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The Best Seed Potatoes For Growing New Potatoes - A Guide For Gardeners

The Best Seed Potatoes For Growing New Potatoes - A Guide For Gardeners

Have you ever tasted the delightful tenderness of freshly harvested homegrown new potatoes? Their delicate skin, sweet taste, and waxy texture make these little gems a gardener’s dream. Now imagine the satisfaction of growing your own new potatoes at home, right in your back garden or even in containers on your balcony. We’ll explore the best seed potatoes for growing new potatoes, the optimal growing conditions, and the necessary care techniques to ensure a bountiful harvest.

You’ll learn about first early, and second early varieties, each with their unique flavours and textures. We’ll also discuss soil preparation, temperature requirements, planting techniques, and ways to grow new potatoes in containers. So, let’s dig in and discover the secrets to nurturing these delightful tubers!

Key Takeaways

  • Understanding which varieties are best used for growing new potatoes.

  • Growing seed potatoes requires well-drained, fertile soil and a temperate climate.

  • Companion planting.

What classes as a New Potato?

New potatoes, also known as baby potatoes, are small, tender potatoes that mature within just 120 days after being planted. Their looser skin, sweeter taste, and slightly waxier flesh set them apart from maincrop potatoes, making them a popular choice among gardeners. There are two types of new potatoes: usually first early, second early varieties, each with their own unique characteristics and growing requirements.

Grasping the differences among these varieties will contribute to a successful potato garden. Here are the different types of potatoes to consider:

  1. First early potatoes: Perfect for small gardens or large containers.

  2. Second early potatoes: Offer a diverse selection of tastes and textures.

First Early Varieties

First early potato varieties have a shorter growing period and can be harvested within 90-110 days after being planted. These varieties have unique characteristics, such as a waxy or creamy texture, smaller tubers, and a shorter storage life. Examples of first early potato varieties include ‘Swift’, ‘Rocket’, and ‘Arran Pilot’, each with distinct flavours and appearances.

For a delightful taste of first early potatoes, consider planting them between the end of February and late May. Harvesting can begin from mid-June to early July, just when the foliage starts turning yellow and begins to die back. Keep in mind that first early potatoes don’t store for very long, so enjoy them fresh from the garden!

Any 4
for 9.99
Casablanca Potato Seed
Casablanca Potato Seed
Swift Seed Potatoes
Swift Seed Potatoes
Any 4
for 9.99
Rocket Seed Potatoes
Rocket Seed Potatoes

Second Early Varieties

Second early potatoes can be harvested around 110 to 120 days after planting, with the ideal time to start digging them up from the end of July. These varieties offer a range of flavors and colors, such as the yellow-fleshed, waxy ‘Goldmarie’ and the red-skinned, fluffy textured ‘Red Duke of York’.

Planting second early potatoes will provide a delightful assortment of tastes to your summer meals. From the sweet-tasting ‘Marabell’ to the buttery-flavored ‘Red Duke of York’, these potatoes are perfect for boiling, baking, or mashing.

A mix of second early varieties promises a colorful and diverse potato harvest throughout the season.

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for 9.99
Charlotte Potato Seed
Charlotte Potato Seed
Any 3
Jazzy Potato Seeds - 1kg
Jazzy Potato Seeds - 1kg
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for 9.99
Nicola Seed Potatoes
Nicola Seed Potatoes
Any 4
for 9.99
Marfona Potato Seed
Marfona Potato Seed

Growing Conditions for Seed Potatoes

A bountiful harvest requires seed potatoes to be grown in well-drained, fertile soil under a temperate climate. Soil preparation plays a crucial role in providing the necessary nutrients for healthy potato growth, while temperature and climate conditions influence the overall development of the plants. In the following sections, we’ll delve deeper into the details of soil preparation and temperature requirements for growing seed potatoes.

A thorough knowledge of the growing conditions for seed potatoes enables the creation of a thriving garden that yields tasty, homegrown potatoes throughout the season. Whether you’re growing potatoes in a traditional vegetable plot or trying your hand at container gardening, the right soil and climate conditions are key to a successful potato harvest.

Soil Preparation

Preparation of the soil, involving the mixture of compost, sand, and potting soil with added fertilizer, should precede the planting of your seed potatoes. Proper soil preparation ensures that your potatoes have access to the nutrients they need for healthy growth. In addition to the soil mix, adjusting the pH level of the soil is also crucial for optimal potato growth. A slightly acidic pH level of around 5.0 to 7.0 is ideal for growing seed potatoes.

