Join the RHS today and support our charity
Free personalised gardening advice
RHS members get reduced ticket prices
RHS members get free access to RHS Gardens
Reduced prices on RHS Garden courses and workshops
020 3176 5800
Mon – Fri | 9am – 5pm
Make a donation
I have forgotten my password
Keep me signed in
Register for free to receive our newsletters, add comments to blogs/articles and to save content.
See what events are on near you and browse your bookmarked pages.
Don’t miss out - book in advance and save
The taste of tiny, tender new potatoes need not be restricted to summer. With a little bit of skill and good timing, they can also be grown for autumn and winter harvests, meaning you could enjoy them at Christmas.
Use cold-stored potato tubers, available from specialist seed merchants in July and August. These are seed potatoes from late winter that have been held back ready for summer planting.
First and second early varieties such as ‘Charlotte’, ‘Nicola’ and ‘Maris Peer’ are recommended. As these will go straight into warm soil, they do not need to be chitted prior to planting.
You can hold back late-winter-bought tubers yourself by keeping them in the fridge or leaving them in a cool, light place right through the spring and early summer and allowing them to develop long (and rather fragile) sprouts. These will need to checked regularly for aphids.
Potatoes harvested in summer and then replanted will not produce tubers for winter as they go through a long period of dormancy after harvest.
Most early potatoes take about 12 weeks from planting to cropping.
Potatoes planted outside in the ground in midsummer should grow and form tubers before the first frosts in autumn, especially in sheltered gardens in the south.
Where there is a frost free-greenhouse, cool conservatory or bright porch, potatoes can be planted in August for harvesting at Christmas.
Home-saved tubers can suffer from pest, disease and dormancy problems, so try to buy tubers intended for summer growing. Other problems include:
Bulbs for Christmas floweringChristmas treesGrowing vegetables in containersPotatoesRHS Grow Your OwnVegetables: growing for winter
the RHS today and get 12 months for the price of 9
RHS members can get exclusive individual advice from the RHS Gardening Advice team.
Register for the site or sign in to share your experiences on this topic and seek advice from our community of gardeners.
We're a UK charity established to share the best in gardening. We want to enrich everyone's life through plants, and make the UK a greener and more beautiful place.
Join the RHS today and get 12 months for the price of 9