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If you’re like most homeowners, you’re always looking for ways to save money on groceries. Well, did you know that one of the cheapest vegetables you can grow is potatoes?
But how long do potatoes take to grow? Here’s a guide on growing potatoes so you can start enjoying homegrown vegetables this season.
The Benefits of Growing Potatoes
Many homeowners have started to grow potatoes because of their immense benefits. Below are some of them:
Less Pesticide Residue
Potatoes are a great way to avoid pesticides and herbicides common in conventionally grown produce. For example, a study found that potatoes contain 25% less pesticide residue than other vegetables like carrots or tomatoes.
Potatoes are a nutritious, versatile vegetable that can be used in soups, salads and everything in between. They are more flavourful than store-bought ones.
Did you know that one of the most cost-efficient vegetables you can grow is potatoes?
Potatoes can be quickly grown at home and in your backyard. Their production cost is low, making them less expensive than the ones sold by farmers or supermarkets.
Potatoes are an excellent source of potassium, dietary fibre, and vitamin C, which make them a popular vegetable crop for home gardeners.
Thus, if you’re looking for an easy way to save money on groceries and eat healthier food, growing your potatoes is a great option!
Ways to Plant Potatoes
How do you grow potatoes? You can plant them in trenches, hills or containers. The method you choose depends on the amount of space available in your garden.
If you have a lot of space, trench planting is a good option. Trench planting involves digging a long, shallow trench and then placing the potatoes in the ground, with the sprouts facing up.
Container planting is a good option for people who don’t have any space in their garden.
To plant potatoes in containers, fill up your pots with potting mix and place a few potato eyes on top of the soil. Cover the potato eyes with more soil and then water them well. The potatoes should start growing in about two weeks.
Cover the potatoes with soil and then water them well. Make sure to keep the soil moist until the potato plants grow.
If you’re short of backyard space, then hill planting may be a better option. Mound soil around the plants so they’re surrounded by soil on all sides. When the potatoes start growing, add more soil around them until they’re covered completely.
When to Plant Potatoes
The best time of year to plant seed potatoes is in spring, when the weather starts warming up and staying warm consistently above freezing temperatures around 40 degrees Fahrenheit.
You can also plant them as early as possible if there are no signs of frost in your area yet. However, you can also grow them in late summer or early fall in warm climates.
However, keep in mind that planting times may vary depending on the potato varieties you’re growing. It’s essential to do your research so they’ll produce a good crop.
How to Grow Potato Plants in Containers
If you want to grow potatoes in containers, this guide will help you get started. Follow the step-by-step instructions below.
Step 1: Prepare Your Planting Materials
You will need the following:
- Potting mix
- Containers (pots, buckets, etc.)
- Potato eyes
- A trowel or shovel
Step 2: Fill Your Containers With Potting Mix
Fill up your pots with potting mix, and then place a few potato eyes on the soil.
Step 3: Cover the Potato Eyyes
Cover the potato eyes with more soil and then water them well. The potatoes should start growing in about two weeks, depending on how warm it is outside.
Step 4: Check for Green Shoots
Once you see green shoots emerging from under the soil, it means new potatoes are growing. Add more soil around the shoots, so they’re entirely covered by soil.
Step 5: Keep the Soil Moist
Ensure that the soil remains moist until new potatoes form and are ready to harvest. Container-grown potatoes usually take about two months to mature.
Now that we have provided you with a potato planting guide make sure to add the vegetable to your container garden this year!
When and How to Harvest Your Own Potatoes
You can harvest potatoes as soon as they have the desired size and taste, usually four to six weeks after planting. If you want to wait longer than that, it’s fine too! The main thing is not letting them rot or get eaten by pests.
Be careful not to damage the tubers during potato harvest time. Only harvest what you need then and leave the rest of the crop to mature.
Dig around the plant carefully with a spade and try not to damage the tubers. Then, twist off the foliage carefully.
Storing Potatoes Properly
Once you’ve harvested your potatoes, the next step is to store them properly. Potatoes have to be stored in a well-ventilated, cool, and dark place for long-term storage.
An excellent way to store potatoes is in a paper or mesh bag in the refrigerator. If you have too many to place in a bag, you can also store them in a cardboard box, egg cartons, or a plastic container.
Just make sure the potatoes are well-covered and that there is no moisture present, as this will cause them to spoil.
