Potatoes are one of the most popular carbohydrate sources in daily meal.
You can make mashed potato and serve it side-by-side with your beef steak, deep-fry it to make French fries, or simply season it with salt and pepper and then roast it inside the oven.
I love potatoes.
And if you do too, you probably are wondering how great it is if you can grow potatoes around your home.
Sure, it sounds great. Especially in the time of crisis when you should reduce your activities outside the house and you probably want to save some money.
PREPARE THE SOIL
Potato plants love a little bit of acidic soil (just a little bit of acidity, not too acid!)
If your soil is neutral, the potato still has potential to grow, but it can grow well when the soil has a little acidity.
If your soil is neutral or alkaline you can add fertilizer that contains sulfur.
Besides pH, you also need to check the moisture.
Make sure the soil is moist and loose.
Don’t let your potato plant sit on a dry soil nor a soggy one.
PREPARE THE POTATO
Grab some potatoes.
Lay them indoor where it can receive some sunlight.
Wait for 4 weeks or so until the “eyes” sprout.
When the “sprouts” are long enough (around 1 inch or less) you can cut it into big pieces.
Make sure each piece has 2 or 3 sprouts.
After cutting, leave the potato for around 24 hours so it’s not too wet for planting.
Planting potatoes in containers:
Make sure the container is not too small because potato roots need space to grow.
Also make sure that the container has holes in the bottom to help drainage.
Fill the container with the prepared soil (4-5 inches of height sounds great).
Put the pieces of those potatoes on the soil (the sprout should be facing up).
Bury it with soil.
IMPORTANT: GIVE EACH “PIECE OF POTATO” A GOOD SPACE TO GROW. SO, IF YOU HAVE SMALLER POT, YOU CAN PUT FEWER PIECES OF POTATO THERE.
Planting potatoes in the ground
Dig the soil.
Place the potatoes on the ground (on the dug area).
When placing the potatoes on the ground, make sure the sprout are facing the sky.
Make sure each piece of potato has decent space for growth.
After that, bury the potato.
SUPPORT THE GROWTH
There are two main things to do to support the growth of your potato plant.
The first weeks after planting, don’t be too harsh on watering.
Overwatering should be avoided.
After 4 weeks, water the plants 2-3 times a week, depends on the climate and temperature..
Potato plants love moist soil.
Do not let it dry. But do not let it soak either!
When the plant are old enough and the leaves become yellow, you might want to stop watering. (around 15 days before harvest time).
After a few weeks of planting you might see the stem and leaves grow tall enough above the ground.
So, start the hilling.
Hilling is pretty much all about “burying the plant again”. But not a total bury! Because you only cover the bottom area of the plant (the stem) without bothering the leaves.
So, just cover the soil with more soil.
Not too much of soil! Just 1-2 inches are fine.
After three weeks or so, the plants might grow taller and do the next hilling.
HARVEST! (happy time!!)
How to tell if your potato plant is ready to harvest?
- Around 3 weeks after the plant produces flowers (however, some potato plant might not bloom at all, so, check the other hints)
- When the leaves are yellowish and brownish (look old)
- Approximately 100-120 days after planting (it might vary due to variety though, so check what kind of potato you have before planting)
Q & A
Can you grow potatoes from store-bought potatoes?
If you buy the potatoes from organic grocery store, chances are you can grow it pretty easily.
Just wait the eyes to sprout, cut it into some pieces (make sure each piece has sprouts) and plant it in the ground.
If you buy the potatoes in the US from regular grocery store… well, there is a high chance that the potato has been treated with a special formula that prevents sprouting.
If you directly plant it, the chance of it to grow is very low to nothing.
So, maybe you want to give it a special treatment to increase the chance of growth.
Wash it very well to remove that growth inhibitor. After that, let it sit for about 4 weeks until you see sprouts.
How Long Does It Take to Grow Potatoes?
Actually, it depends on the variety.
But usually it takes around 100 days or more for a potato plant to produce potatoes in decent sizes.
But if you are really in a hurry and love small potatoes, you can harvest it before time.
How Many Potatoes Do You Get from One Plant?
It depends on many things. Soil fertility, weather, and water availability can affect how well your potato plant grow their root.
Usually, 1 potato plant can produce around 6-12 potatoes with different sizes.