GROWING POTATOES IN YOUR kitchen garden
Potatoes are a year-round staple for several families around the world. Potatoes are available over 100 varietals altogether sorts of sizes, shapes, colors, and flavors. there’s a potato to suit almost everyone’s taste. The edible a part of a potato, the tuber, grows underground and maybe a part of the stem system. The leaves, stems, and flowers that grow above ground can’t be eaten. Potatoes are a cool-season crop and varieties are often planted that you simply can enjoy nearly all season long.
SOIL CONDITIONS FOR GROWING POTATOES
Potatoes aren’t as finicky as many vegetables when it involves soil conditions, but they are doing best in well-drained, fertile soil. Compact soil is often especially problematic for potatoes. The soil pH level should be 5.0 to 5.5 for the simplest crop production. don’t add large amounts of organic interest the soil because it may contribute to potato scab, a disease that regularly infects potatoes. As a cool-season vegetable, potatoes can tolerate a couple of light touches of frost and truly need cooler soil temperatures (between 60-to 70 degrees) to properly mature and form tubers. If the soil temperatures rise to over 80 degrees, you’ll probably see little, if any, tuber formation.
HOW TO PLANT POTATOES
Potatoes are going to be one among the primary vegetables you’ll plant within the spring. Potatoes aren’t started from seed or seedlings but from cut pieces of seed potatoes. don’t use potatoes from the grocery because these have usually been sprayed to inhibit eye growth. Additionally, don’t use potatoes from an earlier crop, as they’ll contain unknown diseases that would infect your new crop.
You should buy certified seed potatoes that are found in garden centers or nurseries. If the potato is whole and enormous, cut it into approximately 2-inch pieces; each bit must have a minimum of one eye. After cutting, you would like to let the pieces sit for a few days during a cool, humid location. this may give the potato time to heal or form a scab over it, which protects it from rotting when planted within the ground. If you purchase small seed potatoes, you are doing not got to cut them before planting. When preparing to plant your potatoes use a spade to hoe a little trench, or furrow, about 4 inches deep and as long as your space allows. you’ll add an all-purpose fertilizer into the soil before planting.
Place one potato piece at rock bottom of the ditch with the attention facing upward. the attention will sprout and become the plant. Spacing should be about 10-12 inches apart. Rows should be between 2 to three feet aside from one another.
HOW TO lookout OF POTATO PLANTS
Potatoes had best in consistently moist (not wet) soil. they ought to receive about an in. to an in. and half of water per week. If they are doing not receive adequate moisture from rainfall, you’ll got to hand water them. After your potato plants start to grow, you’ll add some soil, mulch, or straw around the base of the plant to make a hill. this may encourage new tuber growth and may help to stop green potatoes.
Potato leafhoppers are wedge-shaped, 1/8-inch long, green, active insects. They use their piercing-sucking mouthparts to get rid of sap from the potato leaf. These small insects fly readily.
Because of their small size and habit of feeding on the underside of the leaf, they’re easily overlooked. The symptom of leafhopper activity is more apparent – a triangular brown spot at the tip of the leaf. Similar triangles may appear at the top of every lateral veinlet or the whole margin may roll upward as if scorched. These symptoms are referred to as “hopper burn”. Other conditions may produce similar symptoms. Check the underside of leaves for the small leafhoppers to verify that they’re the explanation for the matter [1,1].
An insecticide may have to be used for these pests.
Flea beetles are small usually black beetles that are often difficult to identify thanks to their size and their inclination to quickly jump away when disturbed. These pests chew holes through the leaves of plants. When present in large numbers they will cause the plant leaves to wilt and decreased crop production.
HARVESTING AND STORAGE OF POTATOES
Traditionally, potatoes are harvested within the fall or about 90-120 days after planting. An outward sign that your potatoes are able to harvest is when the whole above-ground plant is brown and dried out; it’ll appear as if it’s dead. If you’re unsure if the potatoes are ready for harvesting, you’ll check one plant by exhumation the tubers with a pitchfork to ascertain if they’re mature.
When you are harvesting your potatoes, take care to not pierce the potatoes with the fork; these damaged potatoes won’t keep (you can eat them for dinner that night!) Using either a pitchfork or a shovel is that the easiest method to collect the potatoes.
Potatoes are often stored throughout the winter months if kept during a very cool (30s or 40s), humid and dark place.