Potato

Print pagePDF pageEmail page

Solanum tuberosum

Pomme de Terre    Potato   Papa   Kartoffel

Crop Rotation Group :Solanaceae (Potato and tomato family)potato

Soil :Fertile, well drained soil (sandy loam) that has not been amended with manure for at least 6 months.

Position : Full sun

Frost tolerant : No.


Companionage

Helps: Brassicas, beans, corn, peas, passion fruit
Helped by:
Horseradish, beans, dead nettle, marigolds, peas, onion, garlic, thyme, clover
Avoid:
Atriplex, carrot, cucumber, pumpkin, raspberries, squash, sunflower, tomato
Attracts:
Repels:
Mexican bean beetle


 Plantation

Sow and Plant :Grow from sprouting potatoes or seed potatoes, cut into chunks so that each piece has 2 growing « eyes, » or sprouts. Let the cut pieces dry for a day before planting 3 inches deep. To get a head start on planting, you can greensprout your potatoes — also called “chitting” — about four weeks before you expect the soil temperature to reach 50 degrees. Just place uncut tubers in a dark spot at 65 to 70 degrees for about a week to encourage sprouting, and then move the spuds to a cooler location of about 50 degrees and expose them to light for about three weeks. The light will make the sprouts turn green and stay short and sturdy. Then, at planting time, cut the potatoes into seed pieces, leaving at least one eye in each piece. Learn more in Get a Head Start With Chitting Potatoes.
Newly harvested potatoes have to go through a dormancy period, which is anywhere from four to eight weeks, depending on the variety and the growing year.

Germination:  days

Spacing :Single Plants: 1′ 5″ (45cm) each way; Rows: 1′ 1″ (35cm) with 2′ 5″ (75cm) row gap

Feeding : Not usually required if plants are deeply mulched with straw, grass clippings, rotted leaves, or another organic mulch.


Harvesting :When the plants begin to bloom, feel under the mulch for little new potatoes. The single best method is to plant your potatoes quite shallowly and mulch them. Then, you can peel back the mulch and the potatoes will be within the top few inches of soil. A high-quality spading fork is the ideal tool for harvesting. Use your foot to push the fork in at the edge of the row, where it won’t spear any tubers, and then lean back until it frees up the soil and the tubers all in one motion. Harvest often as the plants begin to die back. Gather potatoes on a cloudy day, and cover them to protect them from exposure to light.

Yield per 10ft of row: 30lbs

Time to harvest: 140-150days


Troubleshooting :Horseradish increases the disease resistance of potatoes. It repels the potato bug. Garlic was shown to be more effective than fungicides on late potato blight. Peas were shown to reduce the density of Colorado potato beetles.
Yellow-and-black Colorado potato beetles lay eggs on leaf undersides, which hatch into fat red leaf- and flower-eating larvae. Use row covers to exclude them or hand pick off.

Notes :Try different types with red, tan or purple skins, but avoid big baking potatoes, which require a long, cool season. Keep potatoes mulched to protect shallow tubers from sun, which turns them green and bitter.