Growing Potatoes without a garden

Growing your own fruit and especially annual vegetables seems to have taken the UK by storm in the last couple of years.  For those who only have a small garden or even a patio, tPotato bagshe good news is that you do not need a huge vegetable patch nor an unnatural commitment to digging to grow the archetypal vegetable: potatoes.  You can get a successful crop by planting 2 or 3 chitted seed potatoes in a large bag – you can buy specially made self-supporting bags or old potting compost sacks, just remember that they need plenty of drainage holes.  Potatoes are easy for even novice veg-growers to grow: buy seed potatoes from a reputable source to avoid virus infection, if planting in April choose a 2nd Early or Main crop variety and place them in a cool, light place to start them into growth.  Plant the potatoes on a 15 cm layer of compost in the bottom of the bag, cover with another 10cm and water well.  Add fresh layers of compost as the stems grow to mimic the earthing up process – this keeps the new tubers well covered and stops them turning green.   Early potatoes are ready to harvest when the flowers are fully open, usually July; Main crop are ready when the leaves start to yellow usually September. Tubers form when the plant makes more food than it needs so even if you start with multi-purpose compost that contains nutrients you will need to start feeding 6 weeks after the leaves appear and keep the potatoes well watered.  Tip out the whole bag to harvest, wash, cook and enjoy immediately.

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