Saturday, 20 February 2010

Planting Potatoes

Today, I have planted some first early potatoes - Sharpes Express and some second early potatoes - International Kidney into containers. I have planted three tubers into each container and as the foliage grows, they will be earthed up until each container is filled with compost. I have moved the containers into the greenhouse and covered them with fleece to keep the frost at bay, but once the weather warms up they will be moved outside. It's too early to plant potatoes into the ground yet, but I hope that by doing this I will have an early harvest, a few weeks before the potatoes planted at the allotment are ready.

Some of the seeds which I sowed last weekend are now showing through the compost. There are still lots more to plant, some of which will be done during the coming week.

We've had a few snow flurries here this week, but luckily it hasn't settled. I was hoping that some digging could be done on the allotment today, but unfortunately the ground is frozen solid. At the risk of sounding despondent, I'm hoping to get down there again before the end of August.

One thing which lifted my spirits this week was the award which Kella from Kella's Musings on Growing her Own, Wildlife and Her Brand of Parenting presented me with. It's the All Things That Glitter Award, and Kella has presented me with it as she thinks that my blog sparkles. I love to receive these awards as it shows that people do enjoy my ramblings, so thank you very much, Kella.

I would like to pass this award on to some blogs which I have recently discovered. I will keep popping back to catch up with these blogs as they too sparkle, and I would urge my readers to check them out.

You are under no obligation to accept the award, but I wanted to let you know that I enjoy your blogs.


  1. Jo, I'm always so inspired when I visit here, in fact this is where I was first encouraged to try growing potatoes in containers; which I look forward to trying out this year.

    We've had a sunny day here but freezing cold - good for walking but that's about it!

    Congratulations on your well-deserved award.

    Jeanne x

  2. Good luck to your potato.... I tried sweet potatoes recently, 3 clumps growing. It has not been raining for a week here, with rising temperature.... huh.. we got to water plants twice a day. ~bangchik

  3. Wow, I am deeply honoured, in the two years that I have had to share my allotment, my knitting and my rather scarily, mostly ill health stuff, (do you know any bald women that are 43?) I've loved sharing my stuff, I've loved it, thank you so much.

  4. Thanks very much Jo, I'm honoured you liked my blog so much. I'm fairly new to this but I'm enjoying sharing things I've learnt with everyone and I hope some of it is useful. Loving your blog and looking forward to a great year ahead!

  5. congrats on the award Jo, and I hope your potatoes grow well. I would early love to get some seeds in but fear it is too cold yet as I don't have a greenhouse which means I just have to wait.. :-(

  6. I found your blog through Social Mention. I have never heard of growing potatoes in containers, I might just try that!

    Congrats on your Award also :)

  7. Brr! hope your spuds do well Jo - congrats on your award:-)

  8. Boy you are sure speeding along, I usually grow my potatoes in containers but with the opportunity to finally have the space to grow in the ground I'll be forgoing container growing this year.

    Good luck though with the early spuds.

  9. Congratulations on the award! I have never tried to grow potatoes in containers, good luck with them.

  10. Hi Jo, Thank you for the Blog Award. I hope you continue to enjoy reading my blog. I'll be a regular visitor to your blog as I continue in my quest for allotment knowledge. Keep it up and good luck with the early potatoes. I'll be interested to see how they turn out.

  11. Thanks Jo for the award! I will do a post about it in a few days. Good luck with the tatties!

  12. You're making me paranoid! I thought it was too early to start; I was planning on planting on Good Friday. Also, have they chitted? Mine are strangely unsprouting the cold light of day!

  13. Good luck with the potatoes! The way the weather is at present I've no idea when I'll be planting my earlies.
    Congratulations on the well deserved award! Flighty xx

  14. Hi Jo, thank you very much for my lovely glittery award (very apt as I love sparkly things). Also thanks for the comment on my blog. After those lovely muffins I went out and bought some blueberry bushes in the hope we can have our own harvest later in the year. It says they need acidic soil, any tips on growing and getting a good harvest as yours were so good?

  15. Thanks, Jeanne, and thanks too for the lovely comment. It really does please me to think that I have inspired you, and I look forward to following your progress with the potatoes.

    I have recently been reading about sweet potatoes, Bangchik. I fancy having a go with them, but probably won't get round to it this year.

    You're welcome, Mandycharlie. I only recently discovered your blog, but I will be following it from now on. I really enjoyed reading through your past posts.

    You're welcome, Damo. I enjoy finding new blogs and watching how they develop. I hope we do have a good year ahead. Things are a little slow at the moment due to the weather.

    Thanks, Tanya. It will only be a few weeks now before you can start your gardening year. At least you got your allotment dug over before the onset of winter, mine's still waiting to be done.

    Thank you for visiting my blog, Lorri Jeanne. I used to grow all my potatoes in containers, but I got an allotment last year so I'm now only growing a few for an early harvest, the rest will be planted at the allotment. I would definitely give them a try, I've had great harvests from them previously.

