How To Grow Potatoes: Expert Tips

For gardeners who don’t have enough time and energy to maintain the potato beds, we’ve prepared a guide on how to grow a lot of potatoes with minimal care. The plant can grow up to 50 cm tall. Potatoes have a relatively short root system, with the majority of roots in the upper 60 cm of the soil. The cultivation of this crop has its own particularities, without which you can’t live without. How to plant potatoes correctly.

How to get a high yield of potatoes? Cultivation of this crop has its own characteristics, without knowledge of which you can’t do without. How to plant potatoes correctly.

Choosing a variety

Getting high yields of potatoes largely depends on the right variety. Well-known varieties, such as “blue-eye”, of course, are very tasty, but resistant to almost all types of potato diseases.

Experts note that late varieties have a higher yield, but even a very good variety should not be planted for more than 8 or 10 years. It should be replaced by a new one.

Preparation of soil and potatoes for planting

The soil for potatoes for next year begins to prepare already at the end of the current summer. Urea, ammonium nitrate, double granulated superphosphate or potassium salt can be applied under re-cultivation.

Pure-seeded tubers should weigh between 55 and 100 grams. It is recommended to warm the tubers to room temperature for 3 days, then place them on a window sill, in low boxes or on the floor near a window, so that the tubers are slightly exposed to daylight.

Potatoes can be treated with copper sulfate or biostimulants.

If the tubers have thick, strong and short sprouts, they can be planted. Large potatoes should be cut with a knife so that the cut parts have at least 2 sprouts. Let them dry for 2 days and then plant them.

Planting potatoes

It is best to plant potatoes after cucumbers, radishes, radishes, beans, green peas and cider plants. It should not be placed after tomato and eggplant.

Plant potatoes only if the soil warms up to 8C. Stick to a planting depth of 9-10 cm. Early varieties should be planted in the first days of May. For mid-maturing potatoes plant in the 10th of May.

Planting methods

1. Smooth method. Plant the vegetable by spreading the potatoes in a furrow. The best potato growth is noticed when the distance between the bushes is 65-70 cm and the row spacing is made wide. Loosen the row spacing and dip should be done a week after planting.

2. Ridge method. Cut ridges with a tractor cultivator or power tiller. Spread the potatoes on loamy soils at 8 cm, on loamy sandy soils at 11 cm.

Taking care of the potatoes

It is necessary to monitor the condition of the soil. It should be moderately moist, loose and free of weeds. Mowing the potatoes should be carried out when the plant is 15-17 cm in height.

If plants are growing slowly, do not forget to feed them and water them regularly. You can recognize poor growth by the condition of the tops. For example, if there is a lack of nitrogen, there will be thin stems and small leaves, and the tops will be light green.

Finish each watering by loosening the soil. When watering, hold the watering can close to the ground. The water temperature should be higher than the soil temperature.

Fertilizer for potatoes

Organic fertilizers are the most valuable for potatoes. Manure that has not fully rotted is good for 2-4 years. Manure that has decomposed to humus is 4 times more saturated with nitrogen than fresh manure. Therefore, it is better to choose rotted manure for fertilization. It is also recommended to use slurry with water or humus. Use wood ash under the re-cultivation, add it to the top dressing and in the holes.

How to store potatoes properly

Potatoes should be stored in cold, dry and well-ventilated rooms. During storage, the main thing is not to let the tubers sprout or rot. Potatoes spoil particularly badly in the spring.

How to grow potatoes in a bucket

Some resourceful gardeners grow vegetables in buckets on a small suburban plot, where the lack of space prevents planting crops by the traditional method. In this case, the number of buckets used can be up to 10 or even more. They can be placed in any convenient place with good sunlight. Before planting, the tubers are powdered with wood ash to disinfect them.
To compose the soil take:

  • 2 parts compost;
  • 1 part garden soil;
  • 1.5 cups of wood ash (per bucket).

At first, the buckets will be filled with soil a little more than half. Later, supplementing the soil will be required.

Planting Features

This method of planting potatoes has an important feature. The soil is not poured all at once, but in stages. At the bottom of each bucket, several drainage holes must be made, so it is more convenient to use containers made of plastic.

At the bottom of each bucket should be poured a layer of soil about 15 cm, and then put 1-2 tubers and cover with the same amount of soil. After planting, the buckets are placed between the beds, along the wall of the house, on the balcony. The main thing is that they were illuminated by the sun, otherwise the harvest will be scarce. Similarly, grow potatoes in barrels, wooden crates, bags.

