Fertiliser management for fresh market potatoes grown on coastal sands

Page last updated: Tuesday, 23 January 2018 - 12:19pm

Please note: This content may be out of date and is currently under review.

A fertiliser program for potatoes growing in sandy soils must balance environmental risk with maximising returns. Coastal sands are naturally infertile and require higher rates of nutrients than loams. Efficient use of nitrogen, potassium and magnesium requires applying most fertiliser after planting and crop emergence. This also applies to phosphorus on very low phosphorus fixing grey/white sands. Pre-plant applications of phosphorus are usually adequate for yellow and red/orange sands. Post-emergent applications of soluble forms of calcium can improve plant uptake and tuber quality


This page outlines a general fertiliser program for fresh market winter and summer sown potatoes grown on coastal sands in Western Australia. This fertiliser program does not take into account nutrients applied to the crop in forms other than chemical fertiliser, such as organic amendments.

The recommendations cover the yellow (Karrakatta) and red-orange (Spearwood and Tuart) sands.

These fertiliser rates are a guide for fresh market potatoes, although adjustments may be required for specific varieties. The recommendations assume that the fertiliser is applied through the irrigation system (fertigation).

This information should be used in conjunction with other information on the fertiliser management of fresh market potatoes on sands. The program is designed to maximise returns and minimise environmental risk from leached fertilisers.


Contact information

Peter Dawson
+61 (0)8 9892 8461