I'm new to all this gardening, but I've got a lovely sun soaked patio and I'd like to grow some veg, particularly potatoes. It'll have to be in pots, any advice on when to plant potatoes and in what? Any help would be VERY much appreciated.
When you get your seed potatoes, set them in egg boxes with the eyes facing up. Put in a light frost free area, a north facing window sill perhaps. After 6 weeks they will have sprouted (chitted).
You can get some soft plastic containers called potato planters, v. cheap from pound shops and Wilkinsons. They can be emptied and folded away for the winter. They are about 450cm high and 400cm wide, with drainage holes in the bottom. Put about 15 cm of copmost in, rest the seed potatoes (about 3) on the compost and cover with 10 cm of compost. When the leaves start growing through, add a bit more compost to cover. Keep doing this until the leaves form a big canopy above the container.
Keep the label from the seed potatoes as that will tell you when to harvest that variety. I tend to wait until the foliage starts to die back. You can gently rootle around to check if the crop is of a good size at this point.
And remember to water throughout. Also don't put these containers outside if there is still a lot of frost. It all sounds complicated, but is in fact very easy.
It's simple. First of all choose first early potatoes any variety will do, these are great for containers and will be ready to harvest in 8 - 10 weeks.
Choose any large container - I use large old compost bag...free. And roll the bag down, to about a foot high off ground and punch some holes into it.
Fill it with compost, put 3 potatoes in and cover with few good handfuls of compost - roll up bag slightly if need be.
It's a bit too early just yet, I'd wait until at least beginning to mid April depending on where you live. But in the meantime, get chitting although not important, it just gives them a head start.
And keep the bag moist as they are prone to drying out quicker than in the ground. Remember, as they grow, unroll the bag and top up with compost. As potatoes grow upwards, not down.
a link to the different varieties which are available. Most of which can be bought in any good garden centres and in smaller packs.
I am growing potatos in sacks and the foliage is about three foot high - should I cut the foliage back??
Potato head, you don't have to cut potatoes back at all. But, if you want to trim them to tame them a bit, they are very hardy and can take a lot of abuse.