To prepare the soil, follow these steps:

  1. Remove weeds and dig up the ground using a spade or fork to loosen the soil.

  2. Add well-rotted organic matter to enrich the soil.

  3. Apply high-potash fertilizer to provide a nutrient-rich environment for your seed potatoes to thrive.

With the right soil preparation, your potatoes will have the best chance of growing strong and healthy.

Temperature and Climate

Seed potatoes thrive in moderate temperatures, with the ideal range being around 10-15°C (50-59°F). The optimal soil temperature for planting potatoes is between 45-50°F (7-10°C). Since potato plants are quite delicate when it comes to cold temperatures, it’s crucial to avoid frost and ensure they receive at least 6 hours of full sun daily.

Appropriate temperature and climate conditions bolster the growth of strong, healthy seed potatoes. Be sure to monitor the weather and protect your potatoes from frost, if necessary.

With proper care and attention to temperature and climate, your potato garden will flourish, producing a bountiful harvest of new potatoes.

Planting and Care Techniques

Healthy potato growth and a bountiful harvest are dependent on the usage of proper planting techniques and diligent care. By following the right practices, you can ensure that your seed potatoes receive the nutrients and attention they need to thrive. In the following sections, we’ll discuss planting techniques, watering, and fertilizing practices for optimal potato growth.

Cultivating a robust potato garden that yields a generous harvest is possible with a comprehensive understanding and application of the appropriate planting and care techniques. From planting seed potatoes at the right depth to providing the necessary water and nutrients, proper care will result in healthy, flavorful new potatoes that can be enjoyed in various dishes throughout the season.

Planting Techniques

Planting seed potatoes involves the following steps:

  1. Start by placing the seed potatoes in a 2-inch soil bed.

  2. Maintain a spacing of 10-12 inches between each seed potato.

  3. Ensure that the seed potatoes are 4-5 inches away from the edge of the container.

  4. Consider chitting the potatoes, which means encouraging them to sprout before planting. This can give the potato plants a head start and help you get an earlier harvest.

  5. Plant the seed potatoes between March and May.

Adherence to proper planting techniques gives your seed potatoes the best chance to mature into healthy plants. Ensure that your potatoes are chitted before planting, and space them appropriately to provide ample room for growth. With the right planting techniques, you’ll be well on your way to a successful potato harvest.

Watering and Fertilising

Healthy potato growth necessitates regular watering and fertilizing. After planting, water your seed potatoes well and continue to provide 1-2 inches of water per week throughout the growing season. Fertilize your potatoes every few weeks with a balanced fertilizer to provide the necessary nutrients for optimal growth.

Proper watering and fertilizing practices ensure your potato plants receive the essential nutrients and moisture necessary for their thriving growth. Be sure to monitor the moisture levels in the soil and adjust your watering schedule as needed, avoiding overwatering that can lead to rotting.

With proper care, you can grow potatoes and successfully plant potatoes, ensuring your potato plants grow and produce a plentiful harvest of delicious new potatoes.

Harvesting and Storing New Potatoes

A bountiful yield requires the harvesting of new potatoes at the appropriate time and the usage of proper methods. Knowing when to harvest early potatoes and the best techniques for container gardens will ensure that your potatoes are at their peak flavor and texture. In the following sections, we’ll discuss harvest timing and methods for new potatoes.

Mastering the art of harvesting and storing new potatoes enables you to enjoy their taste in various dishes throughout the season. From homemade potato salads to mouthwatering roasted potatoes, your homegrown new potatoes will elevate your culinary creations to new heights.

Harvest Timing

The ideal time to harvest early potatoes is when the skin is formed but not too early, ensuring the potatoes are at their peak flavor and texture. For most potato varieties, harvesting can take place around 60 to 90 days from planting. It’s important to note that waiting for the foliage to die back isn’t necessary for early potato varieties; harvesting can begin once the plants start to bloom.

Paying attention to your potato harvest timing allows you to enjoy the complete flavor and tenderness of your new potatoes. Be sure to monitor the growth of your potato plants and make note of when they bloom, indicating the ideal time to harvest. With the right harvest timing, your new potatoes will be a delicious addition to your summer meals.

Harvesting Methods

When it comes to harvesting potatoes from containers, there are a few methods to choose from, such as tipping over the container or lifting off stacks. Tipping over the container involves loosening the soil around the container and gently tipping it over to access the potatoes. Lifting off stacks requires using a spade or fork to gently and carefully lift the potatoes off the stack.

Proper harvesting methods facilitate easy and efficient access to your potatoes. Whether you prefer tipping over your container or lifting off stacks, these methods will ensure a simple and stress-free harvest. With the right harvesting techniques, you’ll be able to harvest potatoes and enjoy the fruits of your labor in no time.

