With a little bit of planning and effort, you could be eating home-grown new potatoes with your Christmas dinner. If you've grown potatoes before then you've got all the experience you need.
- Save some potatoes. If you grow your own potatoes then save a few tubers from your early potato crop to replant later. If you don't usually grow potatoes, then you can order special seed potatoes from your gardening catalogue over the summer.
- Plant in pots. Plant a handful of potatoes in a large container in August or September.
- Water. Container-grown potatoes need a lot of water, especially in dry weather.
- Protect from slugs. Potatoes in pots may also need protection against slugs, who love eating the leaves.
- Earth up. If you have a tall container you can add more compost as the plants grow. Burying the stems encourages the plants to produce more tubers.
- Protect from frost. The reason the potatoes are planted in pots, and not the ground, is that you can bring them indoors into the greenhouse or conservatory to protect them from frost. If you don't have a suitable indoor space, then leave the pot in a sheltered spot outdoors and protect the foliage with fleece when frost is forecast.
- Unearth your harvest. Impress friends and relatives alike by unearthing fresh new potatoes for your Christmas dinner!