When to water the potatoes

Solanum tuberosum is the scientific name of the potato

Image – Wikimedia / Basotxerri

Potatoes are horticultural plants that need frequent watering so that their tubers can have an excellent development (and also, a delicious flavor). But as bad as the lack of water is the excess of it.

So that you can avoid having losses I will explain to you when to water the potatoes. This way I assure you that your plants will stay properly hydrated .

When are the potatoes watered?

Potatoes need a lot of water; in fact, it often represents 15% of the fixed cost of the farm. For this reason, it is very important to plan well when they will be irrigated, since this way we can improve water management while also making the final yield interesting. So that, When to water them? It will depend on the phase in which they are:

  • Planting the tubers: in this phase it will not be necessary to water them; that yes, they must be planted at the end of winter to take advantage of the humidity of the soil and the possible rains that may fall.
  • Leaf sprouting: now is when you have to start watering them, but not excessively. The soil must be kept simply moist, fresh, since the tuber contains almost all the water that the leaves need.
  • Tuber formation: in this phase is when the tubers are formed that will later be consumed. It is also when plants need more water. That is why you have to water at night to avoid evaporation, very frequently, almost every day.
  • Tuber volume growth: starts after flowering. In this phase it also needs a lot of water, in addition to organic fertilizer (guano, for example) so that the tubers acquire a good size. For this reason, it is necessary to program the drip irrigation system so that it will water them every day.
  • Final ripening: between 90 and 100 days after planting the tubers in the garden, the potatoes will be ready for harvest.

How should the irrigation be?

The potatoes have to be watered very oftenThe potatoes have to be watered very often

Image – Wikimedia / Basotxerri

Irrigation is very important so that the potatoes can have an excellent development and maturity. But beware, there is no water and that’s it, but the whole earth must be well moistened so that the roots have the vital liquid for an interesting period of time.

So, taking this into account, you can water using a hose, a watering can or preferably a drip irrigation system, but to save as much water as possible we advise you to keep the following in mind:

Hose irrigation

Watering the plants with a hose is fast and comfortable, but the water comes out with a lot of power and that is why in order to avoid considerable water losses it is highly advisable to make irrigation ditches about 20 centimeters deep by about the same width parallel to where the potatoes were planted. In this way, irrigation will be really useful.

Irrigation with watering can

Watering potatoes with a watering can can be interesting if there are not many planted and if the site does not have electricity or a generator. But, just like using a hose, a ditch must be made parallel to where the potatoes are; although if you wish, instead of that you can make a tree grate around each potato and pour water over it.

Drip irrigation

Watering the potatoes with a drip irrigation system is the best option, especially when the climate is very hot and dry and the land tends to erode or is vulnerable to erosion. Now, if you want it automated, you will need electricity, or at least a generator, in the solar; but if you want it homemade with a few plastic bottles and a little ingenuity you will get it (for more information, click here).

What are the basic care of the potato plant?

To finish, we are going to tell you how to take care of your potato plants:

  • Location: they need to be outside, in full sun.
  • Earth: they grow in soils rich in organic matter, with a good capacity to absorb and filter water.
  • Irrigation: it will depend on the phase in which they are as we have commented above. Once its leaves sprout, you have to water 2-3 times a week or more if the weather is hot and dry, or a little less if it is cooler and / or rainy.
  • Subscriber: it is advisable to pay them throughout the season with fertilizers of organic origin. Compost, mulch, manure, among others, are very interesting for them to grow healthy.
  • Distance between potatoes: they must be planted at a distance of at least 30-40 centimeters.
  • Harvest: at about 4-5 months, when the flowers start to appear, the potatoes will be ready.

We hope you get a good production.

When to water the potatoes

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