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Whether you want to plant a big crop of spuds or just a few in a container, these tips and tricks will help you raise a healthy potato harvest. You name it, a potato can do it: Mashed , fried , baked , boiled , hashed and more. So it should come as no surprise that it's just as easy to skip the produce section and start growing potatoes in your own yard. All you need is a sunny space to grow them , a steady supply of water, and seed potatoes the sprouted portion of a potato that you plant in the ground. So, yes, it's true: you can grow potatoes from potatoes! Take your pick from russet, Yukon, fingerling, and more varieties , and get your potato patch started so you can enjoy all their starchy goodness fresh from your garden.
WATCH RELATED VIDEO: How to Grow POTATOES in a 5 GALLON BUCKET!Content:
- Growing Potatoes: This Spud’s for You!
- Potato Growing Guide
- Frequently Asked Questions About Growing Potatoes
- Growing potatoes
- How to Grow Potatoes in Containers
- The Ultimate Potato Growing Guide
- How to Grow Potatoes From Store Bought Potatoes
- Growing Potatoes in South Carolina
- Growing Potatoes – It’s Hard to Mess Up
- How to Grow Potatoes
Growing Potatoes: This Spud’s for You!
Prepared by Steven B. Johnson, Ph. For information about UMaine Extension programs and resources, visit extension. Find more of our publications and books at extension. Potatoes and Maine have a long tradition together. Potatoes have always been a popular crop in home gardens, especially since they can be stored for use during the long Maine winter.
Potatoes can be grown in all parts of Maine in home gardens, but they need more attention and care than most vegetables. Potatoes do best in fertile, well-drained soils. However, potatoes will grow in many types of soils. Soils that are poorly drained tend to produce poorly shaped potatoes and tuber rot. Potatoes can be planted earlier on lighter, better-drained soils as these soils dry out and warm up earlier. These soils respond well to irrigation. The measure of soil acidity is the pH.
Soils with pH levels at 7. Soil with a pH lower than 7. Maine has many acid soils. Potatoes do well across a wide range of pH, but prefer slightly acidic soils; a soil pH of 5. If your soil is more acidic than this, mixing in wood ash will help raise the pH and make your soil more alkaline. However, higher soil pH levels are more conducive to scab, a potato disease caused by a soil-borne pathogen.
Lime will also raise the pH of soil. A soil test will tell you how much lime to add. The lime needs to be mixed into the soil. This is best done in the fall, but can also be done in the spring before planting. Potatoes are traditionally grown from seed pieces. Do not use potatoes purchased at the grocery store for seed pieces. They are probably treated to not sprout. Buy certified seed from a reputable seed seller.
Buying certified seed pieces assures varietal purity and a low level of diseases. Most gardeners plant the whole seed, tubers that are less than two inches in diameter and planted whole. If larger seed is used, cut it into smaller pieces. The fewer cut surfaces the better. Less energy will be used to heal the cut surfaces, making more energy available for growth. All cut surfaces should be smooth. Any jagged or torn surfaces will invite seed-piece rot.
Seed can be freshly cut and planted into soil. If the seed is cut well before planting, store it at 50 to 55 degrees F and over 90 percent humidity. This will help the cut surfaces to heal. The healed seed pieces can then be held at low temperatures until planting. Store seed at 38 degrees F, and keep cool up to two weeks before planting. Warm the seed pieces to room temperature the last two weeks before planting. This will start the potato sprouting. If seed pieces have sprouts over one inch long, keep them cool until planting time.
The ideal condition to green sprout potatoes is 70 degrees F with high humidity. Even a barn or garage in early spring will work well. Turn the potatoes over to encourage uniform sprouts. Green sprouting will produce short stubby less than 1 inch sprouts that emerge quickly and set tubers early. A soil test will tell you whether to use fertilizer and, if so, how much.
Potatoes grown in gardens with low fertility may need fertilizer. You can put fertilizer in the planting furrow and cover it with an inch of soil before planting the seed piece. Another option is broadcasting the fertilizer and mixing it into the soil. Either way, avoid direct contact with the seed piece. The fertilizer can cause rapid seed piece decay. Manure is not recommended on potatoes. It tends to encourage scab development.
Save the manure for other garden crops. As soon as the soil warms up to 50 degrees F, potato seed can be planted. Seed spacing ranges from eight to 12 inches within the row and 30 to 36 inches between rows. Ten pounds of seed will plant about 50 feet of row at eight-inch spacing and about 80 feet of row at inch spacing. Yields vary, but most gardeners should expect between one and two pounds of potatoes per foot of row.
Make a furrow four to six inches deep, and, after fertilization, place seed in the furrow and cover with two inches of soil. Once the plants are about six inches tall, they should be hilled. Simply form a mound above the potato row. Up to three hillings may be needed to build a potato hill, depending on conditions.
Tilling will help control weeds between the potato rows. Late blight and early blight are two potato diseases that are common in home gardens. Of the two, late blight is the real threat. Late blight from an infected garden can spread spores and affect commercial potato production miles away.
