- Turning your garden or balcony into an organic vegetable patch is easier than it may seem at first sight.
- Growing your own vegetables is beneficial not only to your health but also to your pocket.
- In this post we give you a step-by-step guide on how to grow your own potatoes.
Why grow potatoes at home?
Potatoes (Solanum tuberosum) belong to the same family as tomatoes (Solanaceae family). This is a crop well worth the effort due to its great productivity. Weight-loss diets have made potatoes disappear off the menu for many people, but the truth is that this tubercle showcases countless benefits. It is a vegetable rich in carbohydrates that provides a huge amount of energy and is also a great source of potassium. In addition, potatoes are rich in vitamin B, C and D, folic acid, and minerals such as magnesium and iron. A great ally against cardiovascular disease, potatoes help reduce high blood pressure, as long as they're steamed and not boiled or fried, in which case they lose many of their beneficial properties.
What do you need to plant potatoes?
- A fabric pot
- Germinated potatoes
When is the right time to plant potatoes?
The best time to plant potatoes goes from early spring to mid-summer. Avoiding cold weather and frost is key.
How to plant potatoes?
Growing potatoes is really simple. You only need to follow these steps to obtain a successful crop:
- Buy organic potatoes and germinate them. This is really easy: you only need to leave them in a well-aerated spot with plenty of light, and they'll do the rest. Surely you've come across more than one germinated potato in your larder at some point!
- Place a layer of soil in the pot and put the potatoes in, with the sprouts up. Cover the potatoes with another layer of soil and then water. DO NOT fill the pots with soil all the way to the top (as the plant grows, you'll be adding more layers). The idea is for the plant 'to stretch'.
- As the plant grows, keep adding more layers of soil, trying not to cover the leaves. What you're looking for is vertical growth so that the roots can develop to the fullest, thus producing the maximum amount of potatoes.
- The potato plant will be ready for harvest when it starts flowering. Simply empty the pot in another container and collect your potatoes.
How to water potato plants?
The substrate needs to be kept moist at all times, but waterlogging must be avoided so fungi don't appear, and so that the potatoes don't rot. That's why using a fabric pot is important, as this promotes drainage. It's also vital to use the right type of soil to prevent waterlogging, which is why clayey soils should never be used to grow potatoes.
How to fertilise potato plants?
As with any type of plant, the better nourished your potato plants are, the better yields they'll produce. For this purpose, you must ensure that they receive the right amount of nutrients, which should include nitrogen, phosphorus, potassium, calcium, and sulphur. To make your life easier, we recommend the use of an organic fertiliser such as guano.