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Growing Potatoes for Christmas

Autumn seed potatoes like Charlotte or Vitabelle, give us the opportunity to have a delicious Christmas crop of new potatoes ready for the festive season.

How to grow potatoes indoors for Christmas harvests

The most reliable method is to grow autumn seed potatoes indoors, so if you ae lucky enough to have a polytunnel, green house, conservatory or even a bright sun-room, we recommend the following:

  1. You will need a large pot that is at least 30cm wide and deep.
  2. For best results add a layer of compost or soil mixed with well-rotted manure to fill about a third of the pot.
  3. Add one to three potatoes and then fill with another third of a pot of compost or soil, so the pot is now about two thirds full.
  4. As the foliage develops through the next month or two, earth up the potatoes with further compost or soil until the container is almost full, leaving a fee centimetres to aid with watering.
  5. Keep well-watered but not soaked, and add a potato fertiliser on occasion – especially if foliage starts to yellow.
  6. Protect your containers/potatoes from frost – you could even put some fleece over the top.
  7. The foliage will yellow and die down in late autumn and can then be removed and composted with the tubers left in their pots and kept fairly fry until you need to harvest them at Christmas.
  8. Enjoy with your Christmas Dinner!

New Potatoes with Dill

How to grow potatoes outdoors for Christmas harvests

It is also possible to still grow autumn seed potatoes outdoors but this will normally be done earlier in the year unless you have a means of protecting the crop from early frosts:

  1. Growing potatoes outdoors for Christmas is the same as when you plant them earlier in the year, usually sowing in trenches 10-15cm deep and earthing up as the foliage develops (Follow instruction on the seed potato pack/label. This will need to be done around mid July to give tubers time to develop before the frosts and it may even be worth covering them with some fleece as autumn approaches.
  2. Once the foliage dies down in September or October, remove it and add it to your compost.
  3. On light soils mounding up some earth up over the row where you know the potatoes are and covering it with some straw may be sufficient protection to store them in the ground until Christmas but in areas where soils are wet and heavy, like where we are based in the North West, it is better to lift tubers by the end of October and place them in coarse sand or soil in a frost-free place (such as a garden shed) until you need them.
  4. Harvest at Christmas and enjoy!!!