The Perfect Time to Plant Potatoes

There’s nothing quite like the taste of a homegrown spud! The start of the growing season is upon us so it’s time to prepare to plant this year’s crop and work towards growing the perfect potato.

We at Tirlán CountryLife are stocked up and ready to get planting some potatoes!

Preparing Seed Potatoes

If you started to chit your seed potatoes (place them in a sunny position to encourage tubers to start growing) you should have lots of eyes emerging from them now. Before you plant, identify the three strongest eyes and remove the rest. This will help you produce larger potatoes. Leaving six or seven eyes will help you grow more but much smaller potatoes.

Invest some time in preparing the ground

Prefect Soil for Potatoes

Potatoes love deep rich soil, so when preparing to plant, spend a bit of time digging through the soil, using a spade or a fork to soften it up. Make sure that it’s been dry for 4 or 5 days first or you’ll compact the ground. Remove any weeds or rubble which could interfere with your potatoes growing. A little work now will boost your chances of harvesting a better crop!

Tips for Planting

Early potatoes can be planted 30cm (a typical ruler) apart in rows spaced 50cm apart. Main crop varieties, which typically include Rooster, Kerr Pink Sapro Mira and Golden Wonders need a little more space. These potatoes should be planted at approximately 40 cm apart in rows that are 75cm apart. To speed up planting, I like to cut pieces of wood to size and use these as my spacers. This allows you to move along a row at pace and plant potatoes the correct width apart.

British Queen potatoes are very popular in our CountryLife store.

How To Grow Potatoes

Planting Potatoes Indoors

If you’re planting potatoes indoors, in a tunnel or a glasshouse, you may be able to plant them pretty much straight away. Best varieties are British Queens. They’ll be ready in about 12 weeks so you’ll have your own crop just as the early ones are out and everyone else is paying a fortune for the pleasure.

How To Plant Potatoes In a Pot

Feeding your potato crop

Potatoes are a hungry crop. Work some well-rotted farmyard manure into your bed to give the potatoes a good start. If you can’t get farmyard manure, use good quality compost, or even leaf mould, in the planting area. At home I like to use a seaweed feed throughout the year to give the growing crops a boost.

Dealing with Potato Blight

New regulations around the sale of chemicals mean it’s now difficult for many gardeners to get their hands on traditional chemicals used in the prevention of blight. Other people just don’t want to spray. One effective product to protect against potato blight is Bayer Potato Blight Control but if you are in doubt about treatments that you can use, ask in store for advice.

I highly recommend that home gardeners look more towards blight resistant varieties from the outset.

Blight causes havoc in warm, muggy weather that we typically get around late May or early June. Spores travel in the air and the first thing you’ll notice is little black spots or freckles on the leaves on the stalks. Eventually these join up and the whole leaf goes black. If left untreated, a crop can be wiped out within days. If your crop is advanced enough when blight hits, it is possible to cut the stalks and harvest then within 10 to 12 days. But it is risky!

Potato Blight needs to be caught early

How To Earth Up Potatoes

Best of luck with growing your own potatoes this year. Check out our website for seed potatoes, tools and everything you need to get started. If you have any queries you can contact us on social media or send us an email at:

We’re here to help

If you have any questions about potatoes, talk to any of our horticulturists in store. If you have a specific problem like pest damage on a plant, it’s really helpful to bring us a photo of it. We’d love to help.


All products mentioned in the above blog can be bought on or in you local CountryLife branch. To find your nearest store click here.

Seed Potatoes

Nothing beats home-grown! Explore our range of first early, second early and maincrop seed potatoes. Discover top varieties including British Queen, Duke of York, Golden Wonder and more.

Naturesafe Plant Food 10KG

Naturesafe Plant Food contains a unique blend of 100% Irish seaweed-based organic fertilisers in a concentrated liquid form. This plant food which is rich in amino acids and trace elements also contains the perfect mix of nutrients to ensure that plants will be nourished to promote vibrant and healthy growth.

Price: €24.95

Digging & Planting Tools

Explore our wide range of digging and planting tools to help get your potatoes in the ground this year. From digging spades to long handle forks, we have something for every task.