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Who doesn’t love the almost creamy indulgence of super-fresh new potatoes! With careful planning and just a little bit of luck you may be enjoying your first potatoes sooner than you thought, says Benedict Vanheems

There are some moments in the growing season that neatly encapsulate why we go to so much effort growing our own fruits and vegetables. That sweet first picking of strawberries, the fleeting window of garden asparagus, or shelling your own petits pois for a near-sacred dining experience – these are the sorts of harvests that make it all worthwhile!

For me? Well, nothing compares to the first home-grown spuds of summer. Soft, pale yellow potatoes, no bigger than a hen’s egg. Boil ‘em up with a few handfuls of garden mint then serve with generous curls of butter, lots of white pepper and a decadent garnish of more mint, finely chopped, with chives added in for good measure. Wow – now that’s how it should be done!


So how early can you get your hands on those first spuds? That’s the big question! Bearing in mind that potatoes aren’t frost hardy and relish warmth, there’s a balance to be struck here between coaxing potatoes into early growth and ensuring they don’t get clobbered by the tail end of winter.

Growing the earliest potatoes of the year requires a combination of skill and luck, though fortunately for non-gambling types, more of the former. Get it right and you could be enjoying your first potatoes as early as May – just in time for the first barbecue of the season.

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About Kitchen Garden Magazine

Welcome to Kitchen Garden Magazine In this issue: ON THE VEG PATCH This month Joyce Russell takes over our jobs on the plot feature. Joyce is busy tending to leeks, preparing bean trenches, sorting seeds and lifting celeriac IN THE GREENHOUSE KG regular Martin Fish moves into the greenhouse and polytunnel from this issue and is having a winter clean up, preparing the soil for spring crops and pruning grapes THE CULTIVATED PLOT In the first part of his new series, Graham Strong gets his new plot into shape for spring sowings MEET THE BLOGGERS This month we meet Hayley Moisley, a young blogger with a bright future in the world of allotment gardening