How to sow potatoes

The most loved tuber

The potato is an edible tuber that belongs to the Solanum Tuberosum species, of the Solanaceae family, and is native to South America; but, after the discovery of the New Continent, the potato has also found great success on European tables. In fact, potatoes can be cooked in many different ways, all tasty and nutritious. Therefore, always having a harvest available from the home garden can be really handy. Know how to sow potatoesit is not complicated at all, just have a small plot of land exposed to the sun, and choose the most suitable variety of potato to grow. In fact, there are many cultivars, or species that have been selected through crosses. There are four main varieties: yellow-fleshed, white-fleshed, red-skinned and finally thin-skinned, the so-called new potatoes.

What potatoes to sow

To choose the potato varieties that are most suitable for planting in the home garden, there are other aspects that must be considered. First, the climate of the area in which you live must be assessed. In fact, potatoes need to be grown in a soil whose temperature always fluctuates between 7 and 25 degrees. Therefore, if you live in a cold climate area, the sowing period should be between February and June; in warmer areas it will be good to sow in cooler periods, between September and December. Based on this, you can decide whether to plant early potatoes, early seeds or late. The difference is in the time that passes between sowing and harvesting: the early one grows in 65 days, the early seed takes between 70 and 80, and the late one develops in 90 days.

How to sow potatoes

When sowing, remember not to use the same soil for more than two years in a row for potatoes, as well as for other solanaceae plants, because they impoverish the soil and the yield would be poor. Potato seeds are the potatoes themselves, the so-called seed potatoes. You can buy them in the nursery, or use the sprouted potatoes from the previous year’s harvest. Instead, it is not advisable to use geminate potatoes bought at the supermarket, because they could develop diseases. The preparation of the soil is very important, an operation that must be done after the last spring frost. The soil must not have particular characteristics, other than that of being very draining and well fertilized with organic fertilizer, preferably cow or sheep manure, and chemical fertilizer, based on nitrogen and potassium.

How potatoes are grown

The soil must be worked for a long time with a hoe and spade, to create furrows about 80 centimeters away from each other, while the potatoes will be buried 30-40 centimeters from each other, about fifteen centimeters deep . The sprouts must be placed upwards: the smaller seed potatoes can be planted entirely, otherwise they must be cut into two or four parts. If you want to get small potatoes, leave five sprouts on each seed; otherwise, only three are left. If the climate is still a bit harsh, a layer of mulch can be used after sowing. Potatoes do not need too much water: just water them once a week, avoiding stagnation. The seedlings will grow after a few weeks, also producing beautiful, very ornamental flowers.

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