including depth, stone free, moisture, quality and weather conditions for your area - and kill any wire worms you come across while digging over.

Shop bought potatoes that show signs of 'chitting' can certainly be used, and I have tried, but their cropping was not very good and i had only a dozen at the most potatoes on the plant.

Finally, seed potatoes tend to wither and dry out, and would not last a whole year unplanted. They can be planted almost anywhere - any spare large pot, corner of the garden, or even in the compost heap. I threw out 3 seed potatoes I simply could not find space for 5 years ago, and they came up in my compost heap with enough of a crop to make it worthwhile placing my extra seed potatoes there every year!!

4 Jan, 2012


My super market bought potatoes cropped very well for me. I grew them in a hessian bag, it worked a treat.

5 Jan, 2012


Seed potatoes, or any other potato for that matter, will not keep for a year, buy the quantity you need and no more. What you can do is to save some of your smaller potatoes to use as seed the following year as long as you are sure there is no blight or other disease.

Supermarket potatoes 'may' do okay but they will not have been grown in the same way and can introduce disease into your soil. Seed potatoes are grown in areas where there is little blight and other potato diseases and are thoroughly checked and certified as being suitable for growing from. Supermarket potatoes are grown anywhere and frequently not the UK.

Potatoes, like most vegetables need as much sunlight as possible when growing so select an area where they will get this. We have had no success growing potatoes in bags, though others on GoY have. Dig your soil over well and remove any large stones. Create a trench and fill with good rich compost where the seed potatoes will actually be planted. Earth them up regularly as this helps to produce a good crop. Potatoes need a lot of water on a regular basis to do well so this means artificial watering if you don't get a lot of rain.

5 Jan, 2012


am i right in believing you can cut seed potatoes into parts with buds on ?

5 Jan, 2012


Yes if they are large seed potatoes but you need several buds on each piece.

5 Jan, 2012


Yes you can nosey.

MG I know it is not the correct way to do things using supermarket potatoes that have begun to chitt. It is possible to not only buy Uk grown potatoes, but to identify in some cases even the farm where they were grown. By growing them in hessian sacks there is no contamination to my soil if i had any.

Must say that I would not grow potatoes in the same spot even if it is a compost heap as Avkq says, just to be sure that I were not building up disease in my soil.

5 Jan, 2012


I agree Pimpernel I think a lot of problems with growing potatoes occur because they have been grown in the same spot for more than one year. Same goes for any vegetable a four year rotation ensures no build up of disease in the soil. Also I would not consider growing potatoes in the compost heap!

5 Jan, 2012


Why not grow some in the compost heap if it is always successful though? They wouldn't be in the same ground every year and if the heap is properly made it should be pretty disease free. I wouldn't put the haulm on the heap though, which you probably shouldn't do anyway.

6 Jan, 2012


crop rotation was invented years ago as different crops put back in things that the next crop takes out and always have one out of 4 fields fallow with livestock or not i do believe .cut your seed potatoes up aina is the answer to cost aina ow and happy new year . ps i swear i remember putting litteraly peal in the compost and getting potatoes but ive not grown veg since i was a child realy .

6 Jan, 2012


Hi Steragram if the potatoes in the compost heap get blight I would have thought it would affect the compost.

6 Jan, 2012


My potatoes thrown away in the compost heap were completely blight free! The compost heap changes every year, so ... what is the problem MG? They were there by accident and produced a reasonable crop, and have done so over the last few years! I have also found odd plants come up in the previous year's plot that have gone on to produce a decent crop. Makes me wonder if Bob Flowerdew is right ... ie leave seed potato in the ground in autumn and it will come up unasked in the spring!?! He suggests that all that chitting is unecessary ... just pop them in and when the conditions are right they will come up naturally. If you haven't had blight don't worry too much about it - it is airborne initially and only if you do get blight do you then need to worry about crop rotation from soil contamination.

6 Jan, 2012


PS: if your soil is not contaminated with blight from the previous year, then plant your 'first earlies' sooner rather than later, even before chitting. They will chit naturally in the soil as it warms and grow. Main crop supermarket rooster variety (totally delicious nutty flavour) grow happily in my veggie plot. Sometimes I do believe the 'purists' take over our growing instincts - an elderly lady two doors down from me religiously cuts her hardy fuscia to the ground around Christmas, and every year it comes back beautifully, but the 'book' says not to cut down until new shoots appear at the base in April/May!!

6 Jan, 2012

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