It’s almost Spring again in some parts of the world. That means it’s almost gardening season again too. Homegrown potatoes are so tender, yummy and easy to grow.
So how do you plant seed potatoes, so you can grow them yourself? There are a couple of ways to do this.
Planting Seed Potatoes
You could, of course, go and buy seed potatoes from a garden centre. But what if they’re closed indefinitely, not open yet for the season or they’re out?
Don’t fret, you could also use potatoes from the grocery store, as long they get warm enough to sprout. You can’t eat the potatoes that sprout, but you can plant them and get a lot more potatoes that you can.
And the good news is that some grocery stores sell soil and fertilizer, if you don’t have a garden and want to grow plants in buckets.You could cut the larger potatoes to spread them out more. Just make sure they have a couple of sprouts on each portion.
The smaller potatoes are fine to plant as they are. If you’re lucky enough to have a large garden, you can plant them there. Make sure they’re at least 6-8″ apart and at least 10″ in the ground.
If you’re growing potatoes in your garden, please don’t grow them too close to nightshade veggies, such as peppers and tomatoes. They both need the same nutrients from the soil and will compete with others for those nutrients.
They are both prone to early and late blight.
*If you have deer in your area that like to chew on your plants, consider a high fence. Or if that’s too expensive or obstructive, you could use light netting that’s weighed down*
The good news is that even if you don’t have a garden or space to create one, you can grow potatoes in buckets.
A couple of things that are important with this method, is not putting too many potatoes in one bucket and that there’s proper drainage, meaning holes at the bottom so your potatoes won’t rot.
*A way to ensure proper drainage is to place the buckets on a couple of pieces of wood or bricks*
How to know when the potatoes are ready to harvest
You might be wondering, how do I know when they’re ready? First, the potatoes will grow lovely green stems and foliage.
Then, after a couple of months, they grow lovely purple and white flowers with a yellow stamen. They’ll stay this way for a while, then you’ll know your potatoes are ready when the stems and flowers dry up and wither.
So, please don’t panic when you see this. You didn’t kill them, as long you’ve been watering them. And please be patient. If you’re already a gardener, you’ll already know that gardening can take time.
And if you’re new to gardening, don’t despair if it seems to take forever or if it doesn’t work out. Take it as a learning experience.
It’s so rewarding to nurture a garden by weeding, fertilizing, watering, waiting and then seeing it grow into something that’ll be beautiful and feed you and your family.