Growing New Potatoes in Containers

Container cultivation of new potatoes permits more variety, compact growth, and simpler harvesting process. Container gardening is an excellent option for individuals with limited space or those looking to try their hand at growing potatoes in a more controlled environment. In the following sections, we’ll explore container types, soil and drainage, and care and maintenance for growing new potatoes in containers.

Embracing the versatility of container gardening allows for the cultivation of a wide variety of new potatoes, foregoing the need for a traditional vegetable plot. From fabric potato grow bags to innovative chicken fence towers, there are numerous options for growing new potatoes in containers. With the right care and maintenance, your container-grown potatoes will provide a delicious and satisfying harvest.

Container Types

Several container types, including grow bags, buckets, bins, and chicken fence towers, present themselves as options when growing new potatoes. Each container type offers its own set of advantages and disadvantages. For example:

  • Grow bags are lightweight and easy to maneuver but can dry out quickly and require more frequent watering.

  • Buckets are sturdy and can hold a large volume of soil but may be difficult to move and require additional support.

  • Bins provide ample space for potatoes to grow but may not have good drainage.

  • Chicken fence towers are versatile and can be easily moved but may require more maintenance.

Consider these factors when choosing the container type that best suits your needs.

The selection of the right container for your new potatoes aids in successful growth and an abundant harvest. Consider factors such as space, drainage, and ease of use when choosing a container type. With the right container, your new potatoes will thrive, providing a delightful array of flavors and textures to enjoy throughout the season.

Soil and Drainage

Healthy potato growth in containers hinges on proper soil and drainage. To create the ideal growing environment, follow these steps:

  1. Use a mix of potting soil, compost, and sand for drainage.

  2. Make sure your chosen container has plenty of drainage holes to prevent waterlogging.

  3. Ensure a consistent supply of nutrients for your potato plants.

The right soil mix and drainage conditions bestow upon your container-grown potatoes the highest likelihood of success. Regularly monitor the moisture levels in the soil and adjust your watering schedule as needed.

With proper soil and drainage, your container-grown fingerling potatoes and new potatoes will flourish, yielding a delectable harvest to savor and share.

Care and Maintenance

Caring for and maintaining container-grown potatoes include:

  • Regular watering: Ensures they receive the necessary moisture for healthy growth while avoiding overwatering that can lead to rotting.

  • Fertilizing: Applying a balanced fertilizer every few weeks provides the essential nutrients for optimal growth.

  • Hilling: Adding soil around the base of the potato plant as it grows protects the potatoes from the sun and encourages the plant to produce more potatoes.

Proper care and maintenance enable your container-grown potatoes to mature into healthy, flavorful potato tubers. Monitor your potatoes’ growth, adjusting your watering and fertilizing schedule as needed. With attentive care, your container-grown new potatoes will yield a bountiful harvest that can be enjoyed in a variety of dishes throughout the season.


Growing new potatoes is a rewarding and satisfying gardening experience. By choosing the right seed potato varieties, providing the optimal growing conditions, and practicing proper planting and care techniques, you can cultivate a successful potato garden that yields an abundant harvest. Whether you’re growing potatoes in a traditional vegetable plot or experimenting with container gardening, your homegrown new potatoes will bring a fresh, delightful taste to your meals.

Embrace the joys of growing new potatoes and discover the endless culinary possibilities they offer. From the tender, delicate flavors of first early varieties to the vibrant colors and unique textures of early maincrop potatoes, your homegrown harvest will elevate your cooking and bring satisfaction to your table. So, go ahead and dig in – it’s time to grow and enjoy the delightful world of new potatoes!

Frequently Asked Questions

What are the best potatoes to plant for new potatoes?

The best potatoes to plant for new potatoes are 'Vivaldi', 'Accent', 'Charlotte', 'Jazzy', 'Casablanca', Lady Christl's, and 'Winston'.

What month do you plant new potatoes?

Potatoes can be planted from late March onwards for early harvesting. Chitting the seed potatoes before planting is also important.

What are the best potatoes for container growing?

The best potatoes for container growing are the early and second early varieties, as they are smaller in size and need less room than main crops. You should use the largest pot or container you can find that has adequate drainage holes at the base, such as a plastic pot of at least 40 litres or an old dustbin.

What is the ideal soil pH for growing seed potatoes?

For the best results when growing seed potatoes, the ideal soil pH is slightly acidic, between 5.0 and 7.0.

How deep should seed potatoes be planted?

Plant your seed potatoes 2 inches deep in the soil for optimal growth.

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