The economic slump and the sky rocketing prices of organically grown vegetables have indeed made growing vegetables in our own backyards or our vegetable garden popular. Potatoes are not only easy to grow but also their nutritional value and fresh flavor makes them the most desirable crop among the vegetable growers. Harvesting your own potatoes is easy because in just ten square feet of garden space about eighty pounds of potatoes can be easily grown.
Even if a person does not have a garden, it is possible to grow potatoes in old dustbins, big terracotta pots, old and unused barrels or simply even in a large bag. If the potato spuds are planted in early spring, the person can eat tasty nutritious and organically grown potatoes just a few months later.
There are some essential things that should be taken care of before planting potatoes. The planter should see that he gets certified disease free seed potatoes from a local nursery or through a mail order. Potatoes that are bought from the shops do not serve the purpose. Potatoes should only be grown in a compost- rich soil that is slightly acidic but well drained. This is done to prevent scabs in the yield. A soil amendment can be added for a rich yield but care should be taken not to add fresh manure as it only aggravates the occurrence of scabs.
Potatoes should be planted in early spring to get a good harvest. There are two ways of planting potatoes. They can be either planted as a whole or they can be planted by cutting them into chunks with 2 to 3 eyes on them. These cut chunks should be left out to dry slightly before planting. Care should also be taken to see that the cut sides face down while planting.
Potatoes should be planted in a place where it receives the full rays of the sun. They should be planted in rows with a distance of 3 inches gap between two rows. The seed potatoes should be planted in such a way that they are 4 inches under the soil and with a distance of 6 to 10 inches gap between the spuds. As the plants grow, the tubers should be covered with compost, leaves, straw, etc so that the tubers are not exposed directly to the sun.
Last but not least,Organic fertilizer is also very important. Phosphorus,potassium and other trace elements is essential for potato growth.Suitable fertilizer can help you increase the yields and quality of potato.
Potatoes should be harvested when they are young as they are very good and have the best flavor then. It is always advisable to leave the matured potatoes for some weeks under the soil as it will ensure that the skin is set well.
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