potato 'Swift' (PBR)
potato - first early, Scottish basic seed potato
- Position: sun-partial shade
- Soil: fertile, well drained
- Rate of growth: fast-growing
- Harvesting period: June
- Hardiness: protect tubers from frost
Hailed as one of the earliest croppers, it is claimed that you can be dishing these potatoes up in as little as 7 weeks after you plant them. They produce a high yield of white-skinned, oval potatoes that have a creamy coloured flesh that is ideal for boiling. In growth, they are compact, which makes them ideal for containers, and they show a good resistance to scab and virus.
- Garden care: As soon as the potato tubers have been delivered you should unpack them and start the chitting (sprouting) process. Place them in single layer in a seed tray without compost and leave in a light, cool area protected from frost. This can be started about six weeks before you intend to plant them. Early varieties can be planted out under frost fleece protection, but the later varieties should be planted after the worst frosts have passed in your area - this is generally mid March to mid April. Dig a trench 8 - 13cm (3 - 5in) deep adding a general purpose fertiliser to the bottom of the trench. Plant the potato tubers in the trenches about 30cm (12in) apart, being careful not to knock the shoots off the tubers, and keeping the shoots facing upwards. Then lightly cover with soil. As the plants get to around 20cm (8in) tall you need to bank up the soil around the plant, so the soil covers the bottom two thirds of the plant. Watering your plants well will help improve crop yield and discourage potato scab.
These come in a 'taster' pack of 5 tubers.
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6 Questions | 9 Answers
Displaying questions 1-6
Q:Vegetable suggestions for a shady veg. garden!
Hello I have raised beds for veggies in my new garden. One bed gets sun most of the day whilst the other gets only a little sunshine .Could you please help with a list of fruit and veg to grow in each of them. Many thanksAsked on 4/7/2010 by Judith
A:Hello There, I'm afraid you will have trouble getting a bumper yield of any of the edible crops if the bed receives little sun, as most of them need full sun. Ones that tolerate some shade include radish, potato, borage, horseradish, blueberry, blackberry and tayberry - all the others will flourish in the sun. I hope this helps. Helen Plant DoctorAnswered on 4/8/2010 by Crocus Helpdesk
Q:Potatoes planting problem
I recently received three bags of potatoes from Crocus - one each of earlies, second earlies and maincrop. I successfully chitted and planted the earlies and stored the seconds and maincrop in a vegetable sack inside a dark cupboard. However, a week ago when I turned to them to start the same process, I discovered they've grown foot long tendrils and I now fear they are wasted. I would be grateful if you could advise what to do next. Kind regards JoanneAsked on 4/6/2010 by Joanne Parkes
A:Thanks, that's very helpfulAnswered on 4/8/2010 by Crocus Helpdesk
A:Hello again Joanne, I would plant them at their normal depth and leave the tips of the shoots above ground. Best regards, Helen Plant DoctorAnswered on 4/8/2010 by Joanne Parkes
A:Thanks for your advice. The shoots are much longer than the depth they should normally be planted, shall I just bury them horizontally? JoanneAnswered on 4/9/2010 by Joanne Parkes
A:Hello Joanne, It sounds as if your potatoes are raring to go! It is hard to go wrong with potatoes, so the best thing to do now will be to try to untangle them and plant them with the shoots attached. I suspect some of the shoots will get snapped or damaged in the process, but I would not be too concerned as they will develop more shoots in no time. I hope this helps. Helen Plant DoctorAnswered on 4/9/2010 by Crocus Helpdesk
Q:Potato plants,- how much fertiliser should I apply?
