Potato is a very attractive and versatile vegetable for gardeners. It can be added to any dish and cooked in any form: boil, fry, add to salads and soups.
However, many gardeners do not grow potatoes due to the fact that it takes up a lot of space in the garden.
Planting and Growing Tips
Potatoes love loose and moderately soft soil, but can grow in many other types of soil. The roots of this vegetable develop much better by adding a large amount of compost or straw to the soil to a depth of 7 to 15 centimeters.
While potatoes love soft soil, they do not like constant moisture. Because under such conditions, he begins to rot.
For growing potatoes, seed tubers are used - this is such a potato, on which several "eyes" have grown. The potato peephole is the place where the root has not yet formed.
Before planting, it is recommended to cut the seed potatoes into several pieces so that each has at least one peephole. Seed potatoes can be purchased at gardening stores or grown by yourself.
Most gardeners begin planting potatoes a few weeks before the last frost in their region. It is susceptible to frost, but takes root for several weeks and begins to germinate.
Prepare and loosen the soil before planting. Place 1-2 seed potatoes on the ground and cover 8-11 centimeters of soil. Water well. It is recommended to keep a distance of about 30 centimeters between each planted seed center.
To make the potatoes tender and less susceptible to disease, mix the earth with sulfur 1-2 weeks before planting.
Potato plants should be fertilized every 2-4 weeks. Avoid fertilizers with a high nitrogen content, as with the help of nitrogen, foliage picks up nutrients from the roots in its favor. A good potato fertilizer contains low nitrogen and high phosphorus.
As the plants grow, spill additional soil around them every week or two. Keep the tubers out of direct sunlight. You can also cover the soil around the plants with compost or mulch.
When exposed to direct sunlight, potatoes turn green. Green potatoes produce a toxin that is toxic to humans. In no case do not eat green potatoes and do not give them to animals.
A couple of weeks after the plants bloom, carefully penetrate the soil between the roots to see if the potato has enough large tubers for harvesting. Be careful not to tear the main root from the plant until new potatoes appear.
Replace the soil or mulch around the plant. Once the tubers grow large enough for consumption, you can collect as much as you need. After the plants die, dig up the potatoes around it, as well as the plant itself. Dig far enough not to chop potatoes during harvesting.
Do not rush to dig up potatoes immediately after the death of plants. He will remain safe in the ground for several weeks. But it is worth monitoring pests: insects, moles or mice, who are not averse to feasting on a fresh crop of potatoes.
How many days does the potato ripen
Early varieties from 70 to 90 days, medium varieties from one and a half to four months, the latest varieties from 120 to 140 days.
Potatoes are susceptible to a number of pests. Among the most common are Colorado beetles.
Homemade pest recipe: Boil rhubarb and let it cool. Then water the rhubarb around the plants.