Country Tails

April 13, 2016

POTATO PLANTING 2016

That time of year has come around again when we plough the fields in preparation for this year’s potato crop and we couldn’t have asked for a better day to start.

Harry and the team have been out in full force since the early hours to begin the first stage of our single-estate process. We grow three main varieties here on the farm, King Edward, Lady Claire and Maris Piper all of which help give our vodka that unparalleled smoothness and buttery taste.  

Having the distillery located on the farm allows us to keep a watchful eye over how our potatoes move from field to bottle. It’s this single-estate approach that makes us different.

Why don’t you try growing your own this year?

Here is your Chase ‘How To’ guide…

What To Grow?

  • There are dozens of different potato varieties, usually described as early, second early and maincrop potatoes.These names indicate when they crop and also give you an idea of the space you’ll need, how closely and when they can be planted.
  • You should concentrate on the earlier types if you’re short of space.

How To Plant

  • Plant your potatoes when the soil has started to warm up, usually from mid-March or early April. Start by digging a trench 7.5-13cm (3-5in) deep.
  • Add a light sprinkling of fertiliser to your trench before you begin planting.
  • Plant early potatoes about 30cm (12in) apart with 40-50cm (16-20in) between the rows.
  • As soon as the shoots appear, earth up each plant by covering it with a ridge of soil so that the shoots are just buried.

Harvesting

  • Your home-grown potatoes should be ready for lifting from June until September, depending on the varieties and the growing conditions. 
  • This will be when above-ground growth is still green, and usually as soon as the flowers open.
  • Two weeks before you lift the crop, cut the growth off at ground level. This should give the skins of the potatoes sufficient time to toughen up, making them far less prone to damage from lifting and easier to store.

We’ll be back throughout the year with regular spud and apple updates so we’d love to see how yours are progressing!

Feel free to contact us at single-estate@williamschase.co.uk with pictures of your home-grown spuds!

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