Plant your new potatoes now and you’ll give yourself the best chance of an early harvest. Timing your planting is a bit of a lottery as there’s always the chance of a late frost, but you can usually risk it by late March. Just in case, keep some horticultural fleece handy (you’ll find fleece at our garden centre here in Poynings) and throw a couple of layers over emerging foliage to protect it if the temperature drops.
Plant your tubers with the “rose” end (with the most eyes, or tiny shoots) uppermost, about 45cm apart and 30cm deep in rich, well-prepared soil. If space in the garden is limited, you can grow them in containers, too - you’ll find specially-designed potato planters at the garden centre. Cover the bottom of the sack with compost, place three tubers on top and bury with more compost. Keep adding more compost as the shoots grow, so only the topmost leaves are showing: tubers form up the stems, so “earthing up” like this guarantees the biggest possible harvest.
Once you’ve filled to the top of the bag, leave your spuds to grow: they’ll be ready to harvest by mid-June onwards. Steam gently, then just add butter for a scrumptious early summer treat.