Things to Remember When Planting Potatoes
Below are several important things to keep in mind when growing your own potatoes.
What Type of Soil Is Best for Growing Potatoes?
Potatoes are versatile vegetables that grow well in different soil types. The soil type you use will determine how well the plant grows and produces.
If you’ve decided to grow the potatoes in a container or raised bed, it’s best to choose sandy loam soil as this is easy to work and nutrient-rich. It also has good drainage properties that help prevent waterlogging during heavy rainfall.
If your garden doesn’t have sandy loam soil, you can create a potato bed by adding well-rotted organic matter or aged manure to your soil. When added to soil, organic matter helps improve the structure and fertility of the soil while also helping to control pests and diseases.
How Much Water and Sunlight Do Potatoes Need?
Potatoes need at least 1 inch of water per week, so make sure to water them regularly. If the soil is dry, the potato plant will stop growing and die.
Additionally, it needs at least six hours of direct sunlight per day to produce good yields. If you can’t provide this amount of sunlight, consider growing your potatoes in a container so you can move them to a sunny location when needed.
What Are the Challenges People Have When Trying to Grow Potatoes?
One of the common challenges people have when trying to grow potatoes is getting the right type of soil and providing plants with enough water and sunlight.
Potatoes also need to be harvested correctly to not get damaged.
A Few Tips for Growing Potatoes Successfully
Here are a few tips for growing potatoes successfully:
- Make sure to plant your potatoes in well-drained soil rich in organic matter.
- Water your potatoes regularly, and don’t let the soil dry out completely.
- Fertilize your potato patch every few weeks with a high nitrogen fertilizer such as ammonium nitrate or urea during active growth periods to promote strong root development and increased yields at harvest time.
- Harvesting potatoes too early can affect their flavour, texture, nutritional value, and yield potential. Make sure to wait until the potatoes have flowered before harvesting them, so they are fully mature and ready for consumption!
- Keep your garden free from weeds by hoeing or hand pulling as needed throughout the growing season.
Frequently Asked Questions
How Do I Know When My Potatoes Are Ready to Harvest?
Potatoes are ready to harvest when the foliage dies back, and the potatoes have reached their mature size. You can also check for maturity by gently tugging on a potato vine; if the potato is attached to the vine, it’s not ready to harvest.
Do I Need to Dig Up My Potatoes?
No, you don’t need to dig up your potatoes. The best way to harvest them is by gently tugging on the vines until the potatoes come loose. If you do need to dig them up, make sure you don’t damage the tubers.
What Month Do You Plant Potatoes?
Potatoes can be planted in spring (late April to early May) or in fall (early September to late October).
What Type of Soil Do Potatoes Grow Best In?
Potatoes grow best in loose, sandy loam soils that are well-drained and have a pH of about six.
How Many Potatoes Will One Plant Produce?
One potato plant will typically produce about ten to twelve potatoes.
How Long Do Potatoes Take to Grow?
It takes about 90 days from planting until harvest time. The exact length of the growing period will depend on the variety you choose and where it is located in your garden space. The plants will take a little longer to mature in cool weather than in areas with a warmer climate.
What Are Seed Potatoes?
A seed potato is a small piece of potato that has been cut up and planted in the ground. These small potatoes are called “seeds” because they contain tiny sprouts on each piece.
These will grow into new plants when you plant them out in your garden space! You can buy seed potatoes from many suppliers or even online.
How Long Does It Take for Potatoes to Sprout?
Seed potatoes will start to sprout within a few days of being planted. The length of time it takes for the potatoes to reach maturity will depend on the variety you choose and the climate you live in.
What Is the Best Way to Store Potatoes?
Potatoes should be kept in a well-ventilated and cool place where they will not freeze. You can also store them in a root cellar or an unheated garage. Make sure to keep them dry and free from pests.
How Long Do Potatoes Last?
If the growing conditions are right, your potato plants will continue to grow until they die back in late autumn or early winter. You should harvest them before then.
Enjoy Homegrown Potatoes!
Growing your vegetables is an easy and fun project for novice gardeners. And now that you know the answer to “How long do potatoes take to grow?” and other questions related to growing potato plants, you can start growing the nutritious spuds in your backyard!
Please share this guide with your friends and family on social media if you found this guide helpful! And be sure to check out our other articles for more information about growing healthy plants.