How to Grow Potatoes
It is very easy to grow potatoes, 7savings Garden gives you easy Step by step guide on how to grow potatoes in a container or in a garden. Here is how to grow Potatoes
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How to Grow Potatoes
Want to grow potatoes? We can help you with that! The taste and the texture of home-grown varieties of potatoes are much much better than those bought at the store. There are a lot of different but whatever Variety or varieties you want to grow.
They all have the same growing method. Potatoes like cool weather and well-drained, loose soil so that the roots can easily penetrate the soil.
The temperature range to grow potatoes are about 45 to 70°F. Maximum tuber formation occurs when soil temperature is 60 F to 70 F. Research has shown that Tuber formation stops when soil temperature hits 80 F. Mulching your soil with straw or other organic matter can help reduce soil temperature.
In colder climates like New England, it is best to start growing after last spring frost and down south starting in the late winter periods.
Here is how to plant and grow potatoes in your garden.
The best starters are seed potatoes from which eyes (buds) protrude. If you potatoes have many buds protruded or growing already like the one in the picture above then you can save money by cutting them into several seedlings. The video below has details on that.
If you are cutting up potato pieces for planting, do so 1 to 2 days ahead of planting. This will give them the chance to heal and form a protective layer over the cut surface, improving both moisture retention and rot resistance.
I cover the cut surface with ash from fireplace or BBQ grill or regular soil or sand and let it dry for a day or two.
To save money on potatoes seeds, buy good quality organic potatoes that the eyes are still intact at you local organic shop, super market or farm stand.
To get a jump start on your planting, buy your seeds a few weeks before the start of your growing season.
Lay your tubers with the majority of ‘eyes’ facing up. Place them into a supportive container such as an egg box or cold dry area like on the floor or basement floor. As, a result this will keeps them in a la light but relatively cool place to produce stubby, dark green shoots. Don’t worry if you can’t do this step, your potatoes will still grow without doing these.
Planting Potatoes in the Soil
- With a hoe or shovel, dig a trench about 6 inches wide and 8 inches deep. most people grow them in rows.
If you grow in rows, make the rows at least 2 feet apart.
Spread and mix in rotted manure or organic compost in the bottom of the trench before planting. remember they do much better when there is a lot of rotted manure and or compost.
In the trench, place a seed potato piece, cut side down with the bud facing up, every 10 to 15 inches and cover with 3 to 5 inches of soil.
2 weeks after planting, when sprouts appear or the potatoes has grown a few inches, use a hoe to gently fill in the trench with another 2 to 4 inches of soil, leaving a few inches of the plants exposed. Repeat in several weeks, leaving the soil mounded up 4 to 5 inches above ground level.
If the tubers grow out of the ground (to the surface) cover it with soil, compost or manure. Do not allow sunlight to fall on the tubers, they will turn green.
but you can still grow them anyhow base on your garden bed and other plants you intend to grow in your garden.
How to Plant Potatoes in Container or Raise bed
First thing you need is a container and the cheap way to go is to use an old bin or you can build your own container with cheap lumber like on this picture or you can use an old storage container or make yours with burlap or landscape fabric. You can also just potato planter and just plant your potatoes in them.
Key factors to consider when planting potatoes
Dept of container – at least 20 inches
Good potting soil (rich compost)
lots of sunlight
You need potting soil, to save money I make mine – Start by mixing good garden soil, Compost, Manure any other organic matter together in a container , remember the more organic matter like compost and manure the better, you want the mix to be loose and full of nutrients for the plant. You can also add a couple of handfuls of organic fertilizer.
Make sure the container has good drainage, if it doesn’t put a few holes at the bottom of the container .
It is extremely important that you match the number of seed potatoes to the size of container you are growing them in. As a rough guide each potato plant needs about 10 litres,(over 2.5 US gallons), to grow into.
fill the bottom (4 to 6 inches) of the container with your compost(potting soil) mixture
place your seed potato piece, cut side down with the bud facing up,Space your seed potatoes evenly throughout the container . Cover with another 10 cm (4in) layer of growing medium then watch it grow. As the shoots grow continue to add further layers of potting medium until you reach within 2 to 3 inches of the rim of the container.
You can never tell how big the potatoes is until you dig in to the soil to see, The first tubers will be ready to enjoy soon after plants start producing flowers. You can harvest them at that time or allow them to grow on to your preference. As soon as the foliage begins to die, it’s time to tip out the contents of your container and gather your bountiful harvest.
It’s also a good idea to feed potato plants regularly throughout the season with a liquid fertilizer like Compost Tea, Miracle-GroLiquaFeed, Tomato, Fruits & Vegetables Plant Food, to ensure they’re getting a steady dose of nutrition for best growth. I Prefer Compost Tea because is organics and it provides other benefits to the soil and the plants that the others, checkout my Compost Tea blog for more information.