Throughout the war the Ministry has been consistent in its advice that the
household grower should not overdo potatoes (as many are apt to do), that he
should not aim at self-sufficiency in this crop unless he has enough ground
to allow him first to grow green crops––salads summer vegetables and, above
all, enough winter greens and root crops for his family. "Follow the
official cropping plant" has all along been the advice given. And that plan
provides for three 30 ft. rows of "earlies" and six 30 ft. rows of main
crops for a 300 square yard plot. On plots half that size or less the
Ministry considers it would be unwise to use any of the space for main crop
potatoes, though two rows of "earlies" might be grown. The limited room in
small gardens would be better used for growing green winter vegetables.
PLANTING EARLY POTATOES If possible, all potato planters––great and
small––should "sprout" their seed potatoes before planting, as advised in
the previous issues of this "Guide". In any year it is a useful thing to do
before planting, because it makes for a larger yield and brings the crop to
maturity some weeks earlier.
If you have sprouted your seed potatoes, there
is no need to be in a hurry about planting them out. Wait for favourable
conditions. With unsprouted seed, however, it is important that the first
sprouts, which are the most vigorous, should be formed in the soil rather
than in the bag, for this will reduce the risk of damage in handling.
means early planting. A simple way of planting is to take out shallow
trenches 2 ft. apart and 4-5 in. deep on heavy soil, and about 6 in. on
light land. The distance between the tubers in the row ought to be not less
than 12 in. (15 in. for maincrops).
will be secured by using fertilisers. For gardens and allotments "National
Growmore" fertiliser is most convenient. It contains nitrogen, phosphorus
and potash––the three important plant foods. The method is to give a
dressing of 1 lb. per 10 sq. yards, forked in before planting. Also sow in
the drills before planting a light dressing at the rate of 1 lb. per 60 ft.
Tubers should not be dusted with artificials, as the eye or sprout may be
Don't apply lime to cultivated soil in the same season in which it is
proposed to crop it with potatoes.