potato field
Angela Slater
Daughter of a farmer and market gardener so have always had a connection with the outdoors, whether it was keeping animals or producing fruit, vegetables and cut flowers. Along with my work at Hayes Garden World I also have a smallholding, mainly breeding rare breed pigs. I gained an HND and BSc in Conservation and Environmental Land Management, as a result I am an ardent environmentalist and have a keen interest in environmentally friendly gardening. In my time at Hayes I worked for several years in the Outdoor Plant and Houseplant areas

How To Plant Potatoes In The Garden

Fresh dug new potatoes with butter and mint are 'the' taste of summer

Main crop and 2nd Early potatoes should really be planted in the ground for a bumper crop, they can be grown in containers or bags but you won’t get as big a yield; see our blog on growing 1st Early potatoes in containers. There is nothing like the taste of potatoes cooked straight from the earth, however fresh they are from the supermarket.



You will need:

  • manure
  • garden fork
  • seed potatoes
  • labels

The variety we have chosen is Sarpo Axona a red skinned variety which is blight resistant.

Dig a trench about 30cm (12”) deep.

Place a good layer of manure in the bottom; this can be bought in bags from the garden centre or begged off a local farmer. If you are getting it off the farmer make sure it has been rotting down for a couple of years.

Put a layer of compost over the top, about 10cm (2”).

Place potatoes 30cm (12”) apart on top of the compost.

Cover with the remaining compost.

As the potatoes shoot earth up so that just the leaves at the top will be showing. This is done by dragging soil from besides the row and piling it up around the potato stems. Eventually you will have a long ridge of earth with potatoes growing out of the top and a channel running alongside. Stop earthing up when the ridge is about 20 – 30cm (8 – 12”) high.

Remember to keep them well watered otherwise if they dry out the outside of them will crumble away when they are boiled.

For more potato related articles just click the link: 'How to earth up potatoes growing in bags and containers', 'When should I plant my potatoes?' and 'Best potato varieties to grow'.