Thinking of Growing potatoes in your garden? We can help! The style and also the taste of native potatoes measure way superior to those of bought from the store spuds, particularly the first varieties. Here’s the best way of planting, growing potatoes and harvest it in your garden.
“What I say is that if a person extremely likes potatoes, he should be a reasonably good style of fellow.”
–A. A. Milne, English author (1882–1956)
Potatoes like cool weather and well-drained, loose soil. A temperature range of 44°F to 54°F (8 to 14°C) is best for growing potatoes.
Best Time For Growing Potatoes
• During the early years, People in England planted potatoes when they saw dandelions blooming in the open fields.
• The High German thought of St. Gertrude’s Day (March seventeen, aka St. Patrick’s Day) to be their official potato-planting day.
• Many Christians believed that Good Friday was the most effective day for planting and growing potatoes. As a result, the devil holds no power over them at this point.
From the above examples, we can conclude that spring is the best time for planting and growing potatoes.
When to Plant Potatoes
• The best time for potatoes plantation is after a couple of weeks after the last spring frost. Early plantation of potatoes is possible. However, remember that some crops face the danger of ruining from frost or wet soil.
• However, if you have a “late” spring, it’s not too late to plant potatoes through Gregorian calendar month ( April, depending on your location of the plantation). Some of us even plant through June, particularly in containers or potato towers.
How to plant potatoes
• With a hoe or round-point shovel, dig a trench nearly 5 inches wide and eight inches deep, giving the bottom a taper three inches wide.
• Growing potatoes in rows is an ideal way to grow potatoes. The gap between the rows should be three feet.
• Spread and blend in decayed manure or organic compost within the bottom of the ditch before planting.
• In the trench, place a seed potato piece, cut side down, every 13 to 16 inches and cover the potato pieces with 3 to 4 inches of soil.
• Seed potatoes are the best for starting potato plantation.
• The use of a sharp, clean knife is a must for the downsizing of potatoes. The size of small potatoes should be that of a tennis ball. Ensure a pair of eyes on each of the potato cut. If the size of potatoes is smaller than two inches, plant them whole.
• If potatoes are cut for plantation, cut them two days prior to planting. This can provide them with the prospect to “heal” and also a chance to have a protecting layer over the cut surface. This will prevent them from rotting and decay.
• After 15 days you will be able to see sprouts erupting from your potatoes.
• Use a hoe to carefully fill in the trench with another three to four inches of soil. Keep repeating the procedure for a few weeks, ensuring that the soil will remain mounded up four to five inches higher than ground level (this is termed as “hilling”).
• Once the potato plant has come up from the soil, the addition of organic mulch is beneficial. It will help to retain moisture in the soil thus maintaining soil temperature. Also, mulch will help in weed control.
Care While Growing Potatoes
• Do not permit daylight to fall on the tubers that develop underneath the surface of the soil, or they’re going to become greenish.
• Once plants are at their tallest star hilling your plants. Just remember to do hilling in the morning.
• Maintaining moisture is very important, particularly from the time once sprouts are visible. You need to maintain moisture for a few weeks after they blossom.
• The plants want two to three inches of water per week. If you provide an excessive amount of water just after planting and fail to water once the potato formation starts, the tubers will become distorted.
• The last hilling ought to be done before the potato plants bloom, and are nearly six inches tall. Hoe the dirt up around the base of the plant so as to hide the tubers and also to support the plant.
• Hilling keeps the potatoes from becoming unhealthy, which might cause them to show decaying and manufacture a chemical known as solanine. Solanine makes the potato taste bitter and is harmful.
Pests / Diseases
• Potato Scab: Presumably caused by a high soil pH. Remember potatoes like acidic soil (do not plant in soil with a pH above 5.3). Mud seed potatoes with sulfur before planting. Some readers counsel adding pine straw on the upper layer of the potatoes once planting is complete. This helps in adding natural anti-bacterial components to the soil.
• You can control Colorado potato beetles by handpicking. ought to be selected and predatory birds are a natural enemy Colorado potato beetles and help to control them. when they’re within the nymph state, they’ll be managed with Diatomaceous (food grade) that may be a non-toxic, thanks to control pests within the garden.
Below are a few insects that may infest your potato plantation.
- Flea Beetles
- Early/Late Blight
Harvest / Storage
You’ve planted early, hilled with utter care, cultivated and added fertilizer and manure. A healthy yield is ready to be harvested. Currently, you’re curious to reap potatoes you’ve very carefully tended. We will show you the best way to harvest your potatoes. This will ensure the best returns from the plants.
When to Harvest Potatoes
For winter storage, it’s best to let the plant and also the weather tell you the time to reap the potatoes. Wait till the top-notch of the vines have died before you start the harvest. Potatoes are tubers and it will be great if your plan to stores the maximum amount of starch as attainable.
Soil and air temperature also guide us when to harvest the potatoes. Potatoes have the ability to tolerate lightweight frost. However, if heavy frost is near, it is best to bring out the shovels.
In areas wherever the autumn is cool, the soil temperature is the only factor deciding the reaping time of potatoes. Your soil has to be higher than 46F. (8 C.) Wait till late within the season and take solely what you would like. Thus resetting the plant, therefore, the smaller tubers have an opportunity to mature.
How to Harvest Potatoes
By now we know the best time to dig the potatoes. Now we need to understand the best practices to reap the potatoes. To reap potatoes, shovel or a spading fork are the necessary farming tools.
If you’re harvesting for supper, drive your fork into the soil at the skin edges of the plant. Slowly and very carefully pull the plant and take away the potatoes you would like. Now, carefully place the plant back in the soil. Make sure to water the plants adequately.
Once the decision has been made to harvest the potatoes for storage in winter, the maturity test of potatoes is to be conducted. The skin of a mature potato is thick and firmly connected to the flesh. If the skin is skinny and peels off simply, your potatoes are not yet ready for harvest. Hence we need to put the potatoes back in soil for few more days.
Precautions While Digging Potatoes
When you start digging the potatoes, make sure not to damage tubers by cut, scrap or bruises.
Broken tubers can rot throughout storage. Hence they should be put to use at the earliest. After the harvest, allow potatoes to heal. Allow them to sit in temperatures of 48 to 62 F. (8-17 C.) for a couple of weeks.
This will ensure that the skins will have time to become hard and minor injuries to seal. Store the healed potatoes at 41 F. (4 C.) in an exceedingly dark place. An excessive amount of light will make them greenish. Freezing of potatoes should be avoided at all costs.
Once the decision is made so as to when to dig up the potatoes, get the whole family together. Give all the family members including children their own small basket. Turn this digging process into a fun activity and learning experience.
Recommended Varieties For Growing Potatoes
There are a large number of varieties of potato species to choose for plantation. However, tan-skinned and red-skinned varieties with white flesh are the foremost common in home gardens.
• ‘Irish Cobbler’: tan skin, uneven symmetry.
• ‘Norland’: red skin, immune to potato scab.
• ‘Mountain Rose’: red skin and pink flesh, immune to some viruses.
• ‘Red Pontiac’: red skin, deep eyes.
• ‘Viking’: red skin, terribly productive.
• ‘Chieftan’: red skin, immune to potato scab, stores well.
• ‘Katahdin’: tan skin, immune to some viruses.
• ‘Kennebec’: tan skin, immune to some viruses and blight.
• ‘Elba’: tan skin, giant spherical tubers, immune to blight and potato scab.