Aug 6th, 2010
I’m attempting to grow some Potatoes for Christmas Day. I had heard that it was possible but I’ve never tried it before. I’ve done some research so I’ll tell you what I know but with the proviso that I’m not speaking from experience here, just hearsay.
Firstly, you need to buy a solid second-early variety like Maris Peer. Then you should plant them in the normal way. I planted mine a week ago and already they are growing well.
The trick with Summer-planted Potatoes is watering. They need watering during any dry periods – just until Autumn when there should be enough rain to water them naturally.
When the plants are around 25cm high, earth them up to give them a good sturdy grounding and space to grow in.
You might find that Summer-planted Potatoes are prone to Blight because they’ll be sitting through a lot of wet weather. You can decide how you will cope with that. If you’re okay using Bordeaux Mixture then you can do that, or you can try to grow them under cover (either poly tunnel or greenhouse). But either way snip off infected leaves as they occur, as you would with normal Potatoes.
But what about frost? Well, certainly in the UK the worst of the weather usually comes post-Christmas time. So you should be able to keep and eye on the weather and throw a fleece over them if there is a particularly nasty frost forecast. But, if your Potatoes make it to November and a frost hits then the leaves might die back but the Potatoes should be fine underground for a few weeks.
Just remember to dig up your Potatoes ‘before’ Christmas Day if there is frost forecast. You wouldn’t want to put in all that effort only to be foiled by a solid, unworkable soil on the big day!
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