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Potatoes are a delicious and productive vegie to grow at home and can even be grown in pots. It’s best to use seed potatoes rather than supermarket potatoes as seed potatoes are certified as disease and pest free and also haven’t been sprayed with sprouting inhibitors. Seed potatoes are available for planting during winter (and also autumn for warm areas).A note on frost – if you live in a cold area, it’s important that the new potato stems are not exposed to frost, so delay planting so that stems emerge after the chance of frost has passed.
Before planting, put seed potatoes into a well-lit (out of sunlight) spot for a few weeks so they develop small shoots, in a process is called ‘chitting’. Egg cartons make a great place to chit your potatoes.
Potatoes don’t require too much water as they’re growing. Water well each time you add soil or mulch to the mound and this will be sufficient (unless you’re going through a particularly hot spell).
You don’t need to collect all your potatoes at once – harvest when you need them (so choose the largest ones first!) and leave the remainder in the soil until they’re needed.
If you prefer to harvest all in one go, ensure you store in a cool dry and dark place.
Rotate the position of potatoes and avoid planting in the same spot as last year’s tomatoes – this will help prevent a build up of any soil-borne diseases.
Don’t eat any green potatoes – they’re poisonous! Potatoes will turn green if they’re exposed to light, so that’s why it’s important to mound the soil and store mature potatoes in the dark.