Potatoes contain phosphorus and potassium and are easily digestible. They can be grown all year round, the important thing is to avoid low temperatures: around zero, the plants die. They are watered in the evening, regularly.
HOW TO GROW POTATOES
The potato (Solanum tuberosum) belongs to the Solanaceae family, the same botanical family of tomatoes and eggplants. This annual herbaceous crop is native to South America and originates from Peru, Chile, and Bolivia. The potato began to spread in the old continent after the expeditions of Christopher Columbus and in Italy began to be cultivated around 1600.
Potatoes are very rich food from a nutritional point of view since they belong to the carbohydrate family, contain phosphorus and potassium and are very digestible. Growing them in pots, in the garden in the garden or on the balcony is simple by following a few simple rules.
HOW TO GROW POTATOES IN POT
To begin with, take a very large pot, at least 50 lt, fill it 1/4 of good potting soil and get good compost, better if done at home following this procedure. At this point, just take some potatoes, possibly organic and follow a few simple tips.
For growing in pots or in soil, the seedlings should be placed at least 35 cm from each other. If you intend to grow potatoes on the balcony, do not forget that it is very particular cultivation: this vegetable is a tuber and grows underground!
HOW TO GROW POTATOES AT HOME
You can use very tall pots, buckets, recovery bins or bags. For this DIY cultivation at home, a lot of fertile soil (universal soil) and potatoes to germinate will be enough.
Half fill the bag with fertile soil. Place the potatoes to be grown on top of each other, spaced at most from each other and cover them with another topsoil. During the growth of the potatoes in the sack, if new roots appear on the surface, cover with other soil.
The harvest period is at the beginning of autumn. Two weeks before harvest, cut the plants over the root leaving them on the ground, then remove the soil to collect them. Here now the potatoes are ready to be cooked. To understand if it is the right time to harvest potatoes, just rub the peel. If this does not come off, the potatoes are ripe for harvesting.
HOW TO GROW POTATOES ON THE GROUND
It is not necessary to buy seeds or seedlings. If you have potatoes at home, you can definitely start cultivation. Before planting the potatoes, place them on a tray in a cool place with natural light for 3-6 weeks. But be careful not to put the potatoes in the sun.
Waiting times vary by potato. If the potato has been harvested for a long time, it will take a short time to sprout. When the potatoes have sprouted you can proceed with the cultivation.
The cultivation prefers a temperate cold climate but fears the intense cold. With sub-zero temperatures, the leaves freeze and die. Only in the South does the sowing of potatoes take place in the autumn for a spring harvest. Since the potato is a tuber and, therefore, a root vegetable, the best moon for sowing is the waning phase.
The potato plant easily adapts to different types of soil. However, the best yields are obtained in soils with an organic substance, well-aerated and with a pH between 5.5 and 7.5. Prepare grooves on which to lay the potato. Then dig holes about 50 cm deep, spaced at least 30 cm apart in a row. Put the potatoes in each hole, letting the sprouts develop upwards.
Depending on the climatic conditions and the season, the potatoes can be watered 2-3 to 7-10 times a month. To adjust, just look at the soil: if it is too dry, it is necessary to irrigate. Water constantly, especially in summer.
Fertilize the soil with nutrients preferably of biological origin. You can use the manure, which however must be well mature, and in any case, buried in the winter. To improve the quality of the soil, the result of domestic composting can be planted. Also, in this case, it is necessary to act with a certain advance compared to the period foreseen for sowing.
Perform the harvest of potatoes when the plant is completely dried in the air. The exact moment will depend on the variety you have chosen and the time of sowing. In the home, it is made by hand. So, to facilitate the operation, it is advisable to choose a time when the soil is tempera, that is, neither too dry nor too wet.
- To promote good cultivation it is necessary:
- Keep potatoes in the dark to facilitate the sprouting process.
- Bury the tubers in parallel rows spaced at least 60-70 cm apart. Space does not serve as much for the propagation of the tuber as for allowing normal maintenance work and facilitating the harvest. For this reason, in the crops on the balcony, the potato can be planted in a bag full of potting soil and compost.
- The holes intended to house the tubers can be made with the aid of an awl.
- Water regularly without stagnation of water.
- The flowers of the potatoes are very beautiful and tell us that the plant is healthy.
- When the potatoes are ready, let them dry in the sun.
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