Potatoes are some of the most rewarding plants to grow in your vegetable garden. They are filling, rich in vitamins, minerals, and oxidants, and are a delicious crowd-pleaser on any dinner table. Provide them with full sun, loose soil, compost, and regular watering, and they will produce a large crop that will last you throughout winter.
There are as many ways to grow potatoes as ways to cook them. These vegetables have been cultivated for over 10,000 years, and farmers and gardeners have always looked for ways to make growing them easier.
Usually, potatoes kept in storage will sprout on their own. But you can encourage them to sprout indoors — a process known as chitting — 2 to 3 weeks before the last frost. Some gardeners recommend cutting larger potatoes in halves or quarters before planting them. Others recommend leaving them whole to avoid the risk of rot. If you want to cut your potatoes, do so 3 to 5 days before planting to give the “wound” plenty of time to callus over.
Potatoes grow best in a well-draining, nutrient-rich, sandy, slightly acidic soil. They need plenty of organic matter to thrive and benefit from a generous application of compost before planting. Prepare the soil in the fall, the year before you plan to grow your potatoes. Dig it to a depth of at least one foot, and incorporate plenty of manure, compost, grass clippings, leaf mold, and other green plant matter left over after harvesting your other vegetables. Read the website article for complete details
Hilling potatoes or covering them with soil as they grow is necessary. Potato tubers grow from small stems called stolons, which emerge from the part of the main stem that’s underground. The more you earth up your plant, the more potatoes you will have. If you skip this step, your plants will grow many stems, leaves, and flowers and produce a very small tuber harvest. Read the website article for complete details
How long will it take for potatoes to develop? Small new potatoes are ready as early as ten weeks. However, larger potatoes can take between 80 and 100 days to mature. Read the website article for complete details