How to Plant Potatoes: Learn How Deep To Plant Potatoes
If you are planning to plant potatoes, then it’s best if you learn how to plant them properly. You will have better chances of success when planting potatoes correctly. If you want to grow your own vegetables, then it’s necessary that you know how to grow them properly. There are many things which need attention before planting potatoes successfully.
You must know that you should not plant potatoes too deep. Too much water can cause the roots to rot. So, you must make sure that there is enough space between the potato plants so that they don’t get submerged in water. Also, make sure that the soil around the potato plants isn’t sandy or silty.
Potato plants thrive well with good drainage and good air circulation around them.
In order to ensure that the roots don’t rot, you must keep the soil moist. Make sure that the soil around the potato plants doesn’t dry out completely. This causes root rot. When potatoes start rotting, they turn brown and lose their flavor very quickly.
They become bitter and unappealing to eat. The best way to prevent this is by keeping your soil moist all year round.
How deep to plant potatoes?
You should plant your potatoes about 8 inches underneath the soil. The soil around the potatoes should be loose enough so that it doesn’t suffocate them. The more space you keep between every single potato, the better it will be for them to grow. That is because they need enough space in order to grow properly and produce more potatoes later on. You can even grow your potatoes in old plastic bottles. Make sure that you plant them at least 6 inches deep. In that way, the potatoes will have enough space to grow.
You should never plant your potatoes in the same soil two years in a row. You must rotate your crops every single year. Also, you need to keep the soil around the potatoes loose. If the soil becomes dense and packed, it will suffocate the roots of the potato plants causing them to become sick or even die.
If you add manure to the soil, then make sure that you add a lot of extra organic matter. This will help loosen up the soil and allow air to reach the potatoes.
When is the best time to plant potatoes?
You can plant your potatoes at any time in the year, but the best time is generally between February and May. You should try to plant your potatoes outdoors as early as possible so that they can grow to their full size. About a month before planting, you need to prepare your soil so that it can be ready. Dig a hole about a foot deep and large enough to fit your potatoes in it. After that, add manure, fertilizer, and some soil to it. All of these are available at your nearest garden center.
You need to water the soil until it is nice and wet. Keep it like that for about a week so that it becomes soft enough for planting potatoes. After a week has passed, you can start planting your potatoes. You can even grow more than one variety in the same growing location.
The only rule is that you shouldn’t grow the same variety in that particular spot for at least three years or until you harvest all of the potatoes.
How do you care for your new potatoes?
Your new potatoes should be ready in about four months from time of planting. While you can harvest them whenever you want to, it is best if you leave them in the soil for at least three months before harvesting. Also, try not to harvest all of the potatoes at once. You can eat some of them while leaving others to grow bigger. When harvesting, take care not to harm the potatoes that you want to keep growing larger. You should only take the ones that you think have grown big enough. After you harvest, you can leave the potatoes in the ground and they will grow bigger and stronger.
You should keep your harvested potatoes in a cool place with high humidity and low light conditions. Do not put them in the refrigerator because the cold will make them become sweet. This is fine for yams, but not for your potatoes. The best place to store your potatoes is a dark corner in your basement or garage.
Make sure that you keep them away from any heat sources such as a furnace or clothes dryer because this will make them start to grow and they might even become diseased.
If you live in an apartment or townhouse, you can grow your potatoes on a balcony or even in pots. Just make sure that the soil that you use drains very well and is loose. It should also be rich in organic material such as manure, fiber, or compost. Try putting some stones in the bottom of your container or pot to allow the water to drain out.
Add a little fertilizer once a month and you should see some very healthy potatoes growing.
How do you know when potatoes are ripe?
The easiest way to tell if your potatoes are ripe enough to harvest is by looking at the green parts of the stems. If they have started to turn brown, then it is time to harvest. Also, you can wiggle the potatoes a bit. If some of them come loose in the soil then they are ready to be harvested.
What should you do with your ripe potatoes?
You can leave your potatoes in the soil and just keep on harvesting as needed. They will stay fresh in the soil for quite a while. However, if you need to keep them for a longer period of time, it is best to harvest all that you need and then dry them out completely.
There are several ways to do this. You can use a fan to blow air on them or you can put them in the sun. Cover them with cloth to keep out bugs and dirt. Another way is to slice them up real thin and dry them in the oven on low heat.
Check on them every once in awhile. They will be dry when they crackle. Store them in a tight jar out of the sun.
What can you do with your ripe potatoes?
Almost everything! Boil them, mash them, fry them up, or even eat them raw. They are very versatile and a good source of starch which helps give you energy. One of the most popular ways to eat potatoes is to bake them in their skins in the coals of a campfire. First, make sure that they have no cracks or holes in them by feeling the surface. Pick out any eyes or green parts.
