Growing potatoes couldn't be easier



Looking at some new easy peazy gardening and growing skills, well read on, because learning how to grow potatoes is one of the easiest gardening skills you can get. They make an awesome staple crop even if you don’t have much growing space and you virtually don’t have to look after them.

They can be grown in your veggie patch as well, and make for great meals, by roasting, baking, braaiing, mashing and the best salads.

We know that potatoes have starch but no fat, so it shouldn’t have the reputation it has as its full of vitamins and minerals outweigh the downside as the toppings are the part that roll on the kilos.

They’re high in vitamin C (27 mg in a medium potato), potassium, and vitamin B6; they contain thiamine, riboflavin, niacin, folate, zinc, iron, magnesium, phosphorus, and a good deal of fibre.

Take a medium potato that has started to sprout. If you look in the vegetable rack you’ll probably see some of your potatoes starting to grow “eyes”. These are the guys you want to plant. Cut the potato into a few chunks, each having a few “eyes,” or sprouting points. Allow to dry out overnight. If you don’t have time, you can plant them right away, but they’re more susceptible to rotting. Dried chunks produce the best results.

Then take a large container or a woven carrier bag and cut a few holes in the bottom. Take some stones and cover with potting soil, compost etc. Take your potato eyes and place them on top, cut side down. Cover the sprouts with soil. Water well and place in a sunny spot. In a few days to a week, your potatoes will start to push their way upward. As they get taller, add more soil around the stem.

Also remember to check with your nursery on what the best fertilizer to use when planting.

Potatoes are ready to harvest between 10 and 20 weeks after planting, depending on whether they are first early (10 weeks), second early (13 weeks) or main crop potatoes (20 weeks). 

You will know they are ready when the flowers open or the buds drop. When you dig them out, be careful as you don’t want to spear your lovely crop or maybe to be safe tip them over if they are in a container or bag. It’s also important not to put the dead plant into the compost bin as when planting again don’t use the recycled dirt.

So, after all your hard work, the gift of your bounty is making your favourite potato recipe.

Baked, fried, or mashed, there's no wrong way to cook potatoes. The epitome of comfort food, there's nothing we love more than cozying up to potatoes in any (and every) form. Whether they're the centre of your meal, bite-sized (potato skin bites!), or an easy side to your main course, potatoes can truly do it all.

Granny Mouse Country House & Spa would like to share a tasty tantalizing potato recipe that you can use from your planting success.


Cheese & Herb Potato Fans


•             8 medium potatoes

•             1/2 cup butter, melted

•             2 teaspoons salt

•             1/2 teaspoon pepper

•             2/3 cup shredded cheddar cheese

•             1/3 cup shredded Parmesan cheese

•             2 tablespoons each minced fresh chives, sage and thyme


  1. Preheat oven to 200°C.
  2. With a sharp knife, cut each potato crosswise into 1/8-in. slices, leaving slices attached at the bottom; fan potatoes slightly and place in a greased 13x9-inch baking dish.
  3. In a small bowl, mix butter, salt and pepper; drizzle over potatoes.
  4. Bake, uncovered, 50-55 minutes or until potatoes are tender.
  5. In a small bowl, toss cheeses with herbs; sprinkle over potatoes.
  6. Bake about 5 minutes longer or until cheese is melted.


Shepherd's Pie Potato Bowls

  • 4 large potatoes
  • X4 tablespoons unsalted butter plus 1 tablespoon melted butter
  • ¼ cup milk
  • ¼ sour cream
  • Salt and pepper
  • ¼ cup chopped fresh chives
  • 1 small carrot
  • 300grams minced beef
  • 2 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce
  • 1 tablespoon tomato paste
  • 1 teaspoon thyme
  • 1/3 cup frozen peas defrosted


  1. Prick the potatoes all over with a fork and brush them with 1 tablespoon melted butter.
  2. Put on a microwave-safe plate and microwave, flipping halfway, until fork tender, about 20 minutes. (Alternately, bake in the oven at 200 degrees Celsius on a baking sheet until cooked through and fork tender, for about 1 hour.)
  3. Let cool slightly.
  4. Cut a 2.5cm thick slice off the top of each potato. Carefully scoop out the flesh into a medium bowl and mash with the milk, sour cream, 2 tablespoons butter and 1 teaspoon salt using a fork or potato masher.
  5. Fold in the chives. Put the potato bowls on a baking sheet.  
  6. Preheat the oven to 200 degrees C. Meanwhile, melt 1 tablespoon butter in a large skillet over medium heat. Add the carrots and cook, stirring occasionally, until softened and lightly browned, 5 to 6 minutes.
  7. Add the beef and cook, breaking it up with a wooden spoon, until cooked through, about 4 minutes.
  8. Stir in the Worcestershire, tomato paste, thyme, 1/2 teaspoon salt and 1 cup water and bring to a boil, and then reduce heat and cook until the beef and carrots are coated in sauce with a little extra sitting on the bottom of the pan, about 1 minute.
  9. Stir in the peas until heated through, 1 to 2 minutes more.
  10. Spoon the beef mixture into the potato bowls.
  11. Spoon or pipe the mashed potatoes on top of the beef mixture and bake until heated through and the potatoes brown on top, about 15 minutes.
  12. Cut the remaining tablespoon of butter into 4 slices and top each potato with one. 


Article Courtesy of www.sands