Instructions for: Class 26 The heaviest root of potatoes in a bag class at the Summer Show (August 3rd 2019)
Planting the Potato
- 1/3 fill the bag with multipurpose compost (a standard Grow Bag will easily contain enough compost to do one bag with some spare)
- Add an egg cup of fertiliser and mix thoroughly (potato is a stem tuber so all potatoes will be produced above the original seed)
- Nestle the potato on the fertilised compost with the chits uppermost (it is usual to reduce the chits to two in order to encourage strong haulm (leaf) growth. Leaving all the chits on may result in more, but smaller potatoes)
- Top the bag up with multi-purpose compost (no additional fertiliser need be added to the ‘top up’ compost
Placing the Bag
- Dig a hole (or trench if more than one bag) four inches deep and twelve inches wide
- Fork potato fertiliser into the base of the hole/trench (about the same amount as you used in the bag, slug pellets can be sprinkled in the trench if slugs are a problem)
- Place the prepared bag in the hole/trench and pull the excavated soil around the bag (pulling the soil around will ensure the roots are kept cool)
- Water well, both in and around the bag.
- Subsequent watering needs to be both in and outside of the bag (this is to ensure roots are teased out of the bag and into the fertilised trench)
- There should be no need, but if the potatoes show through before we are frost free protection will be required (ordinary fleece will be fine)
- It is a good idea to support the haulms to keep them growing upwards (this helps the potato grow and keeps the area around the root clear of leaf debris and slugs)
Bringing the Bag to the Show
- Cut the haulms off about an inch from the surface, carefully lift the bag out of the trench wipe the bag clean and bring the whole thing to the show.
- The show organisers will tip the potatoes out and weigh them.