After the sprouts that emerged from the ground to a height of 10-12 cm in the container again sprinkle soil, leaving only the tops of the leaves on the surface.

From an agrotechnical point of view, this procedure is similar to rocking. Stems covered with soil grow new stolons, on which the tubers will develop. As the shoots grow in 1,5-2 weeks, the soil is topped up again. Now the soil level is almost flush with the edge of the bucket.

Water the potatoes in container planting depending on the weather. Between waterings, the top layer of soil should dry out slightly. A large amount of fertilizer with this method of cultivation is not required.

Two times of spraying with wood ash infusion will be enough (1 tablespoon of ash per liter of hot water, insist 2-3 days).

In 15-20 days after flowering, you can choose the first tubers from the ground. They will already be large enough. The final harvest is collected after the tops turn yellow. The container is simply overturned and take out the potatoes.

From each bucket as a result collect 2-2,5 kilograms of environmentally friendly vegetables. Of course, the resulting harvest is not much, but it will not take much effort. But it will be possible to serve delicious, self-grown potatoes, which cultivation is not used any chemicals.

Growing potatoes in barrels, bags

The method of growing potatoes in barrels or bags has recently gained great popularity. There are many instructions and recommendations on the Internet, how to plant and grow root crops in this way. Let’s try to understand the value of this method and whether it works in practice.

To begin with, it is necessary to prepare the barrel itself. The bottom of a metal, plastic or wooden barrel is removed, small holes are drilled on the sides for air circulation. In the case of growing potatoes in a bag, no additional preparation is required, bags are well oxygen permeable.

Next, a 10 cm layer of soil is laid out and planting material is placed on it. The soil should be fertilized in advance. After the potato sprouts reach 2-3 cm, they need to be covered with soil. The procedure is repeated several times, until the barrel is filled with soil to 1 meter. Do not forget to water the plants – this is a must!

When the root crops are ripe and the haulm turns yellow, it’s time to harvest. Most articles about growing potatoes in barrels or bags promise incredible yields with minimal labor. But is the method really that good?

Most reviews of amateur growers say that the harvest of potatoes in a barrel is not as rich as promised by experts gardeners. As a rule, per bush grows far fewer tubers than in the usual open ground. Perhaps the reason lies in the non-observance of technology, in any case, as an experiment you can try this method, but to plant potatoes only by this method is clearly not worth it.

Protection against pests and diseases

Diseases and pests of potatoes reduce its yield and quality of tubers. The main fungal diseases of this culture are early rot and phytophthora. Colorado potato beetle and wireworms are the most harmful insects.


The most common fungal disease of potatoes. It affects leaves, stems, and tubers. Brownish-grayish depressed spots form on the tuber surface, while the inside is colored rusty-brown. The fungus enters tubers during harvesting. The disease spreads in wet, moderately warm weather. To prevent development of the disease, remove and destroy all diseased plant debris after harvesting. At the first sign of the disease, plants are sprayed with 90% copper chloroxide solution.

Colorado potato beetle control

One of the methods of pest control in private households is cultivation of resistant potato varieties. The Colorado potato beetle less affects the following varieties: Garnet, Crystal, Lasunok, Ogonyok, Loschitsky, Temp. Chemical control remains the most effective method of beetle control. Treatment of plants is usually started when there are more than 15 larvae per plant. For the first treatments, it is better to use insecticides such as “Komandor” and “Iskra Gold” – they provide protection for 20 days.

Fighting wireworms

Wireworms live in the ground and damage stolons, roots, stem bases and especially tubers. Helps in the fight against wireworm early fall recultivation of the soil. Deep loosening in spring and summer helps kill the larvae. Liming of acidic soils has an effective effect.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs):

Why can't we plant potatoes in the same plot every year?

Because pathogens and pest larvae accumulate in the soil. In the same place, the potatoes can be returned no earlier than 4 years. And it is best to plant it after cucumbers, cabbage, peas, root crops and corn. But one should not plant potatoes after their relatives – solanaceous crops, such as tomatoes, peppers and eggplants, because they have common pathogens.

Is it necessary to germinate potato tubers before planting?

Not necessary, but desirable. And it is important to germinate them in the light, because the sunlight will form in tubers a poisonous substance solanine that protects potatoes from pathogens. And germinated potatoes sprout earlier, which is important if May is dry. The sooner the potatoes sprout, the sooner they can put down roots in the lower layers of the soil and get their own water.

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