Plant Second Crop Potatoes In Late Summer For A Delicious Home Grown Christmas Dinner

Plant Second Crop Potatoes In Late Summer For A Delicious Home Grown Christmas Dinner

Can you imagine harvesting your second crop potatoes, Brussels sprouts, carrots and parsnips all from your garden on Christmas morning? Some people do this every year and reap the benefits of a little careful planning and work in the vegetable garden. Second crop potatoes are not a special variety, they are just first or second early seed potatoes that have been kept in the right conditions by seed merchants. These are kept ready for planting in late August or early September.

 

Where should second crop potatoes be planted in the garden?

When growing second crop potatoes it is important to avoid areas in your garden that have recently been limed, as potatoes need a soil pH of 5.5 to 6 in order to stop the development of scab. Some growers recommend that second crop potatoes are grown in the same spot as the earlier crops to keep the rotation order in place, but this can cause the soil to become exhausted and lacking in some micro-nutrients that potatoes need. Potatoes can grow equally well in containers or bags that you can find at your local garden centre.

 

Here are some lovely second crop potato varieties

  • Potato Gemson
  • Potato Nicola
  • Potato Charlotte
  • Potato Maris Peer
  • Carlingford
  • Vales Emerald

 

Second crop potatoes can be damaged by the weather

Your potatoes will be ready to harvest around 11 weeks after planting. The main problem with second crop potatoes is that they can be damaged by frost. When they are planted early they can be harvested by the end of October and stored carefully for Christmas. Frost damage will kill the plant's foliage which in turn will stop the tuber growth. You can use horticultural fleece to protect them against very cold conditions. 

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