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Glendoick Garden Centre, Glencarse, Perth, PH2 7NS
John Marshall is Scotland's potato expert and he'll be on hand all weekend to offer advice on how to grow potatoes, what varieties, and when to plant what.
He arrives with boxes of potatoes for display and there will be lots of varieties you can grow on sale.
Fun for the children too as there's a large display of tractors to show how potatoes are grown on a farm.
Kids can also do our Crafternoon Potato workshop: https://www.glendoick.com/Be-Messy-and-Creative-with-Potatoes--event
There's not much John doesn't know about potatoes: come and quiz him about history, varieties, taste and anything potato....
John Marshall (WCF) & Ken Cox
Always use healthy classified seed potatoes.
Chitting for early potatoes
Unwrap the seed potatoes and place in a shallow tray or egg tray in a cool, light, frost free place, several weeks prior to planting. The seed potatoes will develop Strong sprouts (chits) which will help them grow quickly once planted. This is a helpful but not essential process for getting very early potatoes.
Soil Preparation & Planting
Growing potatoes is easy! Dig the potato plot in autumn or spring, so that seed potatoes can be easily planted once soil temperatures are over 8°C.
When potatoes have emerged a few inches, pull earth around the plant with a rake, leaving peaked rows. Earthing-up gives the plant more soil to grow in, stops sunlight turning exposed tubers green and improves drainage. It is also a quick and effective way of controlling weeds. Repeat the process as required, until the foliage is too big.
Planting and Harvesting Table
Maturity Plant time Depth Spacing Between Rows Harvest
First Earlies Feb-March 10cm 30cm 45cm June - August
Second Earlies March 10cm 30cm 45cm July - September
Maincrop March-April 10cm 37.5cm 67.5cm September - October
Salads March - April 10cm 30cm 45cm July - September
Blight This can strike in warm humid weather, particularly on maincrop potatoes. Initial symptoms are a rapidly spreading, watery rot of leaves which soon collapse, shrivel and turn brown. If you don’t cut back the foliage the blight can reach and rot the tubers. If you cut back the foliage (shaws) at first sign of blight, you can leave the tubers in the soil for a few weeks.
GROWING IN CONTAINERS
A container 45cm (18in) deep and 40cm (16in) in diameter holds 2-3 seed potatoes.
Fill the base with 10cm (4in) of compost mixed with perlite to aid drainage. Add the seed potatoes and cover with 10cm (4in) of compost. As the plant grows, keep adding compost. The plant will grow through the compost and continue to form potatoes. When the plant reaches the top of the container, allow it to grow normally. Harvest when the potatoes have reached the desired size (check by feeling through the compost). Water well but take care not to overwater.
Dry the tubers by laying them on the soil for a few hours once you’ve dug them up. Some varieties (generally Maincrop) are good keepers and will remain dormant and not start sprouting until April. The storage conditions should be cool, frost free, airy and away from light as this can cause greening. Hessian sacks allow for excellent air circulation, paper sacks are good but avoid plastic.
Arran Pilot 1st Early
Duke of York 1st Early
Epicure 1st Early
Foremost 1st Early
Pentland Javelin 1st Early
Red Duke of York 1st Early
Rocket 1st Early
Kestrel 2nd early
Nadine 2nd early
Wilja 2nd early
Pink Fir Apple Salad
Cara Main Crop
Desiree Main Crop
Kerrs Pink Main Crop
King Edward Main Crop
Maris Piper Main Crop
Picasso Main Crop
Sarpo Mira Main Crop
Golden Wonder Main Crop
Taster Packs 10 potatoes.
DUKE OF YORK
RED DUKE OF YORK
SHETLAND BLACK (SECOND EARLY)
POTATO TASTER HIGHLAND BURGUNDY RED
INTERNATIONAL KIDNEY (MAIN CROP)
PINK FIR APPLE (MAIN CROP)
SALAD BLUE (MAIN CROP)
ALBERT BARTLETT ANYA (SALAD)
ALBERT BARTLETT ISLE OF JURA (MAIN CROP)
ALBERT BARTLETT PURPLE MAJESTY (MAIN CROP)
ALBERT BARTLETT APACHE (SECOND EARLY)