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Posts Tagged ‘potatoes in bags’

Are you a Primary School who would like to get the children involved in growing potatoes?

If you have answered yes to this question, then have a look at the Grow Your Own Potatoes website and register before Friday, January 29th 2016, for a potato growing pack containing all you need to grow potatoes at your School including: seed potatoes, grow bags, instructions, stickers and a weather chart, Schools can register up to 4 classes to take part!

Grow Your Own Potatoes (GYOP) was launched in 2005 and is now one of the largest growing projects of its kind with over 2 million children taking part and learning where potatoes come from, how they grow and how healthy they actually are.

If you tend and care for your potatoes and they grow well you can win prizes for:

  1. The heaviest crop of Rocket Potatoes
  2. The heaviest crop of the regional potato variety
  3. The heaviest individual potato grown
  4. The largest number of tubers (potatoes) produced from three seed potatoes

If you are entering the competition you will need to use the seed potatoes and the grow bags supplied in your Potato Growing Pack.

Visit the Grow your own Potatoes website for more information and to register your school.

If you are not a Primary School, but would still like to have fun growing potatoes here is what you will need:

Potato Growing Bag 40 Litre

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

What you need to do

  1. Once you get your ‘seed’ potatoes put them into egg trays/boxes with the ‘rose’ end upwards, this is where you might see tiny shoots or the ‘belly button’ end facing downwards and place them in a frost-free light (not sunny) room, this is called chitting and helps the potato to produce strong shoots, which speeds up growing once they are planted, when the shoots are about 2-3cm they are ready to plant.
  2. Fill your bag with compost to a depth of 10cm
  3. Place 4/5 seed potatoes, with the shoots facing upwards, on top of your compost equally spaced out so that they don’t touch each other.
  4. Add another 10 cm layer of good quality potting compost and water well.
  5. Position the bag somewhere sunny and sheltered, on cold nights cover the bag with protective Fleece to prevent frost damage.
  6. As the leaves emerge cover with more Compost and repeat until you reach the top of the bag.
  7. Potatoes need to be kept well watered but not soggy.
  • First Early varieties – plant from end of February until end of May, harvest in approx. 10 weeks
  • Second Early varieties – plant from March until late May, harvest in approx. 13 weeks
  • Early Maincrop varieties – planted from March until late May, harvest in approx. 15 weeks
  • Maincrop varieties – plant from March until mid May, harvest in approx. 20 weeks

Children love growing potatoes there is something magical about planting a potato, watering and feeding it and then when it has grown digging it up and finding lots more delicious potatoes.

So get growing and have some fun

Gill

 

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WOW what an incredible day it was yesterday when 3 amazing celestial events happened:

  1. The Solar Eclipse – which I watched with Thomas at his Primary school all the children were really excited, although it was cloudy we could clearly see it
  2. The Supermoon – this is when either a full or new moon is at its nearest point to earth on its elliptical orbit making it appear larger and brighter than normal
  3. The Spring Equinox – this is the first day of Spring when the length of day and night hours are approximately the same, from today we will have longer days than nights which increase each day slightly until 21st June (the longest day) when unfortunately the day light hours start to reduce.

Daffodils

This weekend the weather forecast is good if you are planning to get out into the garden here are some things that you can be doing:

Start/continue your Spring tidy up

  1. Clear away dead leaves, stems and twigs – why not place them in a corner of your garden and make a wildlife habitat.
  2. Give your lawn its first cut, taking off the tops only, grass has now started to grow quickly.
  3. Give your greenhouse and your gardening equipment a good clean, hygiene is very important when sowing seeds and potting up young seedlings/plants.
  4. Weed any remaining Raised Beds and Vegetable Plots removing large stones, dig over and incorporate a general fertilizer or nutrient rich compost from your Compost Bins, cover with polythene, fleece or cloches to warm the soil.

Chitting potatoes

Planting and Sowing

  1. Plant First Early and Salad Potatoes, if space is limited they will grow successfully in potato bags on the patio, chit second early and main crop potatoes in seed trays/egg boxes for planting next month.
  2. Onions are very easy to grow from sets, plant in soft earth with their tips showing approx. 10cm apart, leaving 23cm between rows, if birds are a problem cover with netting.
  3. Direct Sow Broad Beans, Lettuce, Radish, Spinach, Peas, Spring Onions, Swiss Chard, Leeks, Carrots, Turnips, Beetroot, Summer/Autumn Brassicas and cover with fleece or cloches for protection, if it is too cold or wet they can be started off in pots and trays indoors.

