How to plant potatoes: The ‘most important rule’ to follow to avoid lack of growth

The space requirement to grow potatoes is off-putting to many gardeners because it means either removing plants to make room or giving up on the idea of ​​eating delicious, homegrown potatoes. Potatoes generally require a lot of space to grow. When planting in the ground, it is recommended to leave at least 45 cm between each row. However, gardening experts Fabulous Gardeners share a method of growing potatoes that doesn’t require a lot of space and is arguably, “easier than conventional growing” – growing them in pots.

Growing potatoes in pots will allow gardeners to harvest them without spending hours digging, and the plants are less susceptible to disease as well as harmful pests.

Before starting planting potatoes, experts have shared several rules that gardeners need to follow. The first is to know how many trees to plant.

He said: “The first and foremost rule is to know how many plants a container can support and not to overload it. As a general guide, a 10 liter bucket can support one potato plant and Adding more will either result in smaller potatoes or no potatoes at all.

“For large containers that will contain many plants, it is important to give each plant as much room as possible to grow, so avoid planting potatoes too close to each other.”

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Even the type of potato grown has an impact on the end result, with most gardeners preferring to grow early potatoes in pots. The experts said: “Early types are ready to harvest by mid-summer, which means they are not as affected by late summer potato blight as other varieties.”

The final rule is the same for all plants grown in containers – keep them well watered. Gardening professionals advise: “Keep in mind that, in general, plants can extend their roots deep into the soil in search of water, but when grown in containers the roots are limited and need to be kept moist.” depend on you.”

Once gardeners are armed with the right rules, they will need the right tools, the first being a container. Almost anything can be used as a container for potato plants, 10-litre buckets, large plant pots, an old bin – anything that can hold enough soil to be used as a container May go.

The experts said: “It’s important that the container you choose has adequate drainage, otherwise the potatoes will rot. If it doesn’t have any holes for drainage, make some yourself.”

Gardeners will then need seed potatoes and potting soil. For “best results”, the highest quality of soil should be used, look for soil that is suited to container gardening as this type drains easily.

Fertilizer can also be used, but it is not necessary – the decision to use fertilizer comes down to personal preference. Some gardeners prefer to mix a slow-release fertilizer into the soil during potting, while others prefer to use a natural liquid plant food after leaves develop. Whichever method is chosen, read and follow fertilizer directions and don’t “overfeed” the plant.

All living things require water to survive, however, potato plants “require extra care and attention” when watering. The soil should be kept at a relatively constant level of moisture, neither too wet nor too dry. If the soil is allowed to dry out “the plants and leaves will die” but if there is too much water in the soil “your potatoes will rot in the ground”.

When the necessary supplies have been gathered it is almost time to start planting. First, gardeners will need to prepare potatoes. They can either choose to sow whole or cut the potatoes in half.

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Whole planting is the “most common” method, simply planting the whole potato once it starts to sprout. In second place is the method of close cutting, it is good to use if gardeners do not have many seed potatoes.

Now that the potatoes are prepared it’s time to plant them, follow the steps below to make sure it’s done “right”. Start by filling 8 to 12 inches of soil into the bottom of the container. For those planning to use a slow release fertilizer, add it to the soil now.

Place the seed potatoes on top of this layer of soil, making sure there is as much space between them as possible. Try not to cram more potatoes, remember that a 10 liter bucket can only support one plant. So those who have a 30 liter container can plant a total of three potatoes.

Cover the potatoes with about 5 to 10 cm of soil, don’t worry if this doesn’t seem like enough. Water until the soil is moist.

The experts said: “An easy way to tell if you need to add more water is to stick your finger in the soil until it’s about two fingers deep, if it’s moist stop watering Do it, but if it’s dry, add more water.”

Professionals claim that when the potato plants have sprouted and grown to about 12 cm in height, it is time to start “filling the soil”. It’s basically adding more soil to the container.

Add four to five centimeters of soil around each plant so that they are all surrounded by a small hill that covers about a third of the plant. Don’t worry about the cover leaves dying, the plant will grow.

Repeat this process as the plants grow, and potato plants grow very quickly so check on them regularly. Keep repeating the hilling process until the soil reaches the top of the container.

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