Planting seed potatoes at home is not as hard as it may seem. When you first go to the store, there may only be about a half-dozen varieties of potato to select from, but once you plant seed potatoes at home, you can pick from more than 100 different types of potatoes. It’s best to do some initial research on what kinds of potatoes are native to your area and also have an understanding of their growing conditions. Then, it’s time to learn how to plant vegetables at home. Continue reading this gardening guide for more tips on planting potatoes at home.
First, determine the best growing site for your potatoes. The growing site should receive full sun and be relatively cool and moist. If the growing site is already shaded, then consider moving the pots closer to the sunlight. Keep in mind that the optimal growing period for potatoes is spring, from approximately May to August.
Next, consider how to plant potatoes at home, following the planting instructions included with your selected variety. In many cases, potatoes are planted upside down, using plastic or mesh netting to cover the entire area of the pot. If you are planting seed potatoes indoors, then use a plastic or mesh pot cover. If you are planting seed potatoes outdoors, then prepare the area by covering the soil with dirt or loose gravel. The area should be fairly even and free of any weeds. Make sure that it receives approximately full sun so that the plants will begin to grow soon after you plant them.
Finally, when you are ready to harvest potatoes from your growing seed potatoes, do so early in the day. Harvesting potatoes when they are still wet makes it more difficult to get rid of the sugary pulp. Once the potatoes begin to dry out, they will produce less sugary pulp, making it easier to harvest. If you harvest potatoes too late, the starch mixture you collect from the leaves will turn brown and sticky.
To harvest your potatoes from growing seed potatoes, make sure that each piece is cut off about one-third to one-half inch above the root level. Then, gently tug each piece away from the root system using your fingers. It is important not to pull hard. The starchy starch mix you collect should remain on the surface, and not gather up into little pieces. Once all the pieces have been removed, rinse the potato pieces off thoroughly using water.
After rinsing, spread each piece of potato sprout with a bit of extra dirt or small gravel. The soil should be packed firmly at first, covering all exposed roots. This will help the roots of your new sprouts growing into the nutrient-rich soil that is necessary for healthy potato production. Just like growing potatoes in a garden, you need to water your sprouts growing in a separate container until they are about one inch tall. Once they are well established, you can move them around your garden and use them as regular plants.
In addition to providing nutrients and moisture, your sprouts will also help keep weeds at bay. As soon as the new growth starts to appear, it will grow up to eight times its original length. Once it is a full three inches in length, cut off the tip of the plant and remove the spines. Do not wait to prune your sprouts. They will eventually become too woody and tall if they are not kept under control.
Finally, you should make sure that you fertilize your young plants once each month during their growing period. If you wait, the plants may stop producing leaves and start dying before the end of their growing season. Seed potatoes need a deep, rich, and fertile soil to ensure adequate tuber production. Remember to follow the steps above so that your plants will have everything they need to produce good quality seed potatoes.