There are many methods of setting potatoes, including spreading them out to cover a large area, layering them with mulch, or planting them directly in the ground. In either case, it is important to water potatoes frequently to ensure even growth. Potatoes should also be dug out after they have bloomed, though some varieties aren’t ready to harvest until four weeks after planting. A more efficient method is to use tires to circle the tubers.
If you choose a seed potato, you will need to wait 90 to 120 days for them to grow to maturity. This is because the skin is sensitive to light and will sprout. While the sprouts are edible, the potato inside isn’t. After harvesting, potatoes may have green skin. The green skin is a mildly toxic alkaloid called solanin. Peeling the skin will prevent these potatoes from developing into a mushy, unpalatable variety.
You can also plant potatoes in an egg box or egg carton. Make sure to place them in a cool, sunny spot. Then, wait until they grow to about 2.5 cm. Potatoes can be grown in most soil types, but rich soil produces better quality potatoes. Add some compost to the soil before planting. This step is not difficult and can take six weeks. In the end, your potato plant should sprout and grow into a bushy plant.
When the plant flowers, the plants begin to form potato tubers. Potatoes are ready to harvest when they reach about a foot in height and a flower starts to form. Harvesting new potatoes can take anywhere from two to four months to reach full size. By the time the tops of the plants have died, the entire crop will be ready to harvest. After that, potatoes will continue to grow and mature later in the growing season. This way, you can harvest your potatoes when they are only a few inches in diameter and have several dozen.
Planting potatoes in a trench is a classic method. A shallow trench is dug, the seed potatoes are placed in the trench, eyes facing upward, and the soil around them is raked up, or hilled, along the sides of the plants. Hilling the soil along the sides of the potatoes helps keep the soil loose around the developing tubers, which prevents them from becoming green. During the early growing phase, the potatoes should be watered regularly.
The best time to plant potatoes is mid-March, but they can be planted late summer to produce a small crop. Early varieties will be ready for harvest 10 to 13 weeks after planting. Later varieties will take a little longer to mature, but they will produce a small harvest in September-October. If you plan to harvest potatoes in the late fall, you should plant them in early fall or early spring. If you plant them later, you may have to wait until the following summer to harvest them.
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