Have a lovely weekend

Gill

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This week is British Chip Week (16-22 February) and there is no better way to celebrate the humble potato than by eating freshly cooked, crispy chips, whether they are chunky, thin, crinkly or wedged, add your favourite condiment; tomato sauce, brown sauce, mayonnaise, salad cream or traditional salt and vinegar or cover with gravy, curry sauce, baked beans or cheese and enjoy. Chips are so versatile they are a snack, a meal and can be served with most foods they are delicious, filling and we just can’t get enough of them, in Britain almost 676,000 tonnes of British potatoes are made into fresh chips each year.

If you want to have a go at growing your own potatoes this year, now is the perfect time to get started. Commercially potatoes are grown in fields, in Britain we grow around 14,000 hectares of ‘chip’ potatoes each year, if you don’t have a garden or an allotment potatoes can be grown very easily and successfully in growing bags or containers.

Potato Growing Bag 40 Litre

What you will need

What you need to do

  1. Once you get your ‘seed’ potatoes put them into egg trays/boxes with the ‘rose’ end upwards, this is where you might see tiny shoots or the ‘belly button’ end facing downwards and place them in a frost-free light (not sunny) room, this is called chitting and helps the potato to produce strong shoots, which speeds up growing once they are planted, when the shoots are about 2-3cm they are ready to plant.
  2. Fill your bag with compost to a depth of 10cm
  3. Place 4/5 seed potatoes, with the shoots facing upwards, on top of your compost equally spaced out so that they don’t touch each other.
  4. Add another 10 cm layer of good quality potting compost and water well.
  5. Position the bag somewhere sunny and sheltered, on cold nights cover the bag with protective Fleece to prevent frost damage.
  6. As the leaves emerge cover with more Compost and repeat until you reach the top of the bag.
  7. Potatoes need to be kept well watered but not soggy.
  • First Early varieties – plant from end of February until end of May, harvest in approx. 10 weeks
  • Second Early varieties – plant from March until late May, harvest in approx. 13 weeks
  • Early Maincrop varieties – planted from March until late May, harvest in approx. 15 weeks
  • Maincrop varieties – plant from March until mid May, harvest in approx. 20 weeks

Why not give it a go children love planting, growing and harvesting potatoes they taste so much better when they are home grown.

So get growing and have some fun

Gill

 

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Delicious New Potatoes

Nothing beats the taste of freshly picked fruit and vegetables and the potato has got to be at the top of the list for taste in home grown versus supermarket vegetables, especially the new potato. I hate to mention Christmas in August, but why not spoil friends and family by serving up your own freshly harvested, home grown, new potatoes with your Christmas Dinner, they will be very impressed, and they make a great and healthier alternative to the traditional roast potato.

August Planting Potatoes

Carlingford Seed Potatoes

It might sound impossible ‘growing new potatoes in winter’ but it is very easy to do and they need very little attention, one of the easiest and most popular varieties to grow is Carlingford. To be able to harvest your potatoes at Christmas they need to be planted before the end of August, which doesn’t give you much time.

Potato Growing Bags (Pack of 2) - 69 Litre

Potato Growing Bags

The best way to grow them is to plant them in potato bags or large containers in good vegetable compost. Once planted give them a good water, and place in a warm position outside where they will get off to a good start, make sure that they don’t dry out. As the weather turns colder protect the tops from any light frosts with fleece and then bring the bags/containers inside (greenhouse, polytunnel, porch, cold frame) before any damaging hard frosts and when the weather turns bad. The potato plants should have finished flowering after 12 weeks when they can either be harvested or you can cut the tops off and leave the potatoes in the compost until you need them. The benefits of growing them in bags or containers are that they can easily be moved indoors when the weather turns bad, it gives them extra protection from slugs and the harvested potatoes should be unmarked and look attractive.

Make sure that you grow enough, you don’t want to be short on Christmas Day, if you have a good crop they can be made into potato salad for your Boxing Day or New Year buffet.

Simply delicious

Gill

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