How deep to plant potatoes is one of the factors that most gardeners would question if they intend to grow these roots, but it would also depend on the potato type and your growing method. Moreover, the next step would also be to cover them from direct sunlight but allow them to access indirect light.
You can also do shallow or deep planting for potatoes, and it would also depend upon the variety and the quantity that you are harvesting. Read on for a better explanation of the importance of getting the depth right when sowing potatoes.
- How Deep Should You Plant Potatoes?
- How Far Apart to Plant Your Potatoes?
- How To Successfully Grow Potatoes in A Container?
How Deep Should You Plant Potatoes?
The depth to plant potatoes should be four to six inches deep in the soil, where they will grow precisely and receive light as well. The depth not only covers the seed potatoes to protect them from sunburn but also allows them to have access to light.
You may ask, ‘how deep to plant potatoes cm?’ Measure 10 to 15 cm deep when planting the seeds. Planting them closer to the earth’s surface enables them to grow and develop earlier. The light helps with the germination and growth of the sprouts, quickening the emergence of the first leaves.
When you dig potatoes too deep into the soil, they won’t have access to light. The heavy soil also makes it harder for the first leaves to come out; however, the depth you choose should be able to cover the yield from direct sunlight. On the contrary, when they are hit by the sun, these would start to turn green due to high amounts of chlorophyll and solanine. This leads to a bitter taste in the tubers and can cause digestive issues.
Moreover, you must also keep in mind how burying potatoes too deep into the soil could cause rot before growing. These potato seeds lack exposure to sunlight and air, which are essential for growth. The best depth to produce potatoes is four to six inches deep to ensure they get enough light but also get protected from direct sunlight.
If you know how to plant potatoes, you can grow them with your eyes, but you may also wonder how to plant potatoes from eyes with the right depth. The growing process starts with selecting potatoes that have begun sprouting and cutting them into tiny pieces. Next, allow the pieces to dry, and bury them four to six inches under potting mix.
Water your potatoes diligently until they start sprouting. Remember, the secret to growing healthy potatoes is light and water, so you must provide them in plenty. However, don’t overwater the plants to prevent rotting.
– Deep and Shallow Planting
Some potato plant growers plant them deeper than six inches, while others opt for shallow planting. On the other hand, when you aim for deep planting, the potato grow reduces the maintenance requirement for the crop, like mulching and providing other coverings to ensure the plant is not exposed to sunlight.
On another note, if you plant seed potatoes shallowly in the ground, they take a shorter time to start growing, as they are closer to the air, which is why it also makes harvesting potatoes easier than those buried deep in the soil. The downside of this potato growing method is more maintenance requirements; Hence, you must hill them and mulch them for sun rays protection.
How Far Apart to Plant Your Potatoes?
You should plant your potato seeds 12 inches apart from one another, but when you are planting a potato plant, grow them two to three feet apart. This is because you would want them to have a proper space to see them grow and increase in their density.
On the same note, the distance from one potato plant to another depends on the potato types you grow. Some potato varieties are small-sized, so they don’t require a considerable space apart. Other types bear huge potatoes, and you must plant them far apart.
Moreover, if you plant them in grow bags or buckets, plant one to two seeds in each tin. Ensure each potato seed has at least two eyes to increase its chances of developing. If the seeds have more eyes, you can cut them into pieces and plant each piece separately.
How To Successfully Grow Potatoes in A Container?
Growing potatoes in a container with the perfect depth would be done by getting potting soil and preparing the container and fertilizing the soil. Then you must plant the seeds and cover them with soil. Lastly, hill and harvest them as they develop.
Cultivating potatoes in containers has a similar process to growing potatoes in bags. You can practice it whether it is during the tuber’s growing season or not. The gardener starts by getting the correct soil and containers, planting the seed potatoes, covering them with soil, and tending to them.
– Get Potting Soil and Prepare the Containers
Container-grown potatoes require high-quality soil. It must be fast draining to not hold water for long, which can cause the tubers to rot. This type of soil is also suitable for plants grown in raised beds.
The ideal containers to produce potatoes are two to three feet tall. These will make watering your plant easier. You can also go for a 15-gallon container to ensure enough space for the plant.
– Fertilize the Soil
Use organic fertilizer for your container-grown potatoes. It is friendlier to young crops and won’t have side effects if you use a lot of it. Potatoes in containers need more fertilizer because nutrients leach out of the soil faster due to frequent watering.
– Plant the Seed Potatoes
Before planting the seed potatoes, you must prepare them. First, do not use grocery store potatoes for planting because they have been sprayed. Ensure you buy seeds from organic growers.
You should then prepare them by slicing into pieces. Ensure each part contains at least two eyes to increase the chances of growth. Leave the cut parts to sit for some days, and position them in the containers with the eyes facing upwards.
– Cover the Seeds with Soil
Cover the seeds with one to four inches of soil to protect them from direct sunlight. It is essential because you will expose the baskets to the sun for at least six to eight hours daily. Ensure you also pour enough water into your newly planted potatoes. Water and light are the secrets to growing potatoes.
– Hill and Harvest the Potatoes
Hilling potatoes is done by adding soil or manure around the plants to cover them from direct sunlight. You can hill once the potato plants grow about six inches to produce more potatoes.
Once they start flowering, harvest time is near. Prepare to harvest potatoes by pulling out a few to see if they are ready. You can begin full harvesting if the tubers have grown to your desired size.
If the potatoes are not fully mature, you can eat them. Bake and mix them with lettuce, cucumber, radish or carrots to make a salad. You can also cook them in bean meals, or make a thick pea stew.
If all the potatoes are ready and want to harvest them in the entire container, turn it over and pour the plant into a flat ground or wheelbarrow. You can then store potatoes for later use. Remove the soil by wiping or washing the tubers. Ensure all the potatoes are dry before storing them.
– Is It Advisable to Re-Grow Potatoes Immediately After Harvesting?
No, you cannot replant potatoes you just harvested back into the soil. They’re less likely to sprout because the plant needs to go through a period of dormancy to get the ‘eyes.’ The best potatoes to plant are those obtained from organic growers because they are not sprayed with chemicals.
– How Long to Grow Potatoes with an Average Planting Depth?
Potatoes are fast growers, and it would depend on the variety, they start growing 14 to 28 days after planting. Some potatoes are ready for harvest on day 60. However, these are small and fragile, so you can wait for more days to harvest.
Potatoes grow faster than sweet potatoes, which get ready to harvest 90 to 120 days after planting. Although all of them are tubers, you can only grow a sweet potato from a part of its plant stem called the sweet potato slip.
Planting the potatoes too deep can cause the seeds to rot, and they take longer to grow. To summarize the article:
- The best depth to cultivate potatoes is four to six inches under the soil. These plants need a light layer of soil covering to protect them from direct sunlight and enable the sprouts to germinate from the ground.
- Burying potatoes deep into the soil slows their growth and can lead to rotting.
- You must ‘hill’ potatoes to ensure they produce higher yields. You should also mulch them to protect them against direct sunlight.
- When cultivating potatoes, ensure each piece of the tuber has at least two ‘eyes’ to increase the chances of sprouting.
- Potatoes require enough moisture and light to thrive, so ensure you provide those.
Now that you know how deep to dig when growing potatoes, you can prepare your garden for planting.
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