Hi Crocus!! For some reason best known to the Almighty and the weather, my attempt at growing veg last season was a complete flop!!!!!!! Nothing came to maturity - - carrots germinated poorly and disappeared, onion sets sulked and refused to grow and leeks ended up looking like anemic grasses! This year I'm having a go at maincrop tatties. BUT -- I have bought potato fertiliser which does not tell me how much to use PER LINEAR yard. There is enough room for 5 rows each about 6 feet long. Could you please advise me how much fertiliser to use? Also, am I being daft trying potatoes when nothing else seemed to grow in the patch I'm using?? Thanks for any ENCOURAGING advice you can offer!!! Regards, IanAsked on 3/9/2010 by Ian Milne
A:Hello Ian, I am not really sure why you had such a dismal crop last year, but I would try to dig in as much composted organic matter as possible before you plant the potatoes to try to enrich the soil, and it may also be worthwhile doing a simple pH test. As for the fertiliser, they will all vary in strength and application rates, however if you bought ours:- http://www.crocus.co.uk/product/_/organic-potato-fertiliser/classid.2000008337/ then the application instructions are as follows. Use before planting between February and April. Apply 135 g/sq. m ( 4oz per sq. yd ) over the vacant plot and fork into soil. This is equivalent for typical pot sizes to: 30cm. ( 12 in.) diameter pot - 10g. 38cm. ( 15 in.) diameter pot - 15g. 50cm. ( 20 in.) diameter pot - 30g. I'm afraid though that you need to dig it in around the whole bed rather than just along the row - hence the instructions for sq.m. I hope this helps. Helen Plant DoctorAnswered on 3/11/2010 by Crocus Helpdesk
A:Many thanks for your advice. The quantities are just what I need., and I'll certainly try to enrich the soil in the hope of a decent crop of tatties!!!!!! Regards, IanAnswered on 3/14/2010 by Ian Milne
Q:Should I have more potatoes?
Hi there, I have just turned out a couple of my potato planters and don't get me wrong, I am really pleased with what has been produced in terms of quality, but quantity is an issue. All the potatoes seem to be in the bottom quarter of the sack with no potatoes in any of the soil above. I feel my interpretation of earthing up may have caused this. I started off with my potatoes being planted in the first part of the planter which was about 1/4 of the the total height and the seeds covered with compost etc. I then waited for them to start shooting and growing stems and leaves, at this stage they actually grew a further 2 quarters of the height of the planter out of the soil. I then back filled so the tops of the stems were just showing and then did this again when at the top, which now left me with a full planter. I used potato fertilizer and kept watered well. 13 weeks later I have harvested them and got about 40 potatoes from 3 seeds, but like I said before only in the bottom section. The question is when earthing up, should I constantly be fully covering over the new growth until it reaches the top. The quality of the harvest is very good and I am very pleased, but next year want to make sure I do it correctly and get a bigger crop. DarrenAsked on 6/18/2009 by Darren Sainsbury
Q:When do I plant potatoes and other veg?
When is the best time to plants potatoes? Also can you advise me what veg I could grow now until March with poly tunnels?Asked on 10/4/2006 by Bets Ingram
A:You can start chitting your early and maincrop seed potatoes in February, but the best time to plant is in early to mid spring. As for growing vegetables in your polytunnels, you have lots of options. Spinach, kale, and some varieties of lettuce will live through the winter in a polytunnel. Certain kinds of onion work well from an autumn sowing, and you'll get a much earlier crop than if you'd waited until spring. Other possibilities are cabbage, Pak Choy, Chinese cabbage, and most root crops. Leeks, beets, carrots, turnips, parsnips and radishes, can be sown for winter harvestAnswered on 10/5/2006 by Crocus
Q:Am I too late to grow vegetables?
I'd love to grow my own potatoes, onions and carrots, which I use a lot in the kitchen, but don't know where to start or if I'm too late. Please can you advise me?Asked on 1/24/2006 by Debora Everard
A:Now is the perfect time to start thinking about growing potatoes, as they need to be chitted before planting. Chitting just encourages shoots to grow before you pop them in the soil in early spring. The onion sets can be planted in March or April, while carrot seeds can be sown from late February as long as they are protected.Answered on 1/25/2006 by Crocus
Displaying questions 1-6