When calculating how many Seed Potatoes to buy, gardeners have to know what space is available in the vegetable garden for growing the potatoes.
Potatoes are grown from ‘seed’ potatoes, which are small, immature potatoes or tubers.
Seed potatoes are sold ‘loose’ in old fashioned hardware shops and garden centers, but it is more common to find them in small, sealed packets.
To work out how many potatoes to buy, decide where the potatoes will be planted and measure the length of the rows available.
Early Potatoes are planted:
- 30cm (12in) apart from each other
- in rows 60 cm (2ft) apart
So if the row is 6ft long, you will need 6 potatoes (remember that if there are only 5 seed potatoes in the packet you can divide the largest potato into 2).
Main-crop potatoes are planted:
- 35cm (15in) apart
- in rows 75cm (2ft 6in) apart
If possible, rows should run from North to South so each plant gets it’s full share of sun.
Growing potatoes takes up a lot of space in the kitchen garden, and if space is at a premium, early potatoes take precedence over main crop, because:
- earlies are more valuable than main-crop
- homegrown early potatoes have more flavour than others
- early potatoes are expensive to buy.
The first steps for growing potatoes are:
- Plan how many potatoes to grow, and whether to grow earlies and/or maincrop
- Choose the potato varieties you want to grow
- Prepare the soil in the vegetable garden
- Buy the seed potatoes & look for certified seed
- Chit the potatoes
- Plant the potatoes
It is easy to calculate how many seed potatoes to buy when you consider what space is available in the vegetable garden for growing the potatoes. Remember that unblemished, clean, certified seed potatoes are worth the investment!