I am 'later' in getting the seed potatoes planted this year, mainly because of the weather.
Tomorrow I hope to plant the last row of my Main Crop seed potatoes. Once they are planted I will water them if necessary and hoe or hand weed the rows taking care when the potatoes green shoots come through not to damage them.
The next main job to do for potatoes is earthing up, which one does when the shoots are a certain height. Earthing up is when you draw the soil up into a ridge to cover the potato shoots that have emerged. You need to do this carefully so as not to damage the green shoots/foliage of the potatoes. The reason you do this is to increase the crop and also to keep the potatoes that are developing out of the light.
If you need to water the potatoes because of dry spells try not to submit them to a long dry spell and then a deluge because this may lead to the spuds swelling too quickly and this can cause splitting in the potatoes.
When planting follow the spacing distances recommended by your seed potato supplier. The distance apart needed for main crop potatoes is greater than for first or second earlies. the reason for this is main crop potatoes stay in the ground for longer. Roughly speaking the bigger the planting distance the more room the potatoes have to develop.
The first year I planted potatoes I thought that the new potatoes developed below the seed potato but in fact the majority will be found above or to the sides. Hence the need to earth up to prevent green potatoes, which develop because they have been subject to light. Green potatoes should never be eaten as they contain harmful substances.
Hope all is going well in your vegetable patch. Further updates soon.
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Growing Your Own Fruit and Vegetables
We grow our own fruit and vegetables for our meals for as much of the year as we can. Without a greenhouse we have to buy shop food in the winter months but in the spring, summer and autumn we often have enough to share with family and friends.
Read about growing your fruit and vegetables here on my growing your own food pages.