    Thanks, Scattered Gardener. I haven't tried these varieties before so I'm looking forward to seeing how they do.

    I'll still be planting the majority of the potatoes on the allotment, Kella. These are just a few to get an early harvest. You could do the same, just think of those early potatoes, boiled and covered in butter, mmmm.

    You're not kidding, Green Lane Allotments. It was a bit of a shock when I got up on Sunday morning and saw that we were covered in a blanket of snow. I had to trail out to work in it too. There's still bits of it around now, and it's so cold.

    Thank you, Vrtlarica. I used to grow all my potatoes in containers, but now I have the allotment, the majority will be planted there. I'm looking forward to tasting these varieties though as I haven't grow them before.

    You're welcome, Phil. I got my allotment last year, so I'm only a year ahead of you. Mine wasn't in as good condition as your's though, I've still got some parts to clear. I'm looking forward to following your progress.

    You're welcome, Mark. I look forward to seeing the post, and following your progress through the year.

    Good Friday is traditional for planting potatoes, The Idiot Gardener, but these have been planted for an early harvest and are being kept snug in the greenhouse, so there's no need to panic yet. They haven't chitted, although the ones to be planted in the ground are chitting at the moment.

    Thanks, Flighty. I think I've done the right thing getting some started in containers. As you say, I don't know when the ground will be suitable for planting, we've had snow again.

    You're welcome, Scented Sweetpeas. I love to pass on these awards as it's a good way of introducing my readers to some great blogs, as well as giving some recognition for having a great blog. You won't regret getting the blueberry bushes. I have two, and they are grown in containers. As they need acidic soil, I find that I can control this easier this way rather than them being planted in the ground. They're planted in ericaceous compost and last year I gave them a watering with spent coffee grounds. Also, keep a watch out for the birds. I had a pesky blackbird which was trying to beat me to the berries.

  16. Here I am wondering if I will ever get to the lottie again :) Biting wind today and yet more snow to add to the weekend's fall. What have you planted your potatoes in Jo? I have bought a couple of plasticy containers from Poundland and am thinking of having a go myself.

  17. Jo,
    Congratulations on another well deserved award. I always enjoy your posts. We are wet and cold here today, but not frozen. Good luck with the potatoes. We did not try growing them when we were in the UK, but had problems with "Potato bugs" when we did.
    I am hoping that the colder than normal winter will decrease the bug population a bit this year. Then maybe we can try planting some vegetables again.

  18. I wish I had the space for potatoes. I saw a purple Peruvian fingerling potato on that looked scrumptious! Here's the link:

  19. Sometime last year a question was asked on Gardeners Question time about earthing up potatoes and the whole panel seemed to agree that it wasn't really need for earlies as they are not in the ground long enough for it to make a differance to them

  20. We've got torrential rain today, Anna. It's one thing or another, I'm fed up. I've planted my potatoes in large containers and large buckets, three tubers to each, but you could use a smaller container and just plant one or two tubers.

    Thanks, Kat. I had slug problems with the potatoes which were planted at the allotment last year, but that's the beauty of planting in containers, the potatoes are lovely and clean. Perhaps you could try this method of planting.

    The purple Peruvian fingerling potatoes look interesting, Avis. I'm trying a purple one myself this year, I'll let you know what I think of them.

    I don't listen to Gardener's Question Time, Poppy, but the reason for earthing up is to stop the light from reaching the developing tubers and turning them green, which makes them poisonous, and also, if more of the stem is covered with earth as they grow, it encourages more tubers to form.

  21. Oh Lordy above, another blog I HAD highlighted but lost in the ether that is my laptop's memory (it randomily deletes things from my favs list!) So glad to have found you again, you've been leaving little comments and I thought you were someone else, I thought I had found everyone again! What joy. We're N. Irish so nothing gets done with a spud until St Paddy's day (apart from chitting) - best of luck with the weather, it sucks here!!!!! xxx

  22. I'm glad you've found me again, Carrie. My computer does similar things so you're not alone. My potatoes are chitting too, and won't be planted in the ground for a while yet. These are ones which I'm growing in containers, starting them off in the greenhouse, for an earlier crop.

  23. What depth of soil is in your containers before planting the seed tubers ? We have a couple of old dustbins so plan to do this as well. Thanks Jo.

  24. I would say that I put about four inch of soil in the bottom of the container, Gary, Jen and Ruby. I place the potatoes on top of that and then cover them with the same amount of soil again. As they grow I add more compost to the container just leaving the tips of the leaves uncovered, until the container is filled. Hope this helps. You should get a good harvest using dustbins, my containers are considerably smaller.

  25. How are you getting on with your spuds ?

  26. Funny you should ask that, Gary, Jen and Ruby. I will be doing a post today which will show how they're coming along.


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