Potatoes often form a very important part of our meals. The amazing number of potato recipes stand testimony to this fact. There are many people who prefer to grow these at home rather than buying it from any market. Gardening is an enjoyable hobby for those who prefer to grow their own crops at home. A variety of potatoes can be grown in the garden. However, a gardener needs to take the right steps to ensure that they are grown successfully. Here, we shall take a look at some tips for planting potatoes at home.
Useful Tips for Potato Planting
Potatoes that are brought from the store may not be ideal for plantation. Instead, opt for certified seed potatoes that have been treated. The eye of the seed potato is important as this is the portion from where the new plant will sprout. If you are using seed potatoes, then once you open the package, leave them in a tray that is kept in a ventilated room for a few hours.
Potatoes can grow well in different types of soil. However, ideally, a well drained soil is suitable. Before planting, the soil needs to be dug deep. You must also add plenty of organic matter into the soil. During late autumn, the garden needs to be dug up again. It is preferable that the soil is slightly acidic with a pH level between 5-6.5.
Before planting, add some fertilizer to the soil in the upper area. You can then make small holes with the help of a trowel in the soil. While digging these holes, ensure you keep some distance between each plantation. The depth of the hole should be around 4-8 inches. Always plant potatoes in rows. While planting, the eyes of the potatoes should be facing topside.
Always choose a sunny area to plant potatoes. The soil should be well drained because potatoes tend to rot easily. Moist soil and ample sunlight will help in the growth of the potatoes. Besides, if you are planning to continue with a potato plantation, always remember to rotate the area every year. This helps in retaining the nutrients in one particular area of the soil.
Once the shoots make an appearance above the soil, you now have to begin earthing the rows. Earthing is a term that means the soil needs to piled on the shoots from both sides. Earthing the rows is beneficial in many ways. It helps to protect the plant from frosts. It also allows the potatoes to have more room to grow underground.
One of the problems faced while growing potatoes are the beetles that lay their eggs beneath the leaves. Insecticides help to get rid of pests. Sometimes, problems are caused due to the natural weather conditions. Seed potatoes should therefore be free from disease at the time of purchase.
Potatoes can be harvested anytime. Always use a hoe to dig them up. If you are beginner, you need to take care to avoid piercing the potatoes. In that case, you can dig from outside the area and in a downhill angle so that the potatoes are not damaged in any way.
With these tips, you are bound to find your way with ease in the garden. As you can see, gardening is sure a rewarding hobby!