Is it safe to plant out seed potatoes yet?

It’s difficult to know whether we are coming or going with the weather at the moment. Here in Cornwall, the incessant rain seems to have come to an end, but in other parts of the country it looks like either a heatwave or a blizzard could be on the way.

Is it still too wet to plant seed potatoes in the ground?

For many, the ground has simply been too waterlogged for planting seed potatoes, but that might (hopefully) start to change now. Our advice is to wait until the soil is workable – by workable, we mean that you are able to dig it over like normal, without it sticking in clumps to your garden fork or weighing down your wellies.

What about planting in containers?

We’d suggest that, as long as your containers have good drainage, you can happily plant in containers now. In fact, if the ground is still waterlogged, you may prefer to plant in containers filled with compost so that you can get the seed potatoes on the go rather than waiting another couple of weeks.

What about any snow on the forecast?

If you do plant out seed potatoes and then we get hit by snowfall in late April, all will not be lost as long as you have earthed them up – by earthing up, we mean bringing soil up into a mound and covering any shoots/leaves that appear once planted. This is normally done through April anyway (if potatoes have been planted earlier!) to protect them from frost and snow, so the principal remains.

What about a heatwave?

Honestly, we can’t see a heatwave proving problematic for potatoes that are sown now – there is so much water already in the soil that they should be absolutely fine. If you’re growing in containers though, you will need to water them during any heatwave over the next few weeks.