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Red rose potatoes of the Solanum genus were discovered in the highlands of Peru. These contain less starch when compared to Russet brown potatoes and when cooked, they retain their shape.
People prefer to use these potatoes in steaming, boiling, mashing, salads, soups, and stews because of their subtly sweet flavor, which has mild-medium sugar content. Growing them is fun and here is all that you need to know to get started.
JUMP TO TOPIC
- Red Rose Potatoes Care
- Water Requirements
- Light Requirements
- Soil Requirements
- Temperature Requirements
- Humidity Requirements
- Fertilizing Requirements
- Common Problems
Red Rose Potatoes Care
Caring for these plants is really simple. You need to take care of a few things, and your plant will be healthy and flourish amazingly.
Although watering is essential to grow red potatoes, make sure not to water them too generously. Excess water can make the soil soggy and wet, which can be harmful to your plants.
To ensure their healthy growth, keep the water supply steady as they require 1–2 inches of water per week. However, if you live in a drought-affected region where humidity is really low, and it hardly rains, mulch around them to help them retain their moisture.
When planting, make sure you choose a place that receives ample sunlight. Although the shade will not harm the plant, the lush top growth needs sunlight to nourish the feeders. The more the sun, 7–8 hours at least, the better it is.
The tubers will turn green if you expose them to the sun. It usually happens if they grow on the surface. To avoid this, mount the soil around the plant stem like a hill. This process is known as “hilling.”
The requirements for soil to grow any potatoes do not differ much from each other. In the case of these red potatoes, grow them in soil with an acidic Ph between 5.0 and 6.0. In particular, these potatoes do not prefer rich soil. Moreover, soil with higher pH can cause red potatoes to scab, which causes rough spots on their skin.
A good amount of organic matter in the soil and pH being neutral to acidic, and the potatoes will be content.
The soil should be moist and well drained. If it is soggy and heavy like clay, you can mix it with loose soil underground where the tubers grow.
Red Rose should be planted when the temperature is between 40 to 50 degrees Fahrenheit. These potatoes do best in cold climate regions where the summers are cool. The potato tubers grow at optimum when the soil temperature is between 60 to 70 degrees Fahrenheit.
The tubers stop growing when the temperature rises above 80 degrees Fahrenheit. To prevent this, keep the temperature up to 10 degrees Fahrenheit cooler by mulching a thick layer of straw around the plant.
You can also plant these potatoes in winter if you live in a hot climatic region. They can be treated as winter crops in hot regional climates.
Usually, potatoes prefer growing in areas with high humidity, but red rose potatoes do not have such a preference. Any level of humidity, between 50 to 95 percent, will be well suited for them.
When planting these potatoes, use an organic, slow-release fertilizer to fertilize them. Every two weeks, feed them with fish emulsion or diluted liquid fertilizer.
These potatoes are small and immature. You will have to wait for the plant to grow at least 1 foot in height, which usually happens 45–50 days after planting. The flower around the plant indicates that the potatoes are ready to be harvested.
– How to Harvest
To harvest them, gently feel the soil around the plant and lift them out. To acquire potatoes in their maximum size, wait around four months or up to 120 days. When the top of the plant dies, the entire crop will be ready to be harvested. If the soil is dry with little moisture, you can leave them underground a few weeks longer.
Use your hands or a shovel carefully to dig them out. Turn the soil over and over to be sure you haven’t missed any of your precious potatoes.
Avoid using a pitchfork to dig them out. The tubers can branch out, and you might pierce one or two potatoes. Although they will still be edible, you cannot preserve damaged potatoes for long. Freshly harvested potatoes can be used as mashed potatoes or in a potato salad and taste lovely.
– How to Store
Storage will not be an issue if you are looking to finish your crop within a few days. You can keep them anywhere. To store them for a longer time, you need a dark, cool, and somewhat humid environment between 38 to 40 degrees Fahrenheit. Keeping them in a warm and dry place will result in sprouting and disease. Potatoes are 80 percent water, and keeping them in a dry place will cause them to wither and dry out.
