You can grow potatoes in almost any part of the world. You just need a sunny window, fertile soil, and the right amount of sunlight. But growing your own potatoes is a lot more difficult than it sounds. You need to know how to grow potato plants, where this guide comes in.
Potato is a cold season crop and requires friable, well-drained, and clay loam soils. It is vegetatively propagated from tubers, planted in-furrow, and ridges. In this post, we describe how to grow potato plants. You will learn how to plant, grow and harvest potatoes. We show you how to grow potato plants using a simple method.
How to Grow Potato Plants?
Potato plants are really easy to grow. Potatoes can be grown in any kind of soil, but a potting mix is a great option. You can buy the potting mix or you can even make your own. Potatoes thrive in cool temperatures and plenty of sunlight. The warmer the temperature and less sunlight the faster the plants will grow. When growing potatoes it’s best to keep them in a sunny area where the plants can get enough light and the temperature is around 70 degrees Fahrenheit.
Propagation method of Potatoes
Potatoes can be propagated with different methods most appropriate method is through small tubers or pieces of tubers. You can cut the tubers into several parts and can grow them to make a new plant.
During propagation, potatoes have some kind of outgrowth known as ‘Eye’ or nodes usually called sprouts. Propagation can be done through sexual seeds.
Potatoes are easy to grow from seeds. Potatoes come from the underground tubers. When the potatoes are planted, they need a lot of space. plant the seeds 15 cm deep in the soil. Moreover, it’s best to plant them 45cm apart and the space should be 60 cm between the rows inches. The potato plants will grow fast and if you fertilize your plants regularly, the roots will fill up in about 3 to 4 weeks.
Also read the articles How to Grow Tomato Plant?
Varieties of Potatoes
- King Edward
- Cornish kings
- Red gold
How to care for potato Plants?
Potato plants need a lot of love to thrive. There are several steps that you must take to properly care for your plants. First, you must ensure that the plant’s soil has all of its nutrients and that it’s not too wet. This can be achieved by planting the seedlings in pots and keeping the soil slightly moist. You should not add fertilizer until you see signs of growth. Once the plant has matured, it will need water at least once a week. It’s important to ensure that the soil is evenly moist around the roots, not just on top of the root system.
Potato plants need cool and low temperatures for propagation. The temperature for tuber germination is 25℃, for vegetative growth 20℃, and 17-19℃ for growth of tuber. Rainfall requirement should be 12-200 cm annually, and the pH range should be 5.5.-7.5. Bright sunny days are required because it’s a cool-season crop. The tuber formation stopped if the temperature reaches >30.
Soil should be well-drained, porous, sandy loam to clay loam with a proper drainage system. Moreover, plough the land with a cultivar for pulverizing the soil.
Irrigation should be done straight away after propagating the plant in the pot or infield. Don’t overwater the crop; water your plant at 7-10 days intervals. In the Kharif season, no irrigation is needed. However, if irregular rains happened, then 1-2 irrigation is given.
While preparing the fields for the Potato crop, ensure that no low spots will remain where water is collected.
Fertilizer for growth
Fertilizer for potato plant is necessary, so you should put 2 weeks after planting nitrogen- phosphorous and potassium in equal quantity 15-15-15 at the same time. Organic fertilizer during the growing season after they plant seed using a mixture of cottonseed meal, bone meal, and green sand can increase NPK contents in the soil.
Diseases and pests
- Late Blight of Potatoes
- Early Blight of Potatoes
- Fusarium Wilt
- Common Scab
- Stem Canker
- Potato Leaf Roll
- Potato Tuber moth
To prevent your crop from these diseases and pests, you have to do crop rotation and good hygiene. Clean the soil and land before planting and harvesting to avoid any harm, and keep the soil humid but not damp.
It depends on when the tops of vines are dead, and leaves should turn brown from green is a sign that the crop is fully matured. Potatoes are harvested by using a spade, potato diggers, and country plow.
After harvesting potatoes, put them in temperature ranges from 45 to 60 ℉ for about two weeks. Post-harvesting care hardens the skin and minor injuries to seal.
When the potato tubers are exposed to direct sunlight, they turn green in color, poisonous and unfit for consumption. So it’s called ‘Greening.’
How to grow a potato plant? step by step
- Take the large-sized pot, which should be clean, disease-free, and sterilized to avoid any insect attack.
- Put the well-drained, fertile, and clay soil with organic matter less than 1.5.
- Select the variety according to your weather conditions, the best place to put your pot.
- Now take the pieces of potato with nodes (outgrowth) eye formed.
- Put the potato inside the soil, cover it with 15cm of garden compost, and then water them well.
- Don’t overwater the plant. Keep it moist, not soggy to prevent diseases or insects.
- The plant needs one-two irrigation a week for proper growth and development.
- Fertilize (NPK) your crop two weeks after planting and continue every four weeks, 2 weeks before harvesting, and stop fertilizing the crop.
- Organic fertilizer (bone meal and cottonseed) is also good the potato crop needs NPK in equal amounts.
- Earthing up of soil is necessary after the interval.
- Two weddings are done, one just before earthing up, the other after 50-60 days of planting.
- Transplant in ridges or furrows in your garden when the plant reaches a proper level of growth.
- Harvest the potato with a spade; first, check the color of the vine turns brown or yellow from green.
- Harvest with care to avoid any bruises and cuts.
Potato can propagate through seeds. However, we need certified seeds, proper growing conditions, and proper fertilizers to keep them away from all diseases and insect pests attacks. So for that, vegetative propagation is much better than growing in your garden with little effort and adequate care.
Nutritional Value of Potato
Nutrients in potatoes vary depending on the variety and cooking; these are a good source of fiber, antioxidants, potassium, vitamin C, B1, B3, B6, and carbohydrates. Potato also contains vitamin C, which can promote iron absorption. Moreover, it also has phosphorous, manganese, and folate. The fiber content helps us to control cholesterol, and blood sugar levels and lose weight by keeping us filled longer. Moreover, the skin of potatoes comprises natural chemicals which eat in enormous amounts. Antioxidants in potatoes overwhelm the development of liver and colon cancer cells. Colored potatoes (purple) have three to four times more antioxidants than white.
Flavor of Potatoes
The potato’s flavor depends on the variety you grow or eat, like white potatoes subtly sweet mild taste with low sugar content. Usually, white potatoes are starchy, creamy, and long shaped, and you can enjoy them boiled and steamed.
Potatoes considered our staple crop, cash crop, and animal feed in Asian countries in Pakistan, India, and, European countries. People in European countries consume potato crops in fried and steamed form. Still, Asian people grow potatoes to fulfill their daily needs. It is a good source of all nutrients like carbohydrates, protein, minerals, vitamins, etc., that our body wants. The most important thing is growing it in your garden is organic, and you can harvest it whenever you desire. Fresh potato for cooking is best for your health and well-being. During Covid-19 lockdowns, it’s hard to buy vegetables from outside. So, grow your vegetables and enjoy fries or steamed potatoes that are delicious.