If you have been thinking about to grow potatoes at home, this is the right time for you. But wait, wait before you consider the right planting approach, take a look at different available planting methods.
The humble potato always remains on top of the list in the nation’s favourite vegetable. Potatoes are quite generous plants; they produce abundant harvests.
If you lack space, you don’t have a backyard or kitchen garden even then you can grow potatoes at your home. You don’t need to worry much; you can grow potatoes in growing bags, on the terrace garden, or balcony of your apartment, in plastic buckets or even the trash cans.
You can use polypropylene bags as well. You need to take some extra care to protect your plant to grow potatoes properly. What if I tell you that I have good news to share with you? Without any difficulty, you can get the maximum harvest in minimal space.
The stem tubers of potatoes thrive well in rock-free soil and require watering only once a week. If you are providing your potato plants full sun, fertile soil and water, you will get an abundant harvest.
Guide to Potato Nutrition
If you are looking for some magical nutrient to power up your performance, you don’t need to look further than the potato. It is rich in carbohydrates, potassium, vitamin C and B6. Potato is a whole food source as it is a nutrient-dense intricate carbohydrate-containing low-cost vegetable. They are naturally gluten-free and add a boost of nutritional benefits.
Potatoes come in various varieties; one may choose according to one’s own need and desires. Mainly there are seven major potato types: white, red, yellow, russet, purple, fingerling and petite. They can be round, oval, compact, small, or fleshy but no matter in which size or shape they are, always mouth-watering and palatable. No matter which variety you choose, consistently purchase good quality potato seeds.
Choosing the Right Seed Potatoes
Always choose certified and disease-free potatoes for seed. Seed potatoes are not seeds but are small potato tubers. Make sure that the tubers are sprouted, if not wait for a few days until they get developed.
If the tubers are not small, cut the large one in small pieces, each piece having 2 to 3 buds. If you are thinking about growing new potatoes from old ones from your kitchen, let me tell you, it’s a crappy idea. The old potatoes from the kitchen don’t produce reliable ones.
Optimum Soil Conditions
Prepare the soil by digging. Remove all the weeds and stones. Your soil should be rock-free. The trenches for sowing should be at least 2-3 feet deep and 10-12 inches apart. You can use any ground; the one rich in organic matter is perfect.
A mixture of 50% soil with 50% compost is exceptional. It provides the best nutrition and drainage properties. If you are growing potatoes in small containers or trash cans, you will need to be super-careful for dehydration and drainage.
Points to Remember
The depth of trenches should be 15cm, not less. The average spacing between the rows should be 50-60cm. If you take care of all the requirements, you can get 10kg per row where the length of each row is 3m. Always choose open, sunny, airy and fertile soil. Cover the shoots using spade or hoe with soil. This process is earthing up; it doesn’t let potatoes remain green.
Different plants demand different nature of the soil. Potatoes prefer acidic soil. Maintain the pH of the clay in the range of 5.8-6.5. Use organic manure, or kitchen debris as natural homemade organic fertilizer. You may use chemical fertilizers as well. Rich fertile soil having nutrients is the best choice
You will need to water your growing potatoes regularly. But don’t forget during warm spells of weather. The only problem you will face while growing potatoes in small containers are maintaining water needs. You will need to check drainage from time to time. Potatoes don’t need overhydration, so avoid water-logging. Check the soil regularly if dry, water the plants.
Harvesting and Storage
When the vines show flowers, it is the sign that small potatoes are there. Be patient and wait until plant vines turn entirely brown and die. It is the right time to harvest potatoes as they have reached their maturity at the time. Usually, potato takes 80-100 days to grow-up the stage of maturity.
Make sure to store potatoes at a cool, shady and frost-free place. Once you finish digging, let them stay there for a few hours to get dry. The resting time allows potatoes to harden their skin so that you can store these for a long time. After drying, brush off the excessive loose soil and stockpile them in the kitchen or storeroom.