When To Sow: March-May; August for second cropping Harvest: August-September; late December

Germination: 7-14 days Full Sun

Choose a sheltered, sunny location where nightshades (potatoes, tomatoes, peppers, etc. have not been grown in the last two years. Prepare the soil with plenty of well-rotted manure and/or other organic material. Make sure the soil is loose and crumbly.

First, chit the seed potatoes by allowing them to sprout. (Set them out in a cool, bright place roughly 10C/50F.)

If you’re planting into an allotment, sow the seed potatoes into 10cm (4") deep trenches 37cm (15") apart with 2’ between rows.

If you’re using containers or bags (the bag should be at 8 litres at least), fill with about 1/3 full with good compost. Place a single, chitted tuber into the compost 12cm (5") deep with the shoots pointing upwards and add another 4-6” of soil on top. Place in a sunny location and water regularly to keep compost moist.

Maintenance

When the shoots reach 20cm (8"), mound up soil around the shoots leaving just a few cm showing. Repeat this process every 3 weeks. (If you’re using containers/bags, repeat until the container is full.)

Keep your potatoes weeded and well watered throughout the growing season. Keep away from threat of frost—esp. for the second crop. (These are best grown in bags or containers.)

Harvesting

Second early crops can be harvested approximately 13 weeks from planting. Carefully lift out of the ground once the foliage begins to turn yellow and die back. Best eaten straight out of the ground (not a storage potato). Maris Peer potatoes will stay good for up to a month when left in the ground after maturity.

Companion Planting

Potatoes do well planted next to cabbage, beans, corn, horseradish, marigold and eggplant. (The last two help lure away pests.) Do not plant with pumpkin, tomato, squash and cucumber.