Potatoes are a plant that you can grow even after they have sprouted, which is why some gardeners wonder how to plant potato roots. These vegetables are possibly the most versatile vegetables on the planet and you can use them for loads of different things. In today’s article, we’ll be taking a look at potatoes and sweet potatoes, their root systems, how to grow them and how to cook them!
You can plant potatoes after they’ve sprouted, and those sprouts are actually what you’ll be planting. Think of potato sprouts as their way of reproducing – this is what you’ll be using to plant potatoes in your garden.
To start, you’re going to have to separate the sprouts on the potato. A single potato doesn’t necessarily have a single sprout. Quite the opposite, actually – most time, a single potato will have several sprouts. What you should do is cut the potato into as many pieces as the number of sprouts on it. That way, each sprout will still be attached to a part of a potato.
When it comes to determining how many sprouts you’ll need – that depends on how many plants you plan on planting. You’ll need ten sprouts for ten mounds of potatoes, obviously.
Leave Them Out To Dry
After you’ve cut the potatoes into pieces, you should leave them out to dry in the sun for a few days. This way, you’re heavily reducing the chances of the potatoes developing rot once you’ve planted them.
Plant The Sprouts
Once they dried out, the sprouts are ready to be planted. You should plant your potatoes in early spring (spring doesn’t have to come at the same time in all areas, so keep that in mind).
You should dig a small hole in the ground and set the cut segments with the sprout facing upwards in the hole. The hole should be about 6 inches deep, and there should be about 12 inches of free space in all directions. Potatoes grow under the ground in a cluster, so they need a lot of space to huddle up underneath the ground.
After that, just cover them with plenty of dirt and some water!
Caring For Potatoes
The reason potatoes are so generally beloved is because they’re so easy to grow! They need very little care and you’ll be spending very little time taking care of them.
Watering Potato Roots
You’ll need to water your potatoes on a regular basis, at least once a week, but even more often if you live in a particularly dry or hot area. However, potatoes usually don’t need much watering as this plant can take care of itself for the most part. The biggest, and possibly the only real issue with potatoes, is pests!
Pest And Diseases
Potatoes are susceptible to many different pests and diseases, with the most famous one being the potato scab. This disease is relatively easy to fight against, however, as the best thing you can do is dust your potatoes with sulfur before you plant them.
It would also be prudent to plant your potatoes in soil with low pH – potatoes like soil that’s acidic, and planting them in acidic soil could prevent the potato scab.
There are also potato beetles that you should be on the lookout for. You know that they’re a serious threat to potatoes when the entire species was named after them. These beetles will eat potato leaves, but you can simply take care of them with an organic pesticide.
Except for that, there isn’t much that you can do to help your potatoes grow. These plants, as we said, can usually take care of themselves. Fertilization isn’t necessary unless the soil is particularly infertile.
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A clear-cut sign that your potatoes are ready to be harvested is the foliage dying. The top-most part of foliage will completely die to let you know that it’s ready to be harvested.
When the foliage died completely, cut it off to prevent rot, but leave the potatoes in the ground for another two weeks just to have them harden a bit more. Then, dig them out, but try not to cut any potatoes as that will ruin them – potatoes that have been bruised or cut open won’t survive storage.
Before storing them for a long time, make sure that you cure them by letting them sit in a dark and cool place for two weeks. This will, once again, harden them and prepare them for storage.
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Potato Roots Summary
Potatoes are one of the most beloved vegetables known to man, mostly because they’re so easy to grow and they can be used to make so many different dishes (and even alcohol). To grow potatoes, simply plant the cut-off sprouts from a single potato in different holes, cover them with dirt, and water them often enough.
These vegetables are susceptible to pests, so watch out for that, but aside from pests – they’re very easy to take care of and to prepare into a meal.
How deep do potato roots grow?
Potatoes spread at least 12 inches in all directions under the ground, while the roots will grow much deeper into the ground. This is why you need to have at least 12 inches of free space in all directions.
How to plant sweet potato roots?
Sweet potatoes are planted the same way regular potatoes are! Cut, cure and plant the sprouts in the ground.
Which part of a potato can grow roots?
The part that grows sprouts (which are essentially the roots) is called 'the eye' of the potato. This is the part you'll plant when you're planting your potatoes.
How to cook sweet potato roots?
Sweet potatoes just need to be peeled and chopped before sticking them in the oven. You can also make mashed sweet potatoes!