with Byron Lewis from G-Scapes Plant Centre in Lichfield.
Well here we are in the middle of summer - and while some people’s thoughts turn to holidays in the sun, I thought I’d talk about Christmas (Oh no!!!) – more particularly, growing some fresh potatoes for you to use at Christmastime.
While growing your own is experiencing something of a comeback recently, most people don’t think about growing something through the winter to use in the kitchen. Potatoes are generally really easy to grow but there are a few special tips to get them to crop over the festive period.
Firstly, make sure you use the correct potatoes! Garden centres are now stocking varieties like ‘Charlotte’ and ‘Pentland Javelin’, which are very popular as summer spuds but can also be used for winter growing. Winter potatoes are best grown in containers – you can also buy special heavy duty ‘potato growing bags’, with sturdy handles and drainage holes, the handles making them easy to move to a sheltered spot if the weather turns really cold (remember last December?!).
Whichever containers you use, fill them around 1/3 full of good quality multi-purpose compost and push in the potatoes. Cover over with just a little compost and as the potatoes grow up, add more compost so that eventually the container will be almost full (this is similar to mounding compost around your summer spuds).
Plant at the end of August/Mid-September for harvesting at the end of November. Just be aware that Potatoes are frost-tender and if the weather turns cold, use some protection fleece over the top of your pots. Keep well watered and they should produce a crop in 12-16 weeks, just in time for Christmas!
Other vegetables to sow for an autumn crop :
Try sowing seeds of some of these quicker maturing crops for some welcome fresh produce in the autumn/early spring – Spring Onion, Radish, Lettuce, Beetroot, Spring Cabbage.
So plan now for some food on the table in the winter – but otherwise, enjoy the holidays!
That’s all for now, good gardening!
Byron Lewis is Retail Manager at G-Scapes Plant Centre at Watery Lane, Lichfield.
Contact Byron 01543 401032
Member since: 10th July 2012
I am passionate about 'Buying Local' and supporting our local businesses to 'keep the pound' in town, to help grow our economy here in Lichfield.
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