When To Plant Potatoes

A very common question from people wishing to grow their own vegetables is ‘When To Plant Potatoes’. It seems that many people new to growing potatoes think the process is complicated but in reality, growing potatoes is relatively simple.

If you are one of those people that are new to growing potatoes, don’t be put off because once you have tried your own home grown potatoes, you will soon realise that all your hard work has been worthwhile.

Many people miss out on growing their own potatoes, simply because they think that they do not have the space or a garden.  If you are one of those people, do not be put off because there is a very simple solution.  If you have limited space or live somewhere where you do not have a garden, there is a perfect solution.  To read more, please click on the link: Growing Potatoes In Bags 

When To Plant Potatoes And Which Potatoes To Plant

Believe it or not, there are around 500 different varieties of potatoes.  The supermarkets generally only sell a hand full of these varieties and as I am sure you will have noticed, some are for baking, some are for mashing, some are for salads and others are for roasting.  As you will be well aware, these potatoes all have a slightly different texture and taste.  Some potatoes are waxy and others are floury and when you are buying them, you can choose the type of potatoes that compliment the meal you are prearing.

The point being, when you begin to grow your own potatoes, you have a much wider choice and each variety has it’s own unique taste.

Obviously, the problem that most people have when they start growing there own potatoes (besides when to plant potatoes), is which potatoes should they plant.  If you find it hard choosing at the supermarket from just a hand full a varieties, just imagine how hard it will be choosing from 500!

Don’t Panic!  It’s alot easier than you think

As I said earlier, some varities of potatoes are better for boiling, some for mashing, some for baking and some for roasting.  All you need to do is decide which you would prefer to grow and if you have enough space, why not try a selection of potatoes and then see which grow and taste the best.

It is possible to purchase small quantaties of seeds that will allow you to test growing a wider range of potatoes.

When To Plant Potatoes – First Earlies, Second Earlies And Maincrops

First earlies, second earlies and maincrops are all words that you may or may not have come across before when reading about ‘when to plant potatoes’.  These sayings simply indicate when your crop will be ready after planting.  The examples below will explain which each one of these terms mean:

First Earlies: These are usually ready around 10 weeks after planting

Second Earlies: These are usually ready around 13-14 weeks after planting

Maincrop: These are usually ready after around 20 weeks

When To Plant Potatoes And Chitting

Was is Chitting? Basically, all chitting is, is the process of encouraging the seed potatoes to sprout before planting ou.

How To Chit

Encouraging the seed potatoes to sprout is not hard.  Once you have your seed potatoes, all that is required is to place them in a cool place (Frost Free) that has sunlight.  The potatoes are ready for planting out when the sprouts are approximately 1.5-2.5cm long.

You should start ‘Chitting’ approximately 6 weeks before planting out, usually around the back end of January or early February, depending on where you live and the climate.

When To Plant Potatoes – The Best Time Of The Year

Frost is a big danger to potatoes, so you need to be planting out once the soil begins to get a little warmer.  Mid March is generally the ideal time to start planting out but once again, depending on the weather and soil temperature, it could be early April.


I hope you have found this guide on when to plant potatoes useful and I wish you every success in growing your own.