Do you know there are about 5,000 potato varieties worldwide and there are 73 lbs. of potatoes on average in your diet each year? Why don’t we try to grow potatoes at home as a skillful home gardener?
Potato plants are herbaceous perennials that grow to about 24 inches in height, and die after flowering. Potatoes are classified as a cold-loving winter crop. This kind of plant is easy to grow, takes little care, adapts to many climates, and grows very easily in small spaces such as pots and barrels. Moreover, you can prepare countless wonderful dishes with potatoes such as salads, chips and soups.
Steps to follow:
– Soil: Choose loose soil/ sandy soil/ light soil/ alluvial soil with good drainage and moisturizing.
– Tubers or seeds: Tubers must have a volume of at least 0.1 lbs. or more and diameter of greater than 1.5 inches. Potatoes can be grown in whole or in complementary pieces. Many farmers grow potatoes in pieces to save tubers, which helps to reduce initial investment costs.
According to the traditional simple way, after cutting potato tubers, we need to apply the dry cement on them so that the tubers do not rot if it rains after we plant. Potatoes require strict storage conditions because they are prone to mold rot. In contrast, potato seeds can be stored for years without being spoilt. So, if you are not a true farmer, grow potatoes with seeds or whole bulbs.
– Planting pots: Pots, buckets or paint cans.
-Potatoes need a bright, well-ventilated place and nutrient-rich soil with good drainage and proper humidity.
Stage 1: Pushing tubers to sprout
You put potato tubers in a tray in a cool place to facilitate them to germinate. If you want your plants to germinate quickly, remember to keep them cool, or you can bury them in damp sand to encourage rapid germination. When the tubers germinate about 0.7-1 inch, you can plant them.
Note that at this period you must not water the potatoes. When placing tubers, avoid placing them directly in the fertilizers, especially chemical fertilizers, as this will cause the roots to die. When the potatoes sprout slightly, they can be planted immediately without long sprouting.
Stage 2: Plant potatoes in pots
With pots made from buckets or paint cans, you need to create holes for the pots before planting. When the sprouts are 0.7-1 inch, you bring them into the pot by burying the potato tubers deep into the soil from 4-6 inches and covering a layer of soil about 0.7-1.2 inches of the germ. Make room for plants to grow comfortably. The distance among normal tubers is around 10-12 inches apart. At this stage, you need to keep the soil moist so that after 10 to 15 days of planting, the potatoes will grow steadily.
Stage 3: Take care
As potatoes grow, they need a lot of water to produce a good harvest. You should water the potato pots regularly and never let them dry out. A cool and humid climate is enough for the roots to draw water from the soil to form starch in the tubers.
Stage 4: Harvest
When the mature plants are about 20-24 inches high, add compost around the potted plants to encourage the plant to form more tubers and resist frost.
Mature plants have flowers and fruits. The time of flowering is when they are ready for you to harvest. Or when you see yellow leaves, the plants can also be harvested. Potato flowers are white, pink, red, blue, or purple with yellow pistil. Potatoes are pollinated mainly by insects and wasps that carry pollen from one plant to another. After the potatoes have flowered, some varieties produce green berries similar to the cherry tomato color and can contain 300 seeds. Potatoes contain a large amount of alkaloid and solanine, so they cannot be eaten.
Early potatoes are usually harvested in early summer. Before harvesting, you can scratch a little soil to see if the potatoes are old enough. The main season will be ready for harvest in mid-summer and the off-season will be from late summer to autumn.
Now, let’s harvest! You just need to empty all the soil in the pot and collect your potatoes. Note that about 2 weeks before harvesting, you must not water to dry the land.
We hope that throughout the article, you can grow potatoes in your own style. Green potato plants will definitely contribute to the beauty of your home garden.