You can plant potatoes as the initial plants immediately; the frost leaves the soil. Potato farming is quite popular as the product is used to prepare different kinds of food.
For all your potato planting and endeavors, your number one solution is Checchi & Magli. Founded in 1976, the company has been a leader in the manufacture of transplanter machines for vegetables such as the potato planter machine. They have the best potato cultivation and harvesting machines and also the bed-making machines. If you practice large-scale or small-scale potato farming, products from Checchi & Magli will ultimately make your work easier and produce quality end products.
Potato is the third essential crop worldwide after wheat and rice. Over a billion people consume potato worldwide, and the crop’s total production surpasses 300 million metric tons. Over 4,000 potato varieties can be traced more so in the Andes. They manifest in diverse shapes and sizes. More than 180 wild species of potatoes also roam the world.
When to Plant
It is advisable to plant potatoes in cool weather. Some farmers in the north prefer planting their potatoes around April. That usually is before the last frost date, or immediately the soil is ready for cultivating. The potatoes can handle the cool weather, but you can cover the sprouted foliage using an artificial covering such as old sheets if there is a frost threat.
You could also cover the foliage with mulch. For the best results, consider planting the potatoes as soon as the soil is suitable for planting but be cautious as frost may damage some plants. Usually, the soil will dictate when the time is ready for planting. The soil temperature should be around 10 degrees, and it should not have any wetness.
Let the soil dry first since the seedlings will rot if you plant them in too wet soil. Farmers in the south choose to grow potatoes as winter crops grown from September all the way to February. In Georgia, farmers plant their potatoes in February, while in central Florida, they are planted in January.
Preparations for the Planting Site
- Potatoes are known to thrive in well-drained, cool, and loose soil with a temperature of around 45 degrees to 55 degrees Fahrenheit.
- Pick a location that receives around 6 hours of sunlight daily.
- The potatoes should be spaced and planted in rows. Strive to achieve the 3 feet apart distance between them.
- Using a shovel or a hoe, make a trench about 8 inches underground and 6 inches wide.
- Mix organic fully-rotted manure and pour it into the trench before you plant the potatoes.
Planting the Potatoes
- Place a seed potato piece in the trench every 14 inches and then spread 4 inches topsoil on the top.
- If the garden soil is rocky, drop the seeds on the ground and sprinkle it with compost and soil mixture. After that, cover the seeds with leaves and straws. Remember to hill up the material as the potatoes shoot and grow.
- Seed potatoes are the ideal starters. Do not get confused about potato seeds, seed potatoes, and grocery produce. They are all different things. Pick the seed potatoes with buds.
- Use a clean knife to slice the potatoes into pieces. The pieces ought to be the size of an average golf ball and ensure they have two buds on every piece. As for the large-scale farmers, it is prudent to use a potato planter machine to make your work easier.
- Supposing you will cut the potatoes yourself, do so like a day or two before planting. That timeline offers a layer that enhance rot resistance and moisture retention.
- Around 12 to 16 days after you plant the seeds, the sprout’s appearance, use a tool such as a hoe to fill the trench gently with another 4 inches of the topsoil. Leave a few inches of the plant on the outside.
- When the plants emerge, place an organic mulch on them to conserve moisture. The mulch goes in the midst of the rows. It is useful in cooling the soil as well as controlling the weed.
When to Harvest
- When the foliage dies back, your potatoes are ready for harvest. Ensure the top of these plants is dead before harvesting.
- Do not water the potatoes the period before harvesting to harden them for storage.
- Do a test hill to determine how the potatoes are doing, if they are suitable for harvesting. Their skin ought to be thick and firm. In case their skin is loose, then consider leaving them for several days before harvesting.
Potato growing can be profitable if you do it passionately. For the large-scale farmers, consider getting your top-quality machinery from Checchi & Magli. They have the best machinery for potato planting and preparations that encompasses modern technology. Follow the above hacks to grow your potatoes and harvest quality and fresh produce.