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. In hotter climates, potatoes may be big as a winter crop.
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. The early plantation is possible, as before long as the soil will be worked. However, remember that some crops face the danger of ruining from frost or wet soil.
- However, if 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 are the ideal way of growing 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, By cutting each side, thirteen to fifteen inches. Cover the pieces by a layer of soil about three inches thick.
- Seed potatoes are the best for starting the potatoes planting from those eyes (buds) protrude. (Do not confuse seed potatoes with potato seeds or grocery manufacturer).
- Use of a sharp, clean knife is a must for 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.
- 12 to 16 days once planting is done, once sprouts are visible, use a hoe to carefully fill in the trench with another three to four inches of soil, so as to keep the plant away from the soil for some inches. 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 retain the moisture in the soil keeping 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.
- Do the hilling within the morning, once plants are at their tallest. Throughout the warmth of the day, plants begin drooping.
- Maintaining moisture is very important, particularly from the time once sprouts seem till many weeks once they blossom. The plants want two to three inches of water per week. If you water an excessive amount of right once planting and not enough when the potatoes begin to make, the tubers will become distorted.
- The last hilling ought to be done before the potato plants bloom, once the plant is 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 for natural anti-bacterial components.
- Colorado potato beetles ought to be selected and predatory birds can typically eat them. Whereas 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. If the problem persists, some sprays of Spinosad, associate degree organic chemical, can help to obviate the beetles. Make sure to use the product at dawn or twilight to avoid harming helpful insects.
- 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 topnotch of the vines have died before you start the harvest. Potatoes are tubers and it will be great if your plant 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, however, while not frost falls, the soil temperature is the only factor deciding the reaping time of potatoes. Your soil has to be higher than 46F. (8 C.) Once to dig potatoes for dinner is far easier. 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, 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 the 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.