Give your spuds some love.
Give your spuds some love. ueuaphoto

How to pamper your potatoes

Potatoes are a delicious and productive vegie to grow at home and can even be grown in pots. Seed potatoes planted during spring will be growing strongly during summer.

Here's what you can do during summer to promote the best possible spud harvest:

- As green shoots emerge, cover with a 15cm layer of mulch, such as lucerne hay or pea straw, and a sprinkling of fertiliser. The mulch layer encourages the shoots to grow taller, which provides more opportunities for the potatoes to develop along the stem. It also protects the potato tubers from sunlight. Water the plants if the soil and mulch feels dry.

- Each time new shoots emerge through the mulch, apply another 15cm layer of mulch and more fertiliser.

- It takes around four months for potatoes to fully mature, however, impatient gardeners can harvest some tender baby potatoes a little earlier. Gently dig around the root zone of the potato plant (a technique called bandicooting) and feel for the little spuds.

Angie Thomas is a horticulturist at Yates.



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