By Megan Slack
Beloved British gardener Monty Don has shared his tips for planting the staple of every kitchen and the most versatile food of them all: potatoes. His advice covers everything from the best type of soil to detailed seeding tips.
See: How to grow potatoes – a step-by-step guide
Monty Don’s potato growing tips
Monty’s blog is a great place to pick up gardening tips. In his April post, Monty tells readers the secrets to growing the perfect potato crop, and while he admits there is ‘no rush to plant maincrop potatoes,’ it is a good idea to plant as soon as possible.
1. Plant earlies
‘The sooner you can plant seed for first earlies, the sooner you can enjoy that delicious harvest that always tastes so much better than any that you can buy,’ Monty declares. Though, he confesses that he has ‘planted as late as June and still had a good crop.’
2. Get your planting techniques right
See: Kitchen garden ideas – 10 easy ways to get started
Before planting the potato seeds, Monty Don urges us to begin by making a ‘V-shaped trench 6-9 inches deep.’ He then suggests placing the seed potatoes about 12 inches apart along the bottom of the trench.
Monty continues: ‘Backfill the trench so that the soil forms a ridge along the length of it. Leave at least 3ft between rows to allow for earthing up – digging more soil onto emerging foliage to protect them from late frosts.’
Monty Don also suggests growing potatoes in a raised bed by ‘pushing each seed potato in a 6 inch deep hole made with a dibber – with each plant about 18 inches apart in a grid.’
3. Enrich the soil
See: Potato companion plants – the best crops to grow with potatoes
However you plant them, always enrich soil for potatoes with plenty of well-rotted manure or compost,’ Monty adds.
Following Monty’s advice, we’re certain to have a batch of potatoes for our incoming dinner parties – the only thing left to decide is how best to cook them.
Steven Seagal's Bond-worthy desert retreat is on sale for $3.395m – complete with bulletproof glass and sweeping views
The sprawling home is perched on a hillside with incredible desert vistas...
By Ruth Doherty •
18 small dining room ideas – stylish ways to make the most of a compact diner
Don't let a compact room be a barrier to creating your dream (small) dining scheme
By Jennifer Ebert •