by Michael Smith (Veshengro)
Agralan Potato Pots
New potatoes ready to pick in 8 weeks (10 weeks if the potatoes haven’t been chitted). Simply lift the inner pot and pick the larger tubers, leaving the smaller ones to grow on.
M681 Potato Pot (single) £7.99
M686 Potato Pot (pack of 3) £21.99
This is one of those absolute great ideas for those who wish to grow some of their own food but who have little garden space or no garden at all.
Pots like this can be places almost anywhere, by the front door, by the back door, on the patio, on a balcony, you name it, and thus some potatoes, that is to say some food, can be grown in even the smallest of spaces.
• Place the inner pot in the outer pot and half fill with a multi-purpose compost.
• Place 3 seed potatoes in a triangle shape about 10cm apart in line with the openings on the inner pot.
• Cover the potatoes over with more compost and water them thoroughly and place the Potato Pot in a warm and bright location.
• As the shoots appear and get to between 5-10cm high cover them with more compost.
• Repeat this until the compost level is about 2-3cm from the top of the pot.
• Continue to water regularly, preferably daily and feed with a liquid feed.
• You can follow the development by lifting the inner pot up once the plants are well established (after approx. 5 weeks)
• After approx. 10 weeks you can begin harvesting your own new potatoes - right up until the arrival of the first frost of the autumn.
• To harvest, lift the inner pot and carefully remove the larger tubers, leaving more to grow.
• You can start harvesting up to 2 weeks earlier by pre-sprouting seed potatoes, also known as 'chitting'. Place them in a light, frost free location with the bud end upwards. Egg boxes are ideal for this as it stops the potatoes falling over. This can be done from February.
• The process can be started in a greenhouse but once the potatoes have sprouted they should be moved outdoors.
• Do not place outside until after the last frost.
• Potatoes cannot withstand frost. If there is a chance of frost, move the pot indoors or cover with Envirofleece 30g or a Plant Cosie.
• The plants can be cut back to approx. 25cm in height if they become lanky.
New shoots will form.
• Use the 'earlies' potato varieties you like the best.
• Do not use a soil based compost, say Agralan. However, this last recommendation here by the makers is something that I must strongly disagree with as I have grown good crops of potatoes even in “ordinary” soil rather than compost.
This type of pot has given me an idea, and I know I should not really say this as the people would like to sell their potato pots, and that is as to whether it is possible to recycle or upcyle some small tree tubs (pots) that I have got (and which often can be had for little to nothing at garden centers, and especially council yards after municipal tree plantings, into such potato planters. I think it can be done and would be quite easy.