When are you going to plant your potatoes out?

Need to know the best time to plant?

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Mike Vogel
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Postby Mike Vogel » Mon Mar 24, 2008 7:12 pm

More or less what I do, Geoff. my fleece goes on in mid-Feb and the first spuds in mid-March. I get usable produce by the last week of May, if not earlier. I've got good drainage, though, and proper black polythene would do well too.

Normally earlies can be expected between 75 and 90 days after planting, seconds about 120, early maincrop 150 and late maincrop 170, but in practice this can vary quite a lot according to warmth, rainfall etc.

mike
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Postby Monika » Mon Mar 24, 2008 7:13 pm

Your experience with the black plastic sounds interesting. I have found the same thing. I would think that during a dry and windy spell, the uncovered soil dries out quickly, whereas the soil underneath the plastic may warm up but the resulting moisture cannot evaporate and just precipitates back onto the soil. It therefore CANNOT dry up.
I have stopped using black plastic but cover the actual area of sowing/planting with plastic cloches which allow enough air in and out to let the soil dry. I only do that for more "fancy" veggies, potatoes just have to take pot luck but, then, I don't plant those until well into April.
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Postby pump_king » Mon Mar 24, 2008 10:10 pm

mine have been in since mid feb if that helps
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Catherine
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When to plant potatoes

Postby Catherine » Tue Mar 25, 2008 2:50 pm

Only my second time of posting a reply as I am new to the site, but I would be interested to hear anyones thoughts to this.

I listened to Gardeners Question Time last week and Chris Beardshaw said that potatoes can go in all together as it is the length of time you leave them in the ground that matters. I have never heard of this before but he said that earlies needed 110 days second earlies needed 120 days and Main crop needed 145 days in the ground. Has anyone else ever heard of this. I am only doing first and second earlies as I haven't enough room for main crop.
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Catherine
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Potatoe planting

Postby Catherine » Tue Mar 25, 2008 2:55 pm

Sorry but I did not realise there was a second page to this, still learning how it works, and have just seen Mike Vogels post which probably answers my question.
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Sarah
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Postby Sarah » Tue Mar 25, 2008 3:07 pm

I've finally got a row of first earlies in the ground, under a double layer of fleece. Hopefully they'll be okay. I hope to get my others (second earlies) in at the weekend, weather permitting. I struggled with the fleece in the wind, and am more worried about that blowing away than the potatoes getting cold. The weather seems to have really warmed up here since the terrible weekend! :P
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Postby Geoff » Tue Mar 25, 2008 3:53 pm

They can all go in at the same time and if you aren't planting until well into April that is reasonable. But if you can lavish some tlc on your First Earlies to try and get them in May while they are still very expensive they can go in a lot earlier but you don't want to be messing about protecting Second Earlies and Maincrop from frost.
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Postby mazmezroz » Tue Mar 25, 2008 5:55 pm

I have now covered the area I'm going to plant my Charlottes with a cloche (I don't have much space), so I think I'll let the soil warm up a bit and dry out a bit before I plant them. As we're away it'll probably be the first weekend in April that they go in. The ground here is very cold and wet. And being clay, it stays wet too.
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Postby Mike Vogel » Wed Mar 26, 2008 4:34 pm

Hi Catherine, welcome to this very friendly community of online exhibitionists. I think we learn a great deal from each other and are always willing to help, even with long-distance seed-swapping.

I get my information from Joy Larkcom's book - Grow you own Vegetables I think it's called. She sets out the time each type of potato takes to be ready. I've alo found Jane Perrone's little book The Allotment Keeper's Handbook quite fun and informative. I've got a lot of other books since, but they tell me little that these 2 don't. However, they focus on organic methods alone. [So do I in theory, to the extent of recycling things like cardboard, using green manures and avoiding pesticides and anything poisonous.]

Good luck with the growing.

mike
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