Growing Potatoes in Bags
Around the world Potatoes plants are one of the most home grown vegetables. They are very easy to grow. They are mainly grown in spring but also can be grown in summer and in warm climates all year around. But they can’t be grown in winter as they are very sensitive to very low temperature
Potatoes are propagated from stored tubers (potatoes) only, these act as seeds and called “seed” potatoes. Potato tuber is modified stem which store food (starch) in tuber. Cut a potato in half with at least 2 eyes and leave it for a week in the sun. The potato will turn green; you are then ready to plant your seed potatoes. These seed potatoes carry risk of fungal attack to new generation of plant. As a result, many people purchase what is known as “certified seed Potatoes”; this means that they are certified to be free of fungus and or plant virus. You can buy these Potatoes from nurseries and seed stores.
If you’re short of space, try growing potatoes in an adequately drained container that’s at least 30cm (1ft) deep and wide. Half fill the pot with multi-purpose compost or good quality, fertile garden soil, Insert two seed potatoes into the top of the compost and then top up with more compost or soil to within 2.5cm (1in) of the rim of the container.
You can grow potato in garbage bag filled with loose soil too. All you have to do is just put some tiny holes in bottom of garbage bag and fill with soil. Add more soil when seedlings start growing up.
Seed Potatoes placing
Plant seed potatoes one foot apart in a 4-inch deep trench and eye side up. Rows should be minimum 3 foot apart. Mid March or early April is ideal to start with potatoes planting.
Potatoes thrive in a loose, well-drained, slightly acidic soil (pH 5 – 6). Add farmyard manure or home garden compost to soil to enrich it with organic matter. You can also use Chicken manure to a lesser extent. Don’t overdo it with the Chicken manure, it is very high in nitrogen and will develop lots of foliage, but little in the way of potatoes.
Sun / Temperature
Potato plant requires a good amount of sunlight during the day for growth. The optimum temperature is 15-25 degree C for potato planting.
Maintain moderate soil moisture levels throughout the season. Temporary imbalance in soil moisture level can result in rough-skinned and/or knobby tubers. Potato roots do not grow well in wet conditions. Over-watering washes fertilizer out of the root zone and promotes root and tuber decay.
Feed potato plant with organic or non organic fertilizer. Animal manure like cow dung etc or garden compost works well for potato plant. In case of non organic fertilizer, add them to soil before planting as chemical can harm the seed potatoes. Epsom salt also acts as fertilizer for potato plant.
New potatoes will be ready for harvest after 10 weeks, usually in early July. You should harvest all of your potatoes once the vines die (usually by late August), or the potatoes may rot. Brush off any soil clinging to the potatoes, and then store them in a cool, dry, dark place. The ideal temperature for storage is 35 to 40°F. Don’t wash them until right before you use them. Washing potatoes shortens their storage life.
Hilling should be done before the potato plants bloom, when the plant is about 6 inches tall. It helps plants from getting sunburned by, in which case they turn green and will taste bitter.
Many fungal diseases are spread through water. Avoid walking through the garden while potato leaves are wet. Apply water in the furrow between raised potato beds. These methods will reduce the amount of water standing on the leaves and lower the chances of disease. Planting certified clean seed potatoes can also help keep your plants free of disease. To reduce possible sources of disease, destroy piles of rotten potatoes, plants, and other crop residue. Pesticides are available to help control certain diseases. Follow all label instructions and cautions when using pesticides.
Read Also : Growing Chilli in pots at home.
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