The lack of frost in our Queensland gardens means we can grow potatoes all year with minimal concern, however we recommended you plant your seed potatoes in winter to ensure they’re fully grown before the intense summer heat and humidity comes. Even though the potatoes in your cupboard can sprout roots and start to grow, they are prone to many diseases so it’s crucial to source certified seed potatoes (tubers) from a nursery.
These productive and simple-to-grow crops will produce several potatoes per tuber. If you want to extend your harvest (and not end up with 150 potatoes on one day), staggering your planting is an easy way to control how many spuds you end up with.
Start by preparing your soil by clearing away any weeds and adding in plenty of organic matter such as slow-release fertiliser, compost, and manure. Make sure water can drain away from the site as too much water will rot your potatoes. If you’ve grown potatoes before, choose a different area of the garden this time and do not plant where capsicums, chillies, eggplant, or tomatoes have been grown recently as they are prone to similar diseases.
Planting Your Seed Potatoes
Plant your tubers approximately 10cm deep and 30cm apart, potatoes like sunny positions in the garden. Backfill the holes and water in with a liquid fertiliser and water solution. Mulch well.
To encourage a stronger yield, you can “mound” your potatoes as they grow. This involves pulling back the mulch and covering the exposed stems and spuds with a layer of compost and soil before placing the mulch back down. Doing this will protect your new potatoes from sunlight and give them more space to grow. Regular fertilising and watering will ensure even and steady growth.
Using Potato Grow Bags
When you’re short on garden space, you can use Grow Bags to grow your potatoes. You want to find a thick, woven bag that is approx. 45L in size. We have a limited supply of Grow Bags available at Tanby Garden Centre for purchase.
Start by adding approx. 10cm of soil, compost and manure into the bottom of your bag. Place your seed potatoes into the bag and cover them with soil and mulch. The shoots will break through the top layer. Once they’ve grown 15-20cm tall, you can lightly bury them again with another layer of soil. Continue doing this until you’ve filled your Grow Bag. Keep feeding and watering your seed potatoes regularly.
When to Harvest Your Potatoes
Potatoes will usually be ready for harvesting after about 3 months. You’ll see that the leaves have withered and the skin on the potato has hardened. If you’re picking baby (chat) potatoes throughout the growing months, make sure you use them quickly because they won’t have the protective skin so they’re prone to rot.
Gently brush the dirt off your potatoes and store them in a cool, dry place away from sunlight. A hessian bag may come in handy here. Regularly remove any green or rotten potatoes from the bunch.
Our Favourite Types of Potatoes:
- Desiree: a great all-rounder with pink skin and yellow flesh, can be roasted, mashed or sliced into chips!
- Dutch cream: large, waxy potato with yellow flesh and thin skin. Rich, buttery taste works well mashed, boiled, roasted, baked, pureed.
- King Edward: great when roasted or used in mash or shepherds pie. Creamy yellow skin with red blushes.
- Kipfler: long bodies with yellow skin and yellow flesh. Buttery, nutty taste that works well boiled, steamed, roasted and in salads.
- Nicola: known as “salad potato”. A long, oval potato with yellow skin and a buttery flavour. Is also great for mash and baking. Not good for frying.
- Pontiac: red-skinned. Great for boiling, mashing and frying as chips. Not good as a baked potato.
- Sebago: A long, oval-shaped spud with white flesh and yellowish-white skin. It’s a great all-rounder that can be found in most grocery stores. Can be boiled, mashed, roasted, baked, and made into chips or gnocchi.
Find Your Seed Potatoes at Tanby Garden Centre
At Tanby Garden Centre, we’ve just received a huge supply of seed potatoes that are ready to go. We also have the Grow Bags for your convenience. Visit our nursery in between Yeppoon and Emu Park to grab yours today.