Home gardeners should protect the growing potato plants with fungicides containing mancozeb, maneb or chlorothalonil. These are available at garden centers and should be applied at seven-day intervals, or as directed on the label. Colorado potato beetles and aphids are common potato insect pests. There are insecticides and fungicides that are approved for organic production. Herbicides used in commercial potato production are not recommended for home gardens. Cultivation during hilling controls weeds between the potato rows; hand pulling can eliminate the remaining weeds.
Early weed control is essential for good potato yields. Potatoes are traditionally harvested at the end of the growing season. Temperatures have dropped, and there has frequently been a frost. If the tops have not died, pull them off or cut them off at least seven days before harvest. Use a tool that can lift the potatoes out of the soil without damaging them. Handle potatoes like eggs — potatoes will bruise. Get the harvested potatoes out of the light to avoid greening.
Select only intact and healthy potatoes for long-term storage. Avoid storing diseased or damaged potatoes. Store the harvested potatoes in a cool, moist, dark environment. Ideal storage conditions would be 38 degrees F with 95 percent humidity. Information in this publication is provided purely for educational purposes. No responsibility is assumed for any problems associated with the use of products or services mentioned.
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Potato Growing Guide
Give the humble potato Solanum tuberosum a place in your vegetable garden. Potatoes are a highly productive crop that frequently yields 10 to 20 lbs. Seed Potatoes Potatoes may be purchased 2 to 3 weeks ahead of the planned planting date. Use certified disease free seed potatoes that are rot fungus free and blight resistant usually available from farm or feed stores or may be ordered online. Some common varieties that grow well in North Texas are Kennebec white potato , Pontiac red potato and Yukon Gold yellow. Cutting seed potatoes ahead of planting Seed potatoes should be cut at least 2 to 3 days before planting to allow scabbing.
A garden hoe is used to dig trenches in rich garden soil with potatoes being planted. The trenching system is my go-to potato planting.
Frequently Asked Questions About Growing Potatoes
Click or tap to view the new Growing Potatoes guide. The edible part of the plant is an underground stem called a tuber not a root. Irish potatoes contain 2 percent protein and 18 percent starch. They are an inexpensive source of carbohydrates and, when prepared properly, provide good amounts of vitamins and minerals. Irish potatoes are a cool-season crop; they grow best in early spring and late fall when the days are warm and the nights are cool. However, the tops of the plant cannot withstand frost. The most common types of Irish potatoes are red or white. Most red varieties store longer than do white varieties; on the other hand, most white varieties have better cooking qualities than red varieties. Many gardeners plant some of each in the spring.
Potatoes require a cool but frost-free growing season. Grow potatoes through the summer in cool northern regions. Grow potatoes in fall, winter, and spring in hot summer southern regions. Which potato to plant: Potato Types and Varieties. Potato varieties are classified according to the number of days they require to come to harvest.
Growing potatoes in containers is a great option for anyone who has limited space to garden, is concerned about what is in their soil or is looking for an easier way to harvest potatoes. Almost any vegetable can be grown successfully in a container, and potatoes are no exception.
How to Grow Potatoes in Containers
With a little knowledge and preparation, you can plant your very own potatoes in your home or community garden. Potatoes are vegetables many of us may take for granted. In North America, we also have a wide variety of heirloom potatoes that boast a dizzying array of colors, flavors and textures, and you can plant all of them yourself. You can typically start to plant potatoes in the spring as soon as the soil is workable i. Potatoes like lightly packed, loose soil that is well-drained and slightly acidic pH of five to seven.
The Ultimate Potato Growing Guide
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High temperatures can cause mature potatoes to discolor inside. Seed potatoes can be purchased at a garden center or from mail-order suppliers.
How to Grow Potatoes From Store Bought Potatoes
Please note our despatch team are taking a well-earned break and all new orders will be despatched from 4 January. Wishing our members a wonderful Christmas and a very Happy New Year! Learn more. These have a very thin skin and do not store well but taste delicious cooked straight from the garden.
Growing Potatoes in South Carolina
Who doesn't love the versatile potato? They taste great scalloped, mashed , baked, twice-baked , or fried — and they taste even better when you grow your own. Growing potatoes isn't difficult. Follow our tips below for making it even easier, plus learn about the many varieties available to grow in your own garden. The Yukon Gold is a popular variety for its rich, buttery flavor. It is a large, yellow-skinned potato that's perfect for baking or frying.
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Growing Potatoes – It’s Hard to Mess Up
Growing potatoes is a pretty straightforward process. I was able to harvest those volunteers and eat some decent sized tubers. You can even plant potatoes from your pantry, but make sure to use organic ones, because conventional ones have been treated with chemicals to prevent sprouting. Last summer I saved some fun potato varieties from our CSA. I forget what their names are, but there are golden, blue, and purple potatoes. I was very excited to officially plant potatoes this year and grow some of these fun colors.
How to Grow Potatoes
Jump to navigation. Few crops are as rewarding to grow as potatoes. Got questions?