Our potato-growing guide will cover the most asked question – how long does it take for potatoes to grow and general tips to grow this crop.
Did you know you can grow your own potatoes in your garden? The advantage of growing your own is that you can have a full years crop that you enjoy without incurring the costs of buying from the stores.
Potatoes are loved vegetables and they do well across America. You can plant your potatoes early in the spring as soon as the frost is gone out of the soil and you are able to work the soil.
How Long Does It Take Potatoes To Grow?
To arrest your fears, we will talk about how long it takes to grow your own potato crop from seed to harvest.
How long depends on the variety of the potatoes you seed. This may sound confusing but we will explain it below. There are 3 main types of potatoes with each having a different maturity time.
The Early Varieties have shorter maturity times and are fully grown and ready for harvest in less than 90 days from seeding. This variety is best for cool regions to help you harvest an early crop. Some early varieties include Red Norland and King Harry, which has purple skin and is resistant to Caribe, potato beetles.
The Mid-Season Varieties reach their maturity in about 100 days from seeding and are best for planting in warm areas.
The Late Variety produces enough potatoes to take you through winter and they mature in about 110 days. They are ideal for warm areas and store very well for longer periods.
Generally, it takes about 80-110 days for your potatoes to reach maturity. You can start harvesting your potatoes as soon as you notice the first large enough tubers. You do not have to wait for the potatoes to reach their full size. The small young tubers are tender and tasty too.
Useful Tips To Follow On How To Grow Potatoes
Regardless of what variety you choose to grow, there are few growing tips you should follow to ensure you get a good harvest.
Get Certified Tubers
Each potato tuner equals a potato seed! Your potato harvest will grow to form the tubers you plant in the ground. You can use any tuber, yes, but if you want a good harvest then go for certified tubers. These tubers from a local nursery are ready for planting and will easily sprout. Potatoes sold in the Supermarket are treated against sprouting. And even if they sprout and you grow from them, the potatoes will be weaker and prone to diseases.
Pre-Sprout Your Potatoes Indoors
If you want your crop to start well, plant pre-sprouted potatoes. To pre-sprout, place the tubers in a warm well-lit room for about 5 weeks before planting. You will notice sprouts beginning to come out from the tubers. Planting pre-sprouted potatoes give you the advantage of harvesting at least a month before the standard maturity time.
Fertilize Your Growing Potatoes
When seeding your potatoes fertilize them and do so again when the plants are growing to give you good produce.
Potatoes need a lot of moisture to grow well. The best way to keep the moisture levels high is bymulching with a good layer of leaves, straw, or plastic mulch. Also, help a good amount of soil at their base to cover the growing potatoes from direct sunlight that will turn them green if they come into contact.
Cover The Potatoes As They Grow In Case Of Poor Weather
If you have already seeded your potatoes and a frost is coming, use an old blanket to cover the seedlings to protect them. Covering protects them from frost and the stems will continue to grow as soon as you remove the blanket. If you don’t cover your potatoes from frost, they will frost making their maturity date be delayed.
Plant More Tubers As Soon As You Harvest Your Ready Potatoes
If you want more potatoes in the coming seasons, the secret is to plant immediately you harvest instead of leaving the spot vacant. The soil in which your potatoes grew is rich in nutrients and you can easily grow other crops like beans, tomatoes, squash, etc.
Planting Potatoes Conclusion
How long does it take to grow potatoes is no longer a mystery to you now. You only have to decide what type to plant and how much. Do not forget you can keep a few tubers from your harvest to plant in your next season.