Potato is the favorite vegetable of most people. You have to follow some steps to grow potatoes in your raised bed. These steps are not very difficult if you use certified seed potatoes then your plants will be prevented from diseases like blight. There are types of raised beds that are available for growing potatoes, for example, you can use a garbage can, potato grows box or any type of container. In this article we will discuss in detail varieties of potatoes, planting of potatoes, maintenance, harvesting, and storing. Hope after reading this article you will get significant knowledge regarding the growing of potatoes in raised beds.
HOW TO SELECT SEED POTATOES
If you go to the grocery store you can find half of a dozen different types of potatoes but from the seed company, you can shop, hundreds of types of potato. It is very necessary to do some research before buying your seed potatoes. It is very important to know which potato type will grow best according to your area’s climate. It is important to select those types of potatoes which are disease-free.
VARIETIES OF POTATOES
There are generally three varieties found which are early season, midseason, and late season.
The maturity time of early-season potatoes is within 75 to 90 days. Due to the short growing season, this type of potato is very popular among the gardeners. The most popular options belong to the the the early season are
- Yukon Gold
- Irish Cobbler
The maturity time off-season potatoes is about 95 to 110 days. The most popular options belong to the midseason are
- French Fingerling
- Ida Rose
- Red Pontiac
- Rose Finn Apple
- Yukon Gem
- Gold Rush
- Purple Viking
LATE SEASON POTATOES
You have to wait a long time for fresh potatoes as compared to the early season and midseason. The maturity time of late-season potatoes is about 135 days, which is a long period. The most popular variety which belongs to this season
- Purple Peruvian
- All Blue
CHITTING THE SEEDS OF POTATOES
This process is very necessary before planting the seeds into the soil. It is very helpful and tries to do this at least one month before your planting date. Chitting is a process in which you should place your seed potatoes in a small box or you can use a newspaper. Try to place them in a warm area after sometimes you will see the eyes will start to appear. When your potatoes start sprouting they are ready for planting.
CUTTING THE SEED POTATOES FOR PLANTING
When sweet potatoes have some eyes then it is ready for planting. You cut the seed potato for this purpose, you need pieces of seed potatoes if they are large enough. If your sweet potato was already in small sizes then there is no need to cut them for planting but one thing to remember is sea potato has at least two eyes. If your seed potato has no eye then it will not germinate into a new potato plant. If you follow the tips then you will get good healed off your potatoes.
PREPARING RAISED BED
If you are planting your potatoes in a raised bed then don’t worry you can get the highest production of your potato. Your raised bed can be built from any material like wood, metal, or plastic. You can get healthy potatoes from a raised bed as compared to an in-ground bed. Raised beds have many benefits as you know that it is portable, easy to maintain, less danger of weeds and pests, less compaction, less tilling, and many more.
After following the above instructions your seed potatoes are ready for planting. start preparing your raised bed for planting your favorite vegetable. The raised bed must be 12 inches deep. so potatoes can find proper space for their root development. Fill the raised bed with high-quality soil and add compost and fertilizer if needed.
You can maintain the fertility of soil very easily which is not possible in in-ground beds. To moisturize the soil of the bed, you can add mushroom compost and a little bit of perlite which is very helpful to retain the moisture within your raised bed. Make smooth the top of the raised bed with the help of any small board or flat surface when your top surface becomes smooth, with the help of a trowel, you can create the planting trenches.
If you want to attempt an easy and cheap way to plant potatoes then adopt trench planting. In a fertile soil dig shallow tranches about three feet apart. The number of rows depends upon the size of your raised bed. If you are growing potatoes in a 4 by 4 raised bed then you can easily make three rows.
Read More: How To Improve The Soil In My Raised Beds?
PLANTING THE SEED POTATOES
Timing is very important while planting, too-cold, and too-wet soil are not suitable for potatoes because they can rot. Start planting potatoes after the danger of frost. After creating the trenches, now the time has come to start planting seed potatoes in your raised bed. You have already made pieces of seed potatoes. Leave these pieces of seed potatoes in the trenches.
The 8-inch gap is necessary between each seed potato. It is noted that the eye of the seed potatoes must be facing up. In this way, your potato plant will sprout correctly. If the eyes are facing down in the ground or raised bed then the plant of the potato will never sprout. If you make trenches with proper spacing and eyes of seed potatoes are up, now the time comes to cover these seed potatoes with soil.
The seed potatoes should be sown under the soil about four inches deep. Place a small stick on the place where you plant your seed potato, it is easy for you to figure out the place where you have sown them.
WATER THE SEED POTATOES
After completing this work and your potatoes are covered with soil, now water them thoroughly. Water the sweet potatoes well but not too much. Overwatering is not good for your plants and it can cause them to rot.
Read More: Self Watering System for your Raised Beds
MAINTENANCE OF POTATO PLANTS
After some weeks your seed potatoes will start sprouting. Now your raised bed needs good mulch, for this purpose you can use a straw. Potato needs more water as compared to other plants so it is a good idea to mulch it because, in this way, soil can retain more moisture and suppress the weeds.
For mulching, you can use many things like leaves, weeds, hay, straw, and silage. You should avoid using grass clippings as they have a rich quantity of nitrogen. In this way, your plant will grow new seeds instead of developing new tubers. The excess of nitrogen will also affect the taste of the potato. When your plants grow about 6 inch your plant needs more soil.
HOW MANY POTATOES YOU GET FROM ONE PLANT OF POTATO?
How many potatoes you will get from one plant is a very difficult question. It depends upon what type of potato you choose to grow in your raised bed. Some potatoes are very large in size so you will get a few tubers per plant, but small potatoes are large in number. From 1 seed potato, you can get 0.5 to 1 kg or you can say 1 to 2 lbs of potatoes.
COMMON POTATOES PROBLEMS
If the pH of the soil is very high then you can see the problem of potato scab. If you place a straw at the top of the potatoes then you can prevent them from bacteria.
Colorado potato beetle is a pest which is a big problem for your potato crop. Diatomaceous earth can be used to control them.
HARVESTING OF POTATOES
You can harvest potatoes after the three weeks when your plant has stopped flowering. This time is suitable for harvesting potatoes if you want new potato, but if you need mature and large potatoes then you will have to wait until the plant’s foliage dies back. Select a dry day for harvesting your potatoes. Then start digging gently, you should be very careful and trying not to be a bruise or cut the potato skin.
STORING OF POTATOES
If you want to store your potatoes then stop watering them and make them dry towards the end of the growing season, because if your soil is wet then you have to wait to dry your potatoes before storing them. There is no need to place your potato in the sun to make them dry but you can keep them in a cool and dry place for 2 weeks to preserves.
Tips for storing
- It is important to know that never store your potatoes with apples because in this way their skin can be rot.
- Avoid storing your potatoes in the refrigerator.
- Before storing, don’t wash your potato. You can wash them before you want to use them.