Hartley Magazine

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Growing potatoes in big pots inside a greenhouse

Harvesting Spuds

A while ago I wrote here about planting potatoes in big pots in the greenhouse. Well they grew like the wind, seven (or so) times faster than those in the ground, filling the greenhouse with big, leafy growth. I decided the other day it was time to try eating some, and I plundered the container of ‘Anya’ potatoes. In truth it was a little too soon (or – more likely – my watering and feeding regime has been a little slack) and they were tiny, but once you’ve promised the family teensy, tasty new potatoes, teensy, tiny new potatoes must be produced, and so I ended up digging up most of the pot for one meal. This may not seem a great return for the effort invested but oh…what potatoes. They weren’t really like potatoes at all in fact, but some other vegetable entirely: buttery, smooth and sweet. It’s opened my eyes to what a potato can be, and the kids fell on them like they were sweets, scoffing them and asking for more. There were no more.

They were by far the best potatoes I’ve ever grown – I’m used to having to chop off the slug-eaten bits and these were perfect in every way – and I will definitely grow them this way again, perhaps in sacks next time so that it is easier to break in from below harvest a handful from the bottom, rather than upend the whole plant. They neatly fill a gap in the greenhouse year between the winter stuff going out and the tomatoes and peppers needing to go into their big pots. There are still the scrag-ends of the ‘Anya’ pot to raid and a whole pot of ‘Ratte’ to go, and the experience of the eating has reminded me to get reliable with the watering and the feeding.