They are known by many names: Solanum tuberosum , potatoes or potatoes are the most common of them in our language. However, what they are immediately recognized around the world regardless of language, is because of their taste.
Since the worldwide expansion of the potato as a culinary ingredient back in the 18th century, very few kitchens and palates have not been delighted with the flavor of this tuber in many different ways. If you want to grow your own potatoes at home to enjoy an ecological product that you have seen grow, join us in this article where we are going to see how to plant potatoes step by step .
When to sow potatoes or potatoes – the best time
Potato sowing tends to be done more or less universally at the beginning of spring , around March or April. However, it is highly dependent on the weather. Areas with mild winters and no frosts can allow us to sow them at the end of winter, thus bringing the harvest earlier. Similarly, there are those who sow them in late summer .
How to sow potatoes or potatoes – steps to plant
Sowing potatoes is very simple, since what we will use will be the potatoes themselves, that is, the tuber of the plant. Let’s see the process on how to sow potatoes or potatoes step by step :
- Prepare the soil: potatoes need soils with good drainage, so avoid using soils that get waterlogged. If you have a large pot, you can also use it for your potatoes, but remember that tubers need a good amount of space underground to grow. Many farmers and hobbyists advise enriching the soil with manure on the same day as sowing.
- Prepare the potatoes for sowing: you can use normal potatoes, although if you buy them for sowing you will get better results. Once you have the potatoes ready, cut each one into 2 or 3 pieces depending on its size. In this way you will optimize production, obtaining several plants for each potato. You can cut them a few days before planting them so that the cuts close, and it is advisable to allow the shoots to develop a little before planting them.
- Bury the split potatoes: do it about 20 or 25 cm deep, leaving a distance of 35 cm between each one on the line. If you are using planters, leave only one piece for each one, as when it develops it will take up completely unless it is really large. If you are gardening and using several rows or rows, leave about 70 cm between them.
How to grow potatoes or potatoes – basic care
Now that you know when and how to sow potatoes or potatoes , we give you a series of basic care to grow potatoes or potatoes at home or in a plot of land or garden.
- One of the main enemies of potatoes are adventitious grasses, commonly called weeds, which are those that appear spontaneously and unwantedly around our plants. It is important that you keep the soil of your potatoes clean of these herbs, especially during the first 6 or 8 weeks.
- Potatoes also appreciate the presence of potassium in the soil , which can be added in the form of granular fertilizer, or by burying basil or elderberry leaves in the ground.
- Regarding irrigation, the potato needs humidity but not waterlogging. You want to water enough so as not to let the soil become excessively dry. For this, drip irrigation is a very good option.
- In addition, potato cultivation requires hilling. This consists of covering the base of the plant with soil as the tubers begin to grow, thus preventing them from being exposed on the surface. If not done, the potatoes will turn green, becoming toxic for consumption.
- As a final detail, it is good to point out that the potato is a crop that extracts a large amount of nutrients from the soil, so, although it is never advisable to sow the same plant two seasons in a row in the same soil, with this crop it is particularly not recommended. repeat their sowing in the same land.
When to harvest potatoes
After knowing when and how to plant potatoes , as well as discovering some tips about growing them, all you have to do is learn when to harvest them. The harvest time of potatoes varies depending on the variety of potatoes planted and the climate of the area. However, these edible tubers should be ready for harvest between 2 and 5 months after planting .
Another point to keep in mind is that, normally, you will know that it is time to harvest them when the stems of the plant begin to dry out and turn yellowish.