Saturday, 2 April 2011 do you plant yours??

Well I went down the allotment today to get some potatoes and the onions in the ground.

The onions never actually got into the ground though as when I went to get them out of the shed I founds that there was nothing there...just empty packets. A close inspection of some faeces showed that it was probably the cause of mice in my shed. They hadn't touched the potatoes at all but chomped there way through all of my onions. I got some fresh white onions form the allotment shop but they have no red so I will have to buy some more of those and put them in the ground when I get some time during the week!!

eaten onions
This is what was left of my onions!!!

Anyway whilst I was digging out to plant my potatoes it got me to thinking of the way other people might go about planting there potatoes so I thought I would ask.
The beauty of gardening and growing your own is there is never a right or a wrong way to go about things. As long as it is planted then essentially it will grow and there are different ways to plant your potatoes. If you have a small garden or yard then you can grow them in bags or planters. You can dig a trench out and fill with can hill them can dig them can use manure or compost or just soil. None of these ways are wrong and everyone has their own preference. So I am going to share with you my way of planting potatoes and hope that you will share yours with myself and my other readers too.

I remembered the camera today so I will share in pictures to make the post a little less boring!!

First thing to share with you is that I'm not one to avidly 'chit' my potatoes. I buy them and then just leave them in the bags in my shed until I'm ready to plant them. They always start to chit and then they just go in the ground. I don't count the shoots coming off and I don't take any off as I invariably knock one or two off anyway during the planting process.

tench dug for potatoes
First I put a line down and then dig out a trench for the potatoes.

trench manured for potatoes
Then I spread some manure along the length of the trench, not too much though, for four rows I used just under a barrow full.

potatoes in manure trench ready to be covered
Then I place the potatoes in the trench, mark each end with a stick and then rake the hilled earth over the top.

And that's it, job done. Of course I dig the soil well first too but this was done last weekend when digging out the twitch so didn't have to be repeated today and made the job a lot easier. A line doesn't have to be put down but I do this so that I know what I am working to and the lines stay relatively straight and far enough apart, it just means I don't waste ground by veering off. I will hill up my potatoes as they grow, I didn't do this last year and not doing it is fine but last year was the first time I grew main crop potatoes and it was difficult to know where to dig after the tops had died off so I will hill them up more for a guide for digging than anything else although hilling them up does also stop any poking through the top of the soil and going green.

So there you have my method of potato planting, does it differ greatly from yours??

I guess I should have took a picture of the finished planting area but to be honest it's just a patch of brown mud anyway!!

I also weeded around the grapevines today which are just starting to show a little life, weeded the asparagus bed which still looks dead and also took the weeds out of the cold-frame.

It was a bust morning but also very satisfying!!



  1. Oh too bad about the onions. I would have thought they would have ate the potatoes before the onions, shows how much I know :)
    Potatoes are one thing that I have never tried to grow. Interesting to see how you planted yours though

  2. I never thought of planting potatoes so I don't have a story to share. I don't get to start planting until May. Although I think I might look for some containers and get started early on my porch.

  3. We chit ours through necessity having had them delivered early. For a few years now we have just planted our seed potatoes with a trowel no digging trenches etc. It's worked well for us with no drop in yield. As the shoots grow the are earthed up as usual.

    There's a video clip of me planting potatoes on our website here.

  4. I've planted my potatoes the same way as you do your's in the past, but last year I just dug a hole and popped a potato in, I found it much easier this way so will do it this way this year too. I haven't got round to planting mine yet.

  5. My method is pretty similar to yours, although your lines are much neater than mine! I had put manure in a few weeks ago so I haven't added any more. I to will earth up as they grown - I left it a bit late last year and I think my yield suffered as a result.

  6. The way you described it is the way my dad does it. It's one of the few things I remember about planting crops.

  7. I chit our potatoes in the shed and leave about 4 'eyes' on them when I plant. I dig a spade widths flat bottomed trench about 8" deep, fill the bottom with 2" of home made compost and strips of newspaper (to help hold moisture), I sit the potatoes on this and cover. Works a treat and rarely have to water during the season. I earth up later and get a good crop. Cara is a favourite. I don't use manure at all.
    Like you we suffer from a Bind weed problem too, dug out miles of it last month!!!

  8. Well your method is definitely better than mine, Tanya! I just hoof them in with a bulb planter...

  9. We also do ours in trenches - I love it when they have just been planted and the rows are all beautifully neat!

  10. Definitely no right or wrong way but it's good to read about the variations of planting knowing that if you aren't getting the greatest yield then you could try something different!!


keep it clean...keep it relevant...I look forward to reading your comments!!