How to grow potatoes at home Best and Easy Way
Are you thinking of grow potatoes in your garden? If yes then here is everything you need to know about growing potatoes at home.
Potato is one such vegetable that has a significant place in every household, in every cuisine across the world so everyone who has a love for gardening thinks of growing potatoes at least once.
Did you know on an average per person consumption of potatoes globally is about 110 pounds?
This is how widely we are consuming and growing potatoes. So here are few points that I would share with you about growing potatoes at home or garden and also different potting ideas as well.
What month do you plant potatoes ?
Potatoes are a cool-weather vegetable so it is preferred to grow them in early spring or you can even start in mid-February if you live in a warm place.
How to plant potatoes?
Growing potatoes is easy as they are less demanding and can produce abundantly. All they need to grow well.
- In full sun
- loose and slightly acidic soil
- about 1 inch of water every week
How to plant potatoes step by step?
Use seed potatoes for growing potatoes. You can either buy good organic healthy seed potato from the nearest farm store or online store or you can also prepare them at home by simply keeping few potatoes in you kitchen shelf for a few days or weeks. Once they grow sprouts from their eyes they are ready to plant. It is recommended though to use store-bought healthy seed potatoes for good produce.
You can plant small potatoes whole and if bigger in size then cut them in pieces with every piece having 2-3 sprouted eyes. Too many sprouts in one piece will produce multistemmed plants resulting in small potatoes. It is also a good idea to keep the cut pieces in a moderately sunny or lit area with good ventilation for a week before starting to plant them. This will dry the upper layer and prevent rot.
Now is the time to grow potatoes. There are many different methods to grow potatoes in your garden which is explained in this post below. However, the best harvest can be yielded when grown in raised beds.
Make 6 inch deep holes and place one seed potato piece in each hole with eyes facing up. The holes should be 10-12 inches apart from each other. Now cover with 2 inches of fertilized soil and water the soil nicely. The recommended type of fertilizer is phosphorus fertilizer with less nitrogen level.
Hilling the potato plant is very important for good healthy produce. When your potato plant reaches 8 inches of height cover half the length with hay or shredded straws and leaves. Repeat this process until the plant starts flowering.
Make sure that potato tubers are not exposed to sunlight otherwise, they will become green and green potatoes are toxic to consume. So keep the tubers covered in soil.
Rows on grounds
The most conventional method is to plant directly on the ground. This is the method that farmers have been using for ages. In this method, you need to dig trenches like straight rows on the ground that is about 6-12 inches deep to plant seed potatoes and at least 2 feet apart.
Make sure that the soil is well prepared. It must be fertilised using phosphorus fertiliser with very little nitrogen level. It should also be loose so that water can easily seep deep inside. The planting and hilling will be done similar to how we mentioned above.
How to Growing potatoes in straw mulch?
This method is also practised directly on the ground. However, the seed potatoes are kept on the surface of the soil rather than in holes. After placing the potatoes you need to cover them with seed-free straws. The straw mulch should be loose and at least 3-4 thick layered.
As the stems start growing you need to mound more straws around them to keep them covered half till they reach the flowering stage. The good point about this method is that the straws will retain soil moisture for a longer period and harvesting is also easier. However, mulch is a great hiding place for mice that may damage the crop.
How to Growing potatoes on raised beds?
This is so far the best-known method for the maximum yield of potatoes. You can use any suitable material to create beds. The ideal measurement of a bed is 4x8x12 inches for growing most of the vegetation.
The soil quality and type will be the same as in other methods and the planting method will also remain the same as mentioned above. Hilling is very important for growing potatoes and in raised bed method you would need to import additional soil to the bed for this.
To grow potatoes in a barrel, you need a large barrel of at least 50-55 gallon (200L) capacity with a height of 3-4 ft since the potato plant is deep-rooted. You can also reuse any old empty barrel from your junk. Though any material barrel would work wooden barrels are ideal and more Eco friendly.
Avoid using black coloured barrels and also those that contained chemicals previously. The first step is to wash the barrel with bleach. Be very careful while handling bleach as it is a safety hazard. Put 3-4tbsp of bleach in the barrel and fill with some water then rinse it with the help of a washcloth.
Rinse the bleach completely from the barrel. Now drill holes at the bottom of the barrel 6 inches apart. Now set the barrel on a couple of bricks or blocks for proper drainage of excess water. The planting method will be the same in this case also.
How to Grow potatoes in Tyre?
This is an amazing method to recycle old tyres. All you need to do is first place tyres on the ground and fill them with fertilized soil. Then place seed potatoes just like we discussed in earlier methods and keep watering as required.
Now as the plant grows keep stacking more tyres on top and fill with soil to cover the plant as we did in earlier methods. You can stack up to 4 tyres until the potatoes start flowering then stop and wait for harvest time.
How to Growing potatoes in bags?
Potato grow bags are easily available at any farming shop or you can even use any old burlap or sacks at your home that are used to pack staples. The planting method will remain as in all other methods discussed.
Now you know everything needed to grow potatoes so give it a try and let us know how it goes!