Growing Potatoes in a Greenhouse
Growing your own vegetables can be very rewarding and there are a lot of options for produce that can be effectively grown in a greenhouse. If you’ve ever fancied having a go at growing potatoes in a greenhouse, then read on for some tips to get you started.
Potatoes are a staple ingredient for many people, so being able to grow your own can be very useful. It’s also satisfying to be able to grow your own produce and can be a lot of fun to do, even for beginners. Potatoes are ideally suited to greenhouse growing, as being inside a greenhouse can help prevent potatoes from being affected by adverse weather conditions or frost.
What Can You Plant Potatoes In?One of the best ways of growing potatoes, and one that works very effectively in a greenhouse, is to use a large container, barrel or bag. Garden centres and DIY stores typically sell large containers and special hard wearing bags that you can use to plant potatoes, but a good, and often cheaper, alternative is to use a large bin.
On average, if you want to plant three seed potatoes, then you’ll need a container that measures 24 inches high and about 18 inches in diameter. To plant five seed potatoes, your container should be 30 inches high and 24 inches in diameter.
How to Plant PotatoesThere are a wide variety of different types of potatoes available, each cropping at slightly different times. When you’ve worked out which type you’d like to grow, the quickest and easiest approach for beginners is to purchase seed potatoes from a garden centre.
Don’t plant the seed potatoes straight away though – first it’s best to chit the potatoes. Chitting is an easy process, whereby you encourage the potatoes to start sprouting before you plant them in your greenhouse. Chitting can be started from late January or February, with a view to planting about six weeks later, when the shoots are about 0.5 inch to 1 inch long.
Plant your chitted potatoes from mid-April. Ensure your chosen container has holes for drainage at the bottom, with a layer of gravel or broken pots, then add your compost. Place your seed potatoes into the pot, at least five inches apart, and add more compost on top.
Once planted, try and position the pots of potatoes so that they’re in an area of the greenhouse that will get a good amount of sun on a daily basis. Water regularly, but take care not to over water them.
When the first shoots begin to appear, you need to cover them up with more soil. Continue to do this as more shoots appear – your potato plants should end up having a small mound of soil around them – as they like to grow in dark conditions and with the shoots underneath the soil, rather than exposed to daylight.
Depending on which type of potato you’ve planted, they should be ready to harvest from June through to September.