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New potatoes in winter?

If you love fresh, tasty new potatoes, why not plant an extra crop in autumn and you could be harvesting them in time for your Christmas dinner!

In Scotland it may be advisable to grow them in a container or potato bag so that they can be moved to a sheltered position to protect them from frosts.  If you prefer to plant in the open ground, you should plan to lift them around the end of October to avoid frost damage.


Growing your potatoes

Autumn potatoes will probably have started to grow in their bag, getting you off to a good start.  Remove them carefully from the pack so that the   shoots remain intact.

Using a good quality, slightly dampened compost, place approximately 10cm into the base of the planter or sack.  Place the potato tubers onto the compost allowing plenty space for them to grow and develop.  Cover with another 10cm of the compost and water sparingly ensuring that you don't waterlog the planter.

Once you see about 10cm of growth, cover them with compost and continue this process until your container is full.  

Move the container to a sheltered area to avoid damage from autumn frosts.


Potato planters

These clever double-skinned planters allow you to see the progress of your potatoes without digging them up.

Other possibilities might include strong bags or a large pot.  Just provide good drainage and make sure that youyou're able to move the container once it's full!

General information

The potatoes should be ready in approximately 12 weeks or after flowering.  Providing your potatoes are protected from frost, they can be harvested as required leaving the remainder in situ for up to a month.

If you're growing your potatoes in open ground, plan to harvest them by the end of October (depending on the autumn weather of course) to avoid damage from frost or water-logging.

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