I’m planting the second early potatoes. I’ve chitted these a couple of weeks beforehand and now is the time to stick them in the ground.
Whereas I’ve dug trenches for my first early potatoes and my main crop – I’m, saving time by burying these potatoes in the ground a trowel’s depth.
Potatoes the size of ping-pong balls should be ready for harvesting around 10 to 11 weeks after planting. Second early potatoes can be dug up as and when you require them, with the other potatoes being left in the ground.
However, they must be protected from frost so it is worth covering them with a thick layer of straw and/or sacking.
Knowing when to plant potatoes and when to harvest them can be quite confusing, but the idea behind planting and then harvesting potatoes at different times of the year is to ensure that you have a healthy supply of potatoes throughout the year – providing that you store them well in a cool, dry and dark area (under the stairs or in the back of the shed).
I’ve written the table below as a bit of a guide – although I’ve left out early main crop potatoes, which can be left in the ground for around 20 weeks after planting and second cropping potatoes, which are planted in late August and dug up just 11 weeks after planting. I’ve left them out because generally, I don’t have the time or the space to grow these potatoes.
|Potato crop||Planting time||Harvesting time|
|First Early||End of February||10 weeks from planting|
|Second Early||Mid March||13 weeks from planting|
|Main crop||Late March||15 weeks from planting|