Potatoes are some of the most effective crops for home gardens. For each pound of seed potatoes you plant, assume to reap 3 to 5 pounds of spuds in return. That’s an excellent investment! Plus, with the lengthy storage life of potatoes and the myriad of methods you could put together, they’re a must grow crop for plenty of gardeners. And, to sweeten the deal even extra, potatoes are an easy crop for newbie gardeners to grow. Each potato growing journey begins with seed potatoes. In this article, we’ll examine what seed potatoes are, the way to plant seed potatoes, and how to grow them correctly – irrespective of how much, or how little, area you need to grow.
What are seed potatoes?
Seed potatoes aren’t genuinely seeds in any respect. Rather, they’re actually potato tubers which can be used for planting. Most often, they’re stored from last year’s harvest and stored over the wintry weather under exacting situations to maintain them firm and sickness free. Instead of saving a number of your harvest for replanting the subsequent year, I suggest shopping for new certified seed potatoes at the start of every growing season. Potatoes are susceptible to many illnesses (bacterial, viral, and fungal) that may effortlessly be brought to the garden when planting your very own saved tubers. Planting and shopping authentic seed potatoes is the only manner to make sure of a “smooth” crop. Certified seed potatoes are assured to be freed from disorder, and that they have not been handled with the anti sprouting chemical compounds regularly used on grocery store potatoes.
Why cut seed potatoes for planting?
New potato vegetation sprouts from the buds (referred to as eyes) at the surface of potatoes. The eyes seem as dimples inside the potato’s pores and skin. You’ve likely had a potato sprout new boom in case you’ve left it inside the pantry too long. Every eye can grow into an entire new plant. Due to this, seed potatoes are usually not planted completely. Rather, they’re split into pieces prior to planting to yield extra plants from every seed potato.
Cut seed potatoes into pieces which are about the dimensions of a golf ball. Every piece need to include as a minimum 2 eyes. You could force a seed potato to sprout previous to slicing it up through setting it in a nicely lit area at room temperature for some days (simply not in direct sunlight). Or you could cut the seed potato first, after which allow the sprouts expand under the ground. That is my desired technique as it is a lot less difficult planting unsprouted seed potatoes than one which grows fragile new sprouts which are smooth to interrupt off throughout the planting method.
A way to cut seed potatoes for planting
The usage of a smooth knife, cut the seed potatoes into portions 3 days earlier than you intend to plant them. Whether or not they have sprouted, allow the seed potatoes to sit at room temperature in a single layer so their cut tissue can call us over. This prevents soil borne illnesses from getting into the seed potatoes while they’re planted.
One pound of seed potatoes yields about eight to ten seed pieces for planting. That’s sufficient for a ten foot long row if the pieces are spaced 12 inches apart. While first identifying the way to plant seed potatoes, I decided that spacing a bit nearer works too. I space my seed potato pieces approximately 10 inches aside while planting.
Where to plant seed potatoes
There are 3 major methods you could plant seed potatoes. They can be planted without delay into the ground (or in a raised bed); they can be planted in bins; and that they can be planted beneath straw. Regardless of which seed potato planting technique you pick, choose a site that receives as a minimum 6 hours of complete sun per day. Allow me to walk you through every of those 3 techniques so that you can decide a way to plant seed potatoes in your very own garden.
The way to plant seed potatoes inside the ground
In case you want to realize how to plant seed potatoes inside the ground, step one is to take note of the depth and spacing of your seed potato portions. While planting potatoes within the ground, dig a trench to plant numerous of them in a row 10 to 12 inches aside. The hole or trench needs to be four to five inches deep. In case you plan to plant more than one row, space the rows 18 to 24 inches aside.
Irrespective of whether you plant in rows or holes, while growing seed potatoes inside the ground you’re going to need to hill your potato plants two or three instances through the growing season. The deeper potatoes are grown, the extra region there’s for production. However, too deeply planting potatoes can cause them to rot. And makes harvesting a lot difficult at the end of the growing season as the potatoes are buried very deep.
In place of to begin with planting potatoes deeply, gardeners conquer this task by mounding soil up across the plants as they grow. This method is referred to as hilling. Essentially, each 3 to 4 weeks, use a hoe or shovel to pile close by soil up in opposition to the stems, overlaying the plant life so only a few leaves stick out the top. Don’t worry about burying them too deeply; as long as a number of the plant is seen, it’s going to keep growing.
Hilled in ground potatoes gives big yields. Plus, the growing tubers are stored inside the dark, which maintains them from turning green (and probably making you unwell. Extra on how and why that occurs here.).
The way to planting seed potatoes within grow bags and pots
You could additionally be questioning a way to plant seed in boxes. This second technique of spuds growing is excellent for people with constrained areas or no in ground garden. It’s easy to do, and even though the yields are often smaller compared to seed potatoes within the ground, it’s the right alternative for everybody who’s trying to keep labor, too.
To plant seed potatoes in a container, start by sourcing the proper type of container. In terms of growing potatoes in pots, the larger the better. Every piece of seed potato desires as a minimum 2.5 – 3 gallons of potting soil to grow right into a full sized plant. Which means in case you use a container around the scale of a five gallon utility bucket, you could plant 2 seed potato pieces inside. Large pots can host even extra seed pieces. Make certain the container has drainage holes in it and use a high excellent potting soil combined 50/50 with compost. The overall soil mix discovered in our diy soil potting tips post is a superb preference. You could additionally buy potting soil bagged and bagged compost and blend the 2 collectively.
While considering the way to plant seed potatoes in containers, you have to additionally keep in mind using fabric grow bags for the process. These light-weight containers drain effortlessly, are cheaper, and maintain plant roots from circling within the pots. A few manufacturers even have designs with flaps that open at the side of the grow bag to make potato harvesting a snap.
Simply as you hill potatoes inside the lawn to make sure there’s most area for tuber production, you have to additionally carry out a comparable project while developing seed potatoes in pots. At planting time, only fill the container with soil blend one third of the way. Nestle your seed potato portions into the soil and cowl them up. As they sprout and develop, progressively add extra soil mix to the container each week or two till the pot is stuffed to an inch of top rim. Later prevent adding more soil and maintaining the container properly watered because the plant life keeps growing.
The way to plant seed potatoes in straw
This is a superb and easy manner to get plenty of spuds. In case you’re thinking how to plant seed potatoes in a manner that makes them easy to reap and keeps the spuds smooth, then growing in straw is the way to go.
To plant in straw, use raised bed for in the inground garden planting. And, nestle every seed potato into the soil through no greater than an inch or so. A few people who plant seed potatoes in straw don’t bury them in any respect; they actually toss the portions on top of the soil. As soon as the seed potato portions are positioned, cover them with 5 or 6 inches of unfastened straw. Because the plants develop, add greater straw to the top, covering all however the very top leaves of the plant, till the bed has 8 to 10 inches of straw. Although the layer of straw serves as a superb mulch, maintain the bed properly watered through the growing season.
While the mature potato vines die at the end of the growing season, wait two weeks then peel again the straw and acquire the potatoes. Easy cheesy! In case you’re determining seed potato planting, straw planting is a superb alternative.
Which technique is suitable for you?
Now that you realize the way to plant seed potatoes within the ground, in containers, or in straw, it’s smooth to see which technique is excellent in your space. Irrespective of which method you select, a potato harvest is proper across the corner.
Not certain while your potatoes are ready for harvest? This homegrown fingerling potato harvest is prepared for cooking or storage.