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.
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Megan is the Head of Celebrity Style News at Homes & Gardens. She first joined Future Plc as a News Writer across their interiors titles, including Livingetc and Real Homes, before becoming H&G's News Editor in April 2022. She now leads the Celebrity/ News team. Before joining Future, Megan worked as a News Explainer at The Telegraph, following her MA in International Journalism at the University of Leeds. During her BA in English Literature and Creative Writing, she gained writing experience in the US while studying in New York. Megan also focused on travel writing during her time living in Paris, where she produced content for a French travel site. She currently lives in London with her antique typewriter and an expansive collection of houseplants.
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