by Peter on October 26, 2020
When to plant potatoes?
You have many options when it comes to choosing which type of potato you want to grow. There are several varieties of potatoes available in the market today. They all differ in size, shape, color and taste. Some varieties may require more or less water than others. For example, some types need a little bit more water while other types may not need any extra watering at all!
The best time to plant potatoes depends on your location. If you live in a hot climate where the temperature often reaches 100 degrees Fahrenheit (38 C) during summer months, then planting potatoes will probably be the most suitable option for growing them.
However, if you’re living somewhere like New York City where the average high temperature rarely gets above 90 degrees F (32 C), then planting potatoes might not be the best choice for growing them because they’ll likely get scorched before reaching maturity.
In addition to these factors, there’s also the fact that different types of plants take longer to mature than others. For instance, some types of potatoes may reach maturity sooner than others.
So if you live in a place with a hotter climate, then you’ll probably want to wait until after the first frost before planting potatoes so that they don’t suffer from scorching heat damage. But if you’re living in a colder region, then it may be best to plant your potatoes as soon as possible because you don’t want them to get hit by a late season freeze before they mature.
If you’re new at this and don’t know exactly what’s best for your region, your best bet is to contact your local cooperative extension service. Most universities provide these services for free and will be able to give you sound advice based on your exact location.
They will also be able to tell you exactly which types of potatoes are best suited for your growing region, as well as exactly when to plant them.
In addition to contacting your local cooperative extension service, you should also ask a gardening center associate for their advice as well. They will most likely be very familiar with the growing conditions of your region and can give you much needed advice that is specific to your area.
How To Plant Potatoes?
If you’re wondering how to plant potatoes, then the process is relatively easy. You’ll need a piece of land that’s well drained and isn’t extremely fertile. The soil should be light and loose so that the potatoes don’t suffer from root damage. Dig a hole in the ground that’s deep enough to cover most of the potato, but not so deep that it hits the parts that have started to sprout. If the sprouts do get damaged, they can be very bitter when eaten.
If you’re wondering how deep a hole needs to be for a potato to properly grow, it’s generally about 8 inches (20.3 cm).
The top of the hole should be packed with soil so that when you place the potato in it, only about an inch of it is visible above the ground. Space these around one foot apart from each other. Then take a hoe and cover up all of the unwanted sprouts that are visible above the ground.
If you’re wondering how long it will take for the potatoes to grow, this process should be finished within the year. Once the top of the potato is just 1 inch (2.5 cm) below the soil, it should start growing again.
At this point it’s best to wait until the soil has been properly prepared before planting them. If you try to plant them earlier than this, they could end up getting root damage.
How To Grow Potatoes In Containers
Many people wonder if it’s possible to grow potatoes in containers. The answer is yes, but there are some factors that will need to be taken into consideration to make sure that they thrive.
You’ll need the same type of soil and space that you would if you were growing them outside, plus a few more things such as fertilizer and regular watering.
If you have an area outside that gets plenty of sunlight, it might actually be easier to grow them there. Containers dry out much quicker than regular soil so you will have to pay closer attention to them.
The first step in growing potatoes in a container is to choose the right container. It can be anything from a bucket to an old tire, even a garbage can would work.
Your main concern with the container is that it has a lid that allows water to flow out of it but doesn’t have any large holes in it for the soil to filter through.
Once you have the container, the next thing you’ll need to do is fill it up with dirt. It’s best to go with top soil rather than garden soil, because top soil contains more nutrients.
The next step is to place several inches of small gravel on the bottom of the container. This will ensure proper drainage. After the gravel, add the soil and then add a bit more until the container is nearly full.
After your container has been properly prepared, you’ll need to place several inches of small rocks on the ground around it. This is to divert water away from the container during rainfall.
You’ll also want to use a soaker hose to keep the container watered properly. Make sure to place the hose so that it doesn’t rest on the top of the container. If you are growing more than one container, space them around three feet apart from each other.
The next thing you’ll have to do is add fertilizer. Fertilize before a rainstorm and continue to repeat every three weeks or when you water the container.
Use liquid fertilizer or fish emulsion for the best results.
Potatoes are susceptible to a number of different pesticides. Because of this you’ll need to buy organic fertilizer or create your own, like with fish emulsion.
You can increase your yield by placing a piece of old carpet in the container first, and then adding the soil on top of it. This will enable the potatoes to send out “runners” or stems that will grow more potatoes.
When this method is used, you will need to remove the runners before the plants start to flower.
Finally, harvest the potatoes when the plant turns brown and dies. This normally happens in the fall.
You can leave them in the container and just cover it with a tarp to keep them from getting direct sunlight. Leave them like this for about ten days so that they can further mature, and then you can finally enjoy your delicious potatoes!
Sources & references used in this article:
Water relations and growth of potatoes by PJ Gregory, LP Simmonds – The potato crop, 1992 – Springer
Nitrogen Requirements of Potatoes1 by DT Westermann, GE Kleinkopf – Agronomy Journal, 1985 – Wiley Online Library
Evaluation of six modern varieties of potatoes for yield, plant growth parameters and resistance to insects and diseases by TE Eaton, AK Azad, H Kabir, AB Siddiq – Agricultural Sciences, 2017 – scirp.org
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