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Marfona is very popular with gardeners due to its reliable nature and excellent flavour.
A great all-rounder in the kitchen, cooking qualities are excellent and the potatoes are full of flavour - delicious hot or cold.
The plant is of medium height and ideal for conatiner or bag growing.
Soil preparation for growing potatoes in bags
An open sunny position is best for all types of potatoes and it’s advisable not to plant seed potatoes in soil that has previously been used to grow potatoes for 2 corresponding years or longer.
The same applies to soil, in which second early potatoes have been grown in containers. For best results use fresh soil each time.
Second early seed potatoes will benefit from chitting, which is the process of placing the potatoes in a light, cool place prior to planting, so that new shoots are encouraged to sprout.
Growing second early seed potatoes in containers
Second Early potatoes can be successfully grown in large containers with a capacity of at least 30 litres. Containers can be wooden, plastic, clay or metal as long as adequate drainage holes are present so that excess water can drain away freely. If containers are allowed to become water-logged, the potatoes will be damaged by rot and will become useless.
Fill containers to around two thirds capacity and then plant the seed potatoes with the rose end facing upwards. Cover the seed potatoes with 100cm of soil and press down the soil firmly. Potato fertiliser can be sprinkled over the top and a light watering may be required if the soil is particularly dry. It is advisable to cover the container with clear polythene until the green shoots appear. When the shoots are about 75cm high remove the polythene cover and water the plants. Containers can dry out very quickly, especially in warmer weather so ensure plants are kept well watered at all times.
Growing potatoes is easy and the only aftercare involves regular watering, especially during dry periods. Potatoes need quite a lot of water so that for the tubers swell and stay firm. The other most important aspect of aftercare is to “earth up” the potato stems as they grow.
Container grown second early potatoes will need a similar treatment, which can be achieved by adding soil to the container ensuring it is placed around the growing stems.
Harvesting and storage
Second early potatoes can be harvested after about 10-12 weeks. Empty the bags as needed and use as soon as possible for that superb new potato flavour.
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