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Author Topic: Potatoes  (Read 2329 times)


  • Joined Jun 2016
  • Blairgowrie
« on: August 12, 2020, 08:15:32 am »
Just had a bumper crop of GREEN potatoes.
Whoever said there was no need to earth up potatoes got it wrong.


  • Joined Dec 2011
  • Gascony, France
Re: Potatoes
« Reply #1 on: August 12, 2020, 08:56:44 am »
If they aren't deep enough to avoid all sunlight they go green and I seem to remember reading they are then toxic, so unfit to eat even if cooked. Our few green ones go onto the compost, but it is only a few because to retain the moisture we use leaf mulch on the South face and that excludes sunlight, even from those near the surface.

Terry T

  • Joined Sep 2014
  • Norfolk
Re: Potatoes
« Reply #2 on: August 12, 2020, 10:14:23 am »
We earth up once the tubers start forming on the maincrop. We plant alternate rows of earlies and maincrop and when I harvest the earlies I put their soil over my maincrop rows.
All a bit of a learning curve - but hopefully you’ll avoid green potatoes next year.
And yes, green potatoes are toxic - with accumulation of the toxins even in the white bits unfortunately.


  • Joined May 2010
  • South Lanarkshire
    • ScotHebs
Re: Potatoes
« Reply #3 on: August 12, 2020, 11:57:30 am »
Oh what a shame - you must be so disappointed. The only time I have heard of gardeners saying you don't have to earth up is if you grow your spuds under a black sheet, or cover with a thick layer of straw or grass clippings.  I love earthing up my spuds.  I do it early on to protect the first leaves from frost then a couple of times more until the foliage is too long to get between the rows.  I space my rows wider than recommended so I can get the Mantis between them to weed and loosen the soil ready to earth up.  I plant the tubers a good trowel's depth then the spuds develop in the mound I create from earthing up.
The only short cut I'm aware of in gardening is using a thick mulch, or black plastic to grow crops through but help keep down the weeds.  :garden:
"Let's not talk about what we can do, but do what we can"

There is NO planet B - what are YOU doing to save our home?

Do something today that your future self will thank you for - plant a tree

 Love your soil - it's the lifeblood of your land.


  • Joined Aug 2014
  • Conwy
Re: Potatoes
« Reply #4 on: August 12, 2020, 02:02:28 pm »
That is a pity.
This year was a bit hit and miss with spuds as the seed potatoes were so late arriving and in desperation, as suggested by some forum members, I put some sprouting spuds from the kitchen into an old garden waste sack and topped that up with soil from around the garden as and when I could and the end result was much better than the ground sown potatoes I also planted late and the 'earthing up' was easier. 


  • Joined Nov 2008
Re: Potatoes
« Reply #5 on: August 12, 2020, 06:40:39 pm »
I lifted a few last night and was veryshocked at just how dry the ground is. Not as many as we have had in the past which I expect is due to lack of rain.We are on private water so have had to be careful over the summer how we use it due to the dry Spring.

oor wullie

  • Joined Jun 2012
  • Strathnairn
Re: Potatoes
« Reply #6 on: August 12, 2020, 09:53:22 pm »
Yeah, I've made myself feel sick by eating green potatoes, don't do it, it's not nice.  In my defence they were not very green and it was hard to tell.

If you don't earth up then plant them deep and accept the occasional one needs binned, above all (if you are anywhere like where I am) ensure that every single pheasant that even looks at you potatoes dies of high velocity lead poisoning (they scratch them up and leave them on the surface to go green).


  • Joined Jun 2015
Re: Potatoes
« Reply #7 on: February 25, 2021, 02:05:09 pm »
I've used straw instead of earthing up: much easier as no digging but the straw encourages a huge number of slugs, so I might go back to earthing up again. Both methods done properly do avoid the dreaded green spud.


  • Joined Feb 2016
  • Leicester
Re: Potatoes
« Reply #8 on: February 25, 2021, 05:56:46 pm »
I've used straw instead of earthing up: much easier as no digging but the straw encourages a huge number of slugs, so I might go back to earthing up again. Both methods done properly do avoid the dreaded green spud.
Someone said there's no such thing as too many slugs - it just means you don't have enough ducks  ;)

I have successfully grown potatoes covered with straw (with goat and chicken manure). It was in the allotment (over the fence from my garden). There was lots of slugs over there. Just inside the fence I was growing with straw mulch but no slugs at all - duck territory  :) makes a difference.
« Last Edit: February 25, 2021, 06:12:32 pm by macgro7 »
Growing loads of fruits and vegetables! Raising dairy goats, chickens, ducks, rabbits on 1/2 acre in the middle of the city of Leicester, using permaculture methods.


  • Joined Aug 2012
  • Clackmannanshire
  • Qui? Moi?
    • ABERDON GUNDOGS for work and show
    • Facebook
Re: Potatoes
« Reply #9 on: February 26, 2021, 09:47:06 am »
I don't need many potatoes just for myself so I plant them at the bottom of large tubs with the minimum of soil/compost. As soon as the shaws start to appear I add a layer of soil to cover them, then again as soon as they surface again, and so on till the tub is almost full, then a black plastic bag before the final layer of soil.  Usually have good harvests and no slugs or green potatoes
Always have been, always will be, a WYSIWYG - black is black, white is white - no grey in my life! But I'm mellowing in my old age



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