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How to plant seed potatoes of the Solanaceae family is a process that can be intimidating for some homeowners. Luckily, we’ve taken the mystery and apprehension out of this fulfilling activity through a comprehensive guide.
Now, you can go ahead and read our article, as we cover the right way that you will have a fruitful harvest after you’re done.
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How To Plant Seed Potatoes In An Easy Way?
To plant seed potatoes in an easy way, you must prepare the right soil, and get the seed of the crops. After doing so, cut the seeds and prepare for planting. Then, you must water and fertilize them, as well as hill them, and finally, you can prepare for harvest.
Planting seed potatoes is a great way to grow your own harvest without having to rely on different ways; if you’ve ever wondered how to plant seed potatoes in a raised bed, or how to plant seed potatoes in bags, then it is entirely possible as well with the right seeds.
1. Prepare the Soil
The soil is one of the most important aspects of gardening, and in this case, the soil should be loose, well-draining, and fertile in its characteristics. Having loose soil allows roots to grow easily and obtain the necessary nutrients, and well-draining soil ensures water doesn’t collect around the roots, which can cause them to die. Fertile soil encourages plants to grow strong and produce plenty of potatoes.
To prepare your planting area, remove weeds, rocks, and debris, and for this you can use a hoe, rake, or shovel to do this. Add some compost or aged manure to the soil to improve its texture and nutrient content. You can do this by spreading a layer of about two to three inches of compost or aged manure over the soil.
Mix the compost and aged manure well with the soil, and now you can use the same tools as before. If you’re adding aged manure, wait for at least two weeks before planting. This will ensure that the manure is fully decomposed and will not damage the potato plants.
To grow healthy plants, it’s important to select the right spot for your garden, so you must ensure that the spot you choose gets at least six hours of sunlight a day. Remember that these crops need plenty of sunlight to grow and produce tubers. Once you have these conditions on hand, you can proceed to the next step, because the environment is made secure now.
2. Get Seed of the Crop
A seed potato is not the same as the ones you buy from the grocery. The ones sold at grocery stores are usually sprayed with chemicals to prevent the potatoes from sprouting. On the other hand, a seed potato is specifically grown to produce healthy plants and tubers; this is significant to know because it makes a difference in the growing process.
You can find potato varieties of almost every kind that suits your needs. It is key to purchase certified seed potatoes from reputable sources, or a certified seller, because they should be disease free. Therefore, you can be confident that you’re starting with healthy plants.
3. Cut the Seeds
Once you have them with you, you’ll have to cut each seed potato into pieces before planting, so you must make sure that each piece of the potato has a small sprout. These sprouts, also called eyes, will eventually grow into new plants. Use a clean, sterilized knife to cut them, and as you are cutting the potatoes into pieces will also prevent overcrowding, which can lead to small tubers.
Once the potatoes have been cut, place them in a cool, dry place to dry out for a few days. This will help the cut surfaces from rotting in the damp soil, so this is a great way to help in the cultivation process. However, keep them away from direct sunlight, which is why you must be keen, as once the pieces are dry, you can plant them in the soil, but, you must make sure to spread them out evenly.
4. Prepare for Planting
There are several activities that we’ll need to cover. These involve digging a shallow trench, planting the potatoes, and covering the pieces of potatoes with soil, because remember that you can also be doing this in a container if you think about, how to grow potatoes in a container.
Now, you need to use a garden hoe or shovel and dig a shallow trench, and note that it should be about four to six inches deep. The depth should be enough to accommodate the pieces of cut potatoes without burying them too deep.
Next, you’ll need to plant potatoes into the trench with the cut side down. Make sure that the sprouts or the eyes are facing up. Space them about 12 inches apart to give each plant enough space to grow.
Cover the planted potatoes with soil, which should be about two to three inches thick. Gently pat down the soil to remove any air pockets that may be around the pieces of potatoes, and make sure that you water the soil to help settle the soil around the cut potato pieces; this is the matter that will help the seeds to sprout in a healthy way.
Finally, cover the soil with a layer of organic mulch, such as straw or leaves, and this way; mulching helps conserve moisture in the soil, suppress weed growth, and regulate soil temperature, and the seeds will have the right requirements to grow. Plant potatoes correctly to ensure a successful harvest. Remember, when buried too deep, they may not receive enough sunlight and struggle to sprout.
5. Water and Fertilize
After the initial watering, continue to provide hydration to the soil to keep it consistently moist throughout the growing season. Avoid making the soil waterlogged, as this can encourage fungus to grow and damage your potatoes. Once your potatoes grow, water them deeply once or twice a week, depending on how dry the weather is. Avoid having the soil dry out completely, which is why you can tell when your potato plants need water when the topmost inch of the soil has gone dry.
When it comes to fertilizing your potatoes, use a balanced fertilizer once a month. This will help them grow even healthier, and better; this is why a balanced fertilizer has equal amounts of nitrogen, phosphorus, and potassium.
These three nutrients are essential to the overall development of planting potatoes. Balanced fertilizers can be bought at reputable garden centers or through online vendors. Simply follow the instructions on the label and apply the fertilizers as directed, to get the best yield from the feeding you are applying.
On the other hand, you may prefer to use compost, aged manure, or fish emulsion instead of inorganic fertilizers. These can work well as long as you don’t apply too much, this is because if you aim to over-fertilize, then the plants can lead to issues, such as weak or damaged plants.
6. You Must Hill Them
Hilling the crops is an important step that helps to prevent potato tubers from turning green. At the same time, hilling increases the yield from each seed potato. This step is an important one to give the best time to it, because this way, they will not be seeing sun that would come on the crop, and start to grow it green.
To hill the potatoes, mound up the soil around the stems of the plants as they grow. This means that you will eventually create a small hill or a ridge of soil around the base of each seed potato plant. You can do this with your hands or use a hose to pull soil up around the stems.
7. Harvest them
When your potatoes die back, it’s time to harvest. Dig carefully around the plants with a garden fork. Be careful not to damage the tubers. Once you have them out of the ground, allow the potatoes to dry in the sun for a few days. This will toughen up their skin.
Set aside bruised or damaged potatoes for immediate use as they won’t last as long as undamaged ones. Afterward, you can store your undamaged potatoes in a cool, dark place.
You can have your potato grow healthy anywhere as long as you provide it with the right growing conditions. Let’s take a quick recap of what we’ve learned so far:
- It is important to prepare the location, the soil, and the quality of seed potatoes.
- You can have potato growing in beds, pots, and even bags, but you must give the right kind of potting soil and a place for your plant in a sunny spot.
- Cut the potatoes and plant them before watering and fertilizing them regularly.
- Keep mounding or hilling the potatoes until they die back, a sign of harvest.
- You can even plant potatoes in bags once you know how to plant seed potatoes in pots.
We’re excited to know if you have plans to use this guide or have any more tips to share. Happy gardening!