Wash them thoroughly and pat them completely dry. Stick a couple of forks into the coals to heat them up. This will keep anyone from getting burned. Check the forks periodically to make sure that they are not getting too hot or the potatoes will start to cook instead of just baking.
When they are ready, make a few holes in your potato(s) with a fork and wrap them in aluminum foil. Put them in the holes in the forks and check every few minutes. When the potatoes are soft, they are ready to eat.
Another delicious way to eat a potato is to slice off the top and bottom so that you are left with just the middle part of the potato. The skin should be completely removed. Slice the middle part of the potato into very thin slices using a mandolin or a really sharp knife. If you prefer you can leave the skin on, it is your choice.
Add some salt to a pot of boiling water and gently slide the slices of potato into the water. Allow them to cook for about two minutes. Using a slotted spoon or skimmer, gently move the slices from the water and place them in a bowl. Drizzle some oil on them and toss gently.
Add salt and pepper to taste and serve immediately.
You can also add other fresh vegetables such as green beans, peas, carrots, and tomatoes. The only rule is that everything must be sliced into thin pieces so that it will all cook quickly.
You can eat your garden fresh potatoes plain or with butter, but if you want to get a little fancier you can make homemade French fries. Peel and slice the potatoes. Pour some oil into a pot or pan and heat it up. Make sure the potatoes are completely covered with oil.
When they are done, remove them from the hot oil using a slotted spoon or skimmer. Use the same method as before and add salt and pepper to taste.
These are just a few of the many delicious things you can do with your garden fresh potatoes.
They are easy to grow and even easier to cook, so why not give it a try?
You can make a potato cannon out of just about anything that shoots. In this picture you can see I have one made out of an old vacuum hose.
Potatoes are easy to grow and fun to shoot out of a cannon, so why not try it yourself?
Find out how to make a potato cannon out of just about anything that shoots by following these instructions.
You will need:
*A straight piece of plastic tube or metal tube (vacuum hose, copper tubing, quarter circle connector from the hardware store, etc.) that is at least as long as the potato and about an inch in diameter. This tube should be open at both ends. If it is a piece of metal or plastic, it should fit tightly on either end.
*Sand (or anything that will weigh the potato down once it is in the tube)
*Tape or rubber bands (several)
1. Cut the top and bottom off of the potato so that you are left with just the thick part of the middle.
2. Push the fork firmly through the middle of the potato.
You want the tines of the fork to go through all the way and out the other side.
3. Place the potato on a flat surface and push down on the fork.
You want the fork to be pressing the potato firmly to the surface. Mark the locations of the tines of the fork onto the surface using a piece of tape and then remove the fork.
4. Using the hacksaw, cut straight down between the tines of the fork leaving about 1/2″ to 3/4″ of each tine remaining on either side of the cut.
5. Now you are ready to assemble the cannon.
Push one end of the tube onto the fork end that has the tines still attached. You may have to slide a piece of wire, a pencil or similar object down into the tube to get it started. It should be a very tight fit. If the tube you choose is metal or plastic and has an end that is larger in diameter than the other, make sure you put that end at the fork end.
6. Fill the tube with sand (or whatever you are using for ammunition).
You want to completely fill the tube right up to, but not past, the open end. This is where your projectile (the potato) will go.
7. Press a potato into the other end of the tube and pack it in tight.
You want there to be no spaces in between the potato and the sides of the tube. You also don’t want the potato to be able to go down into the tube because there needs to be enough room for the cannon to explode without pushing the potato all the way down.
8. Now you are ready to fire your cannon!
If your cannon is a little weak and the potato does not go very far, try adding more sand. If it goes too far or starts to leak, add more tape.
When you fire your cannon, be careful! These can go quite far and they are fairly strong. You don’t want to hurt anyone including yourself. Also, even if your potato goes really far, you need to fix your cannon because you want it to go even farther!
In the next section you will learn how to make your cannon more powerful.
Build Your Own Potato Gun:
When I was a kid, my brother and I made potato cannons out of just about everything you could think of. We tried plastic tubing, we tried 1-liter pop bottles, we even tried welding a bunch of pipes together. We finally found the best design, but you can use any design to make your own potato gun.
These instructions will show you how to modify your t-tube design to make it more powerful. To do this you will need:
*T-tube (or any design your cannon is based on)
*1/2″ copper pipe 12″ long
*1/2″ end cap for the copper pipe (scavenge this from something else or get a new one)
Remove your t-tube from the pipe it is mounted on.
Make a mark 3″ from the open end of the t-tube.
Measure 1″ back from that mark and make another mark. This is where you will drill a hole for the copper pipe to go.