You can store them in a garage, spare room, attic, etc. Just make sure that the place you are choosing is humid so that the potato doesn’t dry out. Also, make sure to protect them from sunlight. Sunlight can cause greening of your potatoes.
Even after being harvested, potatoes use oxygen and give out carbon dioxide. Never put them in an airtight container. They need fresh air and ventilation.
You might face some common problems when growing potatoes. These problems include bacterial ring rot, blackleg, common scab, black dot, and pink rot.
– Bacterial Ring Rot
When bacteria enter the tuber through cutting wounds, it causes a disease known as Bacterial ring rot. It affects the stem and leaves of the plant, turning yellow and killing them. This disease spreads in soggy and warm soil.
To prevent your plant from getting this disease, use only certified seed potatoes – they are grown in seed beds with zero tolerance for ring rot. After harvesting, remove all soil debris and sanitize the tools and equipment used regularly.
Blackleg, also known as soft rot, is yet another common bacterial disease. It causes leaves’ sprouts to rot at the soil level, and young ones fail to grow and die.
To prevent this from happening, use seed pieces, a product of Tissue Culture. Use sanitizer on your tools to stop bacterial contamination. Be careful during harvest, and make sure you do not damage tubers. Remove infected tubers and plants around your crop. It is carried on tubers and can spread to healthy tubers during harvest.
– Black Dot
The black dot is a fungal disease where dark spots appear on tubers, stems, and stolons. Roots underground may rot, causing leaves to turn yellow and wilt. This infection can also cause defoliation. It happens if the soil is too wet and soggy, and the temperature of the soil is very high.
You can protect your plant from black dots by relocating infected crops away from your other potatoes. Do not plant infected seed pieces and tubers. Fertilize your plant well and water it adequately. Also, ensure the soil is well-drained and mulched with straw in case of high temperature.
– Pink Rot
Pink rot, also known as Phytophthora erythroseptica, is an oomycete disease. It, too, is caused by high soil water saturation when close to harvest. It slows the growth of the plant and leaves eventually wilt and die. Dark brown spots appear on tubers, and the cut tuber turns pink after 20 – 30 minutes of being exposed to air, then turns brown and finally black.
Again, to prevent this, make sure the soil is well-drained with no history of pink rot. Make sure when watering that you do not overwater it. When harvesting, do not use a fork that might damage tubers. Wounded tubers help in spreading the disease rapidly.
– Common Scab
The common scab is another bacterial disease that is most severe during warm and dry conditions. Raised brown lesions with a corky texture or deep pitted black lesions with translucent tissue underneath start to appear on tubers.
You can use several methods to prevent this disease, but some of them can be quite challenging to manage. Start by avoiding planting infected tubers, using a 3-4 rotation away from your plant.
Amend the soil to lower pH and treat seed pieces with appropriate fungicides if available. When the stolon tips begin to swell at the onset of tuber development, maintain high soil moisture for up to 5–6 weeks.
How do I know when my Red Rose Potatoes are ready to dig up?
Red Rose Potatoes are ready to harvest when the tops of the plants turn yellow and begin to die back. Gently dig around the base to check for mature potatoes.
When should I stop watering my Red Rose Potatoes?
Stop watering Red Rose Potatoes about 2 weeks before harvest to allow the skins to toughen. This helps with storage and prevents rotting.
Do Red Rose Potatoes come back every year?
Red Rose Potatoes are an annual crop, meaning they need to be replanted each year. They do not come back on their own.
Let’s take you through the main takeaways one more time.
- Red rose potatoes prosper in moist soil with 7 to 8 hours of dailoy sunlight exposure.
- In soggy soil, they might get bacterial ring rot.
- When it comes to humidity, they are not very demanding as they flourish in humidity anywhere between 50 to 95 percent.
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