Being a gardener, you want your garden to comprise of a wide variety of vegetables and other edibles to blend in with the lovely foliage and colors of flowers.
Potatoes are one of these vegetables. Having being planted for many years now, potatoes can be used in many ways in the kitchen, from salads to stews.
Planting potatoes in your backyard is an added benefit as you are able to save money albeit enjoying the fruits of your hard work.
Here are tips and ways that you can follow in ensuring that you produce high quality potatoes.
When planting potatoes, firstly, prepare the spot for your potatoes, make sure that the spot has well drained and loose soil to allow the tubers and the roots to develop properly, and plenty of sunshine. When you have done this, start preparing your potato seeds.
However, these are not seeds at all, just cuttings from a grown potato. Cut the potato into small chunks, of about 1 inch. Take note not to cut them into large pieces as this will encourage the developing tuber to rely on stored nutrients and water.
Make an eye on the chunks but don’t make too many. As this is where the tuber will develop, too many eyes will end up into a ‘mess’ because they will compete for sunlight and nutrients.
When you have prepared the potato seeds, leave them to air dry for about 24 hours. This is to allow the outer layer of the potato to develop a resistance against diseases. You can also coat the seeds with a light dusting of sulphur to help the plant to resist fungal diseases.
Research has shown that when planting potatoes, potatoes that don’t get any chemical treatments are able to resist diseases if they are planted in soil that is dry and warm.
When it is time to plant your potatoes, plant them such that the eye is facing upwards.
After planting your potato seeds, mound up the mulch. Build up a mound of about 6 inches over the potato. Take care to water the mound to make it wet as this will help it to hold together.
Different types of mulch could be used, but oak leaf mold is excellent for potatoes. Straw is also good but it can be a hassle later on when it creates weeds that will need constant weeding.
After the above steps have been followed when planting potatoes, all which is left to do is to harvest your potatoes. Don’t harvest them all at once to prevent the plant from being stressed.