Its time to grow potatoes! - Oct 13, 2010

A mate of mine, Nathan started a vegetable garden last spring. This was ironic because his dog named Dexter would be more likely to eat a vegetable. I got invited for dinner once and we had Sarah Lee lasagna devoid of trimmings. If I had stayed for more than 2 days I would have got scurvy. This spring I am encouraging Nathan to grow potatoes because this is one vegetable he really does eat, although usually in chip form.

Potatoes are the easiest of all vegetables to grow and just like their cousins the tomatoes they taste so much better if you grow them yourself. You don’t even have to have a garden to grow potatoes. They grow beautifully in big pots or just plant them directly into a bag of potting mix. If you have a garden, prepare the soil by digging in some cow manure. This will make the soil hold more water and feed the plants. Purchase certified disease free seed potatoes from your local nursery to lesson the chances of disease. Plant these 10cms below the ground. As the plants grow mound more soil around the stems. This will increase your yield considerably. Each seed potato will produce 10 potatoes and these can be dug up around Christmas time when the leaves start to shrivel.

Dig your potatoes as you need them because they will stay fresher if you leave them in the ground.

Spring is the best time to plant potatoes and they are the only vegetable that all kids will eat.

Tim Pickles is a CNP horticulturist and director of Tim’s Garden Centre 2 Queen St Campbelltown 46267022.