Planting Potatoes With Fun

Planting Potatoes in a small raised bed garden is an amazing idea. It can help you to generate your root vegetables with great success.

Most of us know that Potato (Solanum Tuberosum) is the easiest crop  to manage; especially for the new gardeners.

There are many different types of potatoes. Generally they are divided into three groups:

  • The early crops;
  • Second early crops;
  • Late crops or main-crops.

Early and second early sort of potatoes are commonly used for private home growers like us.

If you have limited garden space, the earliest variety may be your best choice. If you have plenty of rooms, you can consider all types; only if you can find your preferred ones. Alternatively, you can also grow the same type at a different time space.

Besides our favourite Eigeneimers Dutch potato, there are also "Doré" and other imported types if you preferred.

Planting Potatoes Experience

Most of the people said home-grown potatoes have a better flavour than those in the market. I totally agree!

Methods to Grow Potatoes

  1. Plant the new seed potatoes directly in the open ground or in a raised garden bed (picture 5-7).

  2. Sprout the seeds before putting in the soil.

  3. Put the seeds when the sprouts are 2 inches long; together with a container into the open ground with straws or leaves mulches.

  4. Place the seeds in the ground and cover it with 12 inches of straw instead of dirt.

  5. Grow in pots.

  6. Store the seeds in boxes at a cool corner indoor; or in your frost free green house during the winter and sprout them four to six weeks before planting.

The Best time to Plant

As long as the temperature is right, you can do it.

The Best Suitable Soil Condition

  • The potato will succeed in almost any properly cultivated good drainage deep moist and weed free soil.

  • Full of organic matter soil is recommended for high yields. Normally each plant will produce about 4 to 5 regular-sized potatoes and some small ones.

My girl friend told me that, the excellent crops were grown when seaweed is used, as seaweed contains some percentage of potash and some percentage of nitrogen. I thought I might try it out next time.

Planting Potatoes in a Small Location

Soil Preparation
Turn your soil 2 feet deep over in the fall before the freezing started. The frost and air exposed will assist to reduce the numerous pests from the ground.

How to Sow

Drill a depth of 3 to 4 inches holes with a hand bulb planter (picture 1&2) ; and set the non-sprouted seeds (picture 3) in place. If you have more space, it is better to keep the holes 2 feet apart.

What to Do During the Growth
Use a handy hoe occasionally to keep the weeds down, when shoots appeared on the soil surface. Mound up the rows when the shoots are high enough.

You will notice that, planting potatoes in containers is faster than growing them in the open ground vegetables beds if both were sown without sprouting done before.

How to Harvest
Harvest the tubers carefully with the spading fork, take care not to damage the fruits. During harvest, if you discovered any diseased tubers due to exposed to the frost (purplish or reddish), throw it away, but never in the compost.

Planting Potatoes as Cool Vegetables

This time we had harvested 5 kilo's of organic potatoes from 500 grams of seed potatoes from this small garden bed.

If the weather allows, you may leave the tubers in the ground until needed. However, we had a wet ground, so we had to store our harvest in a cool dark place till they are totally dried. Normally it will take a few days.

Potato Plants's Performance

* All seeds sprouted and grown into leaves on the day 39 (picture 4).

* The plants grew taller on the day 57 (picture 5). Add bamboo sticks.

* The plants became a bush on the day 89 (picture 6).

* The plants turned yellow on the day 124 (picture 7).

* Harvested on the day 125 (picture 8).

Thereafter, you can remove all the ground and put them in a cool dark room and lay them on papers on the floor. They will last long enough when they are not expose to light; moist; or higher room temperature.

Fresh and delicious potatoes are sitting on your kitchen table!

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