Use the drill to drill hole at the first mark. The diameter of the hole needs to be just big enough so that the copper pipe can easily slide in.
Slide the copper pipe into the hole. It should fit tightly and it should be just a little bit shorter than the t-tube.
Put the cap on one end of the copper pipe. This will keep the potato from flying out during firing.
Reassemble your t-tube onto the pipe and you are ready to fire!
You have made a very powerful cannon, but it’s hard to reload. If you want to make a stronger cannon that is easier to reload, you could try using 1-liter pop bottles instead. They work much like the copper pipe does, but they can be a little hard to find because not many places sell them anymore. They are usually clear plastic, so keep an eye out!
If you can’t get your hands on any 1-liter pop bottles, you can replace the t-tube with a 2-liter pop bottle and put the rubber end cap back on the bottom. The rubber acts as a stopper so nothing will come flying out during firing.
Here are some other ideas for cannons you can make yourself:
*Broom Handle Cannon – All you need for this one is a broom handle, a 2-liter pop bottle, and a sharp knife (like a hunting knife). Cut the top half of the broom handle off with the knife so that the bottom part of it fits snugly into the opening of the pop bottle. To fire, put a little bit of water in the bottom of the bottle then place a small handful of birdseed (or whatever you have that will burn) into the mouth of the bottle. Stick a long piece of dry grass into the mouth of the bottle, light it, and instantly it should burst into flames.
Place your thumb over the top of the bottle and quickly put it into the cannon. Remove your thumb and quickly place the mouth of the bottle into the open end of the cannon. It should explode with great force!
*Co2 Bomb – This is more of an experiment than a bomb, but it can be a lot of fun! All you need is a 2-liter pop bottle, some cold medicine containing Co2 (Like Mr. Bubble), and a plastic needle from an injection kit (Or anything that can poke a small hole in the 2-liter bottle). Place the medicine in the bottle and slowly poke a hole in the bottle.
The Co2 will begin to build up and after a few minutes you will have created a bomb! As soon as you poke the hole you will have only a short time before it explodes so don’t do it near anything that could potentially break.
*Coke Can Cannon – This one is fairly easy to make and requires no welding! All you need is a large can of Coke (or any other soft drink), a hollow plastic tube about 1 inch in diameter, masking tape, and a lighter. First hammer the plastic tube carefully into the mouth of the can. It should be long enough so that when it’s in place the open end of the tube is even with the bottom of the rim.
Use the masking tape to hold it firmly in place. Fill the can about 1/3 full with water. Quickly slide the plastic tube out of the can, light the open end of the tube, and quickly place it back into the can. The compressed air inside will explode out of the can with great force!
*Drain Pipe Bomb – You can make this bomb very easily if you have a few common materials around the house. You need a 3 to 4 foot section of drain pipe and a can of hairspray. Carefully place the open end of the drain pipe over the nozzle of the hairspray can and hold it in place with a couple of blocks of wood. Light the hairspray and run!
The blast will propel the pipe along the ground.
*Flaming Rocket – Take a plastic bottle (2 liter or larger works best) and fill it with a little bit of gasoline. Add a few teaspoons of fuel oil and a generous helping of engine starter (You can find this in the grocery store by the charcoal). Now add a little bit of sugar to it for fire effect (A little goes a long way so don’t go overboard). Carefully cover the top with plastic wrap (so it doesn’t explode in your face!) and poke about 5 small holes in the top with an ice pick.
Now all you have to do is light it and run!
Sources & references used in this article:
Biology and management of early dying of potatoes by ML Powelson, RC Rowe – Annual review of phytopathology, 1993 – annualreviews.org
Effects of environment of parent and grandparent generations on tuber production by potatoes by FW Went – American Journal of Botany, 1959 – Wiley Online Library
Andean potato peasants are seed bankers by A Benzing – ILEIA Newsletter, 1989 – metafro.be
The early diffusion of the potato among the Coast Salish by W Suttles – Southwestern Journal of Anthropology, 1951 – journals.uchicago.edu
Impact of defoliation by the Colorado potato beetle on potato yields by DJ Hare – Journal of Economic Entomology, 1980 – academic.oup.com
Viruses of potatoes and seed-potato production by JA de Bokx, A Beemster, RHR Lambers, J Hiddema… – 1972 – library.wur.nl
A Review of the Distribution and Biology of the Potato Cyst-Nematodes Globodera rostochiensis and G. pallida by K Evans, AR Stone – Pans, 1977 – Taylor & Francis
Effects of strip intercropping of potatoes with non‐hosts on late blight severity and tuber yield in organic production by H Bouws, MR Finckh – Plant Pathology, 2008 – Wiley Online Library