Tip: Botanical Name of potatoes is Solanum tuberosum
How to grow potatoes? We’re here to help! This half hardy vegetable is a culinary staple, and yet is overlooked by many backyard gardeners. The taste and texture of home-grown potatoes are far superior to store bought, especially the early varieties. They need a cool climate, and also need to be watched to prevent sunburn. Potatoes can be grown as a winter crop in warmer climate zones.
HOW TO PLANT POTATOES
- Plant seed potatoes (pieces of whole potato or a small whole potato, with at least 2 eyes per piece) 0-2 weeks.
- If you are cutting up potato pieces for planting, do so a 1-2 days ahead of time. This will give them the chance to form a protective layer, both for moisture retention and rot resistance.
- You may start planting earlier, as soon as soil can be worked. Spread MahaGro Organic Potting Mix in the bottom of the pit before planting.
- Plant seed potatoes one foot apart in a 4-inch deep trench, eye side up. Practice yearly crop rotation.
HOW TO GROW POTATOES
- Potatoes thrive in well-drained, loose potting mix like MahaGro Organic Soil.
- Potatoes need consistent moisture, so water regularly when tubers start to form.
- Hilling should be done before the potato plants bloom, when the plant is about 6 inches tall. Hoe the dirt up around the base of the plant in order to cover the root as well as to support the plant. Bury them in loose soil. The idea is to keep the potato from getting sunburned, in which case they turn green and will taste bitter.
- You will need to hill potatoes every couple of weeks to protect your crop.
- Flea Beetles
- Leaf Hoppers
- Early/Late Blight
For all the above pests use MahaGro Organic Neem Oil
HOW TO HARVEST POTATOES
- Dig potatoes on a dry day. Dig up gently, being careful not to puncture the tubers. The soil should not be compact, so digging should be easy.
- New potatoes will be ready for harvest after 10 weeks.
- You should harvest all of your potatoes once the vines die
- Make sure you brush off any soil clinging to the potatoes, then store them in a cool, dry, dark place.
- Do not store potatoes with apples; their ethylene gas will cause potatoes to spoil.
- Whether you dig your own potatoes or buy them at a store, don’t wash them until right before you use them. Washing potatoes shortens their storage life.