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Planning potatoes for next year

I want to grow as many potatoes as I can. I had two small but sucessful crops this year, all grown in containers. Now I'm hooked.

As well as growing them in probably four containers next year, I also plan to devote a small row in the ground that ought to fit about four or five full sized plants I think. Good soil. In the pots I had two or three plants in one pot. How close should I plant them in the veg patch?

I want to get as many as I can and I know that there are different crops at different times, so what would be best to cover all those options? When to plant what and free up space for more? Also, how does this affect crop rotation? Is next year one rotation, or three or four if I do several crops?

The last question is to do with varieties. I did "Isle of Jura" this year which were ok, but a bit bland and small. Later I did "Vivaldi" which were great. Just finished those off tonight.

So next year I plan on doing Vivaldi again. From reading other posts it looks like Charlottes might be a good bet too. Taste is important, I want something tastier than the Isle of Jura next year, but I don't want anything too odd. Just good potatoes. Some that I read are good are Red King Edward (I like normal KEs), Ambo, Pentland Javelin, Ulster Prince, Sante, Dunluce...but I have no experience with these. Anyone got any reccomendations?

Thanks all



  • fidgetbonesfidgetbones Posts: 16,527

    How much space do you have snowathlete?

    I really think if you only have a small space, that potatoes take up a lot of room for the return.  5 potato plants will take up 1m by 3m. In that space you could grow enough kale to last all year with picking every week, or enough potatoes for two or three weeks.A row of runner beans in that space would give you three months of beans, lots to give away or freeze for winter.

  • I have a lot if food intollerances from my illnesses and potatoes are my staple now. But you might well be right that runner beans are worth a go. I'll have to check I can tolerate them first so will buy some today. Mature legumes are problematic but less mature types like French beans are ok.

    i tried some kale this year but caterpillars destroyed. Maybe I can fit one plant in next year though and try again.

    here is a pic of the current plot (the rose on the right, the jap maple and the jap quince will all be moved next month:





  • Hi  Snowathlete. As Fidgetbones says, your plot is really too small for potatoes and would be better utilised in growing crops which can be grown more closely together. I have grown potatoes in the black flower tubs as can be purchased from well known supermarkets, just drill holes in the base to provide a drainage outlet. I have grown the  potatoe Foremost for about 40 years, a very early breed, from planting as chatted sets they are usable and very tasty but smallish pigeon egg sized. after 68 - 70 days grown in multipurpose compost. I also grew International Kidney this year by the same method and was quite happy with the results. This breed is supposed to be the equivelent of the famous Jersey Royal?? but I will grow again. My method is to chit my sets in January then set them on balled up newspaper in the bottom of the 9 inch pot on a few inches of compost then just cover with same. keep on covering the leaf growth as if earthing up, until the pot is almost filled. I do grow initially in a greenhouse then set the pots out under cover early May but also provide fleece and waterproof cover as required. Quite a lot of effort but well worth while. Good luck, give it a go.




  • I have four plastic mesh type potato bags, think I got them for a quid a pair in the sale at Wilkinsons. And I have a couple of plastic tubs which I think may be what you're talking about - I grew sweet potatoes in one this year having drilled some holes in the bottom, but six is probably about the limit. the garden is north facing and I can fit a line down the path but further down the path they wouldn't get much sun Because of the shadow from the house.

    theres a space on the left of the garden which currently has some rhododendrons and a ... Forget the name ... Which I plan to move if I can get some help from someone. Here's a pic:



    That space could then be used for veg as well though would be in shade from the fence in the late afternoons. Small, but a bit more space to add to the cause. I still hope to fit another potato plant or two in the ground if I can manage it, in addition to the containers.


    whats the newspaper for old timer? Does it encourage root growth or something?


    thanks Phillippa for the link, I'll check that out!

  • Success, I managed to cut down the Jap Maple and added their leaves to loads on my drive to make some leaf mold.

    i also measured the plot, it is 3M x 2.3M



  • BizzieBBizzieB Posts: 885

     image great! Good photo, can see just how much more space you have.

    I'm growing potatoes in container bags again this year to save space on the allotment, trying different varieties enough to see me through the year. 

    Interesting to read of your method old timer2  image

    Also going to attempt to grow the sweet potatoe (using that thread to keep in touch with others). 


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