Month by Month Guides

Month-by-month guides to planting and growing potatoes from JBA, with tips and advice about getting the best from your seed potato harvest each month.

Find out more by reading the potato grower’s guides to:

January


 Choose your Potato Varieties

Decide what kind of potatoes you’re going to grow this year.

Things to consider before buying your seed potatoes range from their resistance to certain diseases to very simply the kinds or varieties you enjoy eating.

Order your Seed Potatoes

Find your chosen seed potatoes from the range of over 90+ varieties in the JBA potato catalogue and get them ordered up.

Chit your Potatoes

Once your seed potatoes have arrived, give them the best possible start by chitting them (aka sprouting).  For more help see the JBA guide to chitting potatoes.

Next Steps…

February


Monitor your chitting potatoes

Keep an eye on your chitting seed potatoes, rejecting all tubers that show even the slightest sign of disease.

Very early First Earlies

For a very early crop, you could start planting your First Early potatoes now in containers or planter bags.

Next Steps…

Buy your potato planter bags online now.

 

March


March is the time to start thinking about planting your potatoes out in the garden, field or allotment.  Make sure you have everything ready at this stage, tools, fertilizer, compost etc.

 

April


Let’s Get Planting!

April is the time to start planting your seed potatoes outside in your gardens, fields or allotments.

You can still be planting your First Early potatoes in pots, containers or potato planter bags during April too to get a nice, very early crop.

 

May


Earth up your potatoes

Once the potatoes start to grow through the top of the drill you should then start to earth up.

Earthing up is best done with a garden hoe. The aim is to form a peaked ridge with the loose soil at the edge of the trench to prevent your potatoes turning green which would make them inedible.

This might be required 2/3 times a season

Check your crops for diseases, such as blight

The initial signs of potato blight are the development of small dark patches on the leaves. The stems may also develop dark brown patches at areas where leaves join them.

Infected tubers have brownish discolouration and will eventually start to rot

Harvest your container grown First Earlies

Enjoy an early reward for your work and a taste of things to come by harvesting the very first batch of your own, home grown first early potatoes that have been growing in pots or containers.

Order your Christmas Seed Potatoes

May should be the very latest time to be ordering your Christmas seed potatoes.  Choose and order them now and enjoy your very own grown new potatoes when Christmas day comes around.

Next Steps…

  • Order your Christmas Potatoes from the JBA Christmas Seed Potatoes collection
  • VIDEO – Watch the ‘How to Earth Up Potatoes’ video guide
  • VIDEO – Watch the ‘Planting Seed Potatoes in Containers for Christmas’ video guide

 

June


Harvest your First Earlies

During June the remainder of your First Early crop should now be ready for harvesting, enjoy!

Earth Up your Second Earlies and Maincrops

Once your Second Early and Maincrop potatoes start to grow through the top of the drill you should then start to earth up.

Earthing up potatoes is best done with a garden hoe. The aim is to form a peaked ridge with the loose soil at the edge of the trench to prevent your potatoes turning green which would make them inedible. This might be required 2/3 times a season

Check your Second Earlies and Maincrops for diseases, such as blight

The initial signs of potato blight are the development of small dark patches on the leaves. The stems may also develop dark brown patches at areas where leaves join them. Infected tubers have brownish discolouration and will eventually start to rot

Next Steps…

  • Buy a Blight Tester Kit to test your crops
  • VIDEO – Watch the Checking for Blight?’ video guide
  • VIDEO – Watch the ‘How to Test for Blight’ video guide

 

July


Harvest your Second Earlies

By July your Second Early potato crops should now be ready for harvesting, enjoy!

Earth up your Maincrops

Once your Maincrop potatoes start to grow through the top of the drill you should then start to earth up.

Earthing up your potatoes is best done with a garden hoe. The aim is to form a peaked ridge with the loose soil at the edge of the trench to prevent your potatoes turning green which would make them inedible.

This might be required 2/3 times a season

Check your Maincrops for diseases, such as blight

The initial signs of potato blight are the development of small dark patches on the leaves. The stems may also develop dark brown patches at areas where leaves join them. Infected tubers have brownish discolouration and will eventually start to rot

Plant your Christmas Seed Potatoes

July is the time to be planting your seed potatoes for Christmas day.

Next Steps…

  • Buy a Blight Tester Kit
  • VIDEO – Watch the ‘How to Test Your Potatoes for Blight’ video guide
  • Order your Christmas Seed Potatoes from the range at JBA

 

August


Harvest your Early Maincrops

By August your early Maincrop potatoes should now be ready for harvesting, enjoy!

Check your Late Maincrops for diseases, such as blight

The initial signs of blight in potatoes are the development of small dark patches on the leaves. The stems may also develop dark brown patches at areas where leaves join them. Infected tubers have brownish discolouration and will eventually start to rot.

Earth up your Late Maincrops and Christmas Potatoes

Once your late Maincrop and Christmas potatoes start to grow through the top of the drill you should then start to earth up.

Earthing up potatoes is best done with a garden hoe. The aim is to form a peaked ridge with the loose soil at the edge of the trench to prevent your potatoes turning green which would make them inedible. This might be required 2/3 times a season

Next Steps…

  • Buy a Blight Tester Kit
  • VIDEO – Watch the ‘How to Test Your Potatoes for Blight’ video guide

 

September


Harvest your Maincrops

By September your remaining Maincrop potatoes should now be ready for harvesting, enjoy!

 

October


Harvest your last Maincrops

By October any final Maincrop potatoes should now be ready for harvesting, enjoy!

 

November


Prepare for next year

November is a good time to start planning and preparing your beds for next year.

With the use of a garden fork simply turn the soil over and work in some well rotted manure to provide essential nutrients for your potatoes. If you are unable to use manure then specialised potato fertilizer can be used but the fertilizer should be placed below the potato and a layer of soil, or compost put in between so that the potato roots grow down into the soil to establish properly.

The potato bed should be a trench about 4-6 inches deep and you place the potato into the trench and cover with soil so that good peak is formed

Check your Christmas Potatoes

Ensure your Christmas potatoes are well protected from the frost, particularly those being grown outdoors.

Next Steps…

  • Discover new varieties to try next year in the JBA Guide to Potatoes

 

 

December


Harvest your Christmas Potatoes

In the words of specialist exhibition vegetable grower Medwyn Williams “on Christmas morning go down into the garden with a little tot of that yellow nectar (whisky) and collect a good saucepan full of your own new potatoes on Christmas day. Fresh from the garden, what better can you get?” Enjoy!

Next Steps…

  • Discover new varieties to try next year in the JBA Guide to Potatoes

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