Potato is a perennial flowering plant that is widely cultivated as an annual vegetable. The vegetable is mainly grown for its edible tubers which are a common staple food in many countries.
These potato tubers contain starch and are formed in the ground. As the potato grows, the leaves of the potato plant produce starch which is then transferred to the ends of the potato’s underground stems. The starch will continue to accumulate at this part of the stems until the stems form large thinken roots also known as potatoes tubers.
The tubers are what potato growers use to grow new potatoes and they are what people eat as a staple food.
Before I start explaining how to grow potatoes from potatoes or in water, it is important to know the difference between seed potato, store-bought potato, and potato scraps.
Seed potato: seed potato is a certified potato tuber that is mainly cultivated to be sold to gardeners or potato growers. Seed potatoes are diseases free and they have a 100 percent chance of regrowing into new potato plants. They are well adapted to climatic conditions, pests, and diseases.
Store-bought potato: store-bought potatoes are tubers that are mainly grown to be consumed. These types of potatoes are sometimes treated with chemicals that will inhibit the potato tubers from sprouting. Store-bought potatoes are not used to grow new potato plants if they are treated with tuber growth inhibitors.
Potato scraps: Potato scraps are leftovers of potatoes that are gotten when potatoes are peeled or damaged. These peels of potatoes can be grown if the main potatoes were not treated with sprout-inhibiting chemicals and when the potatoes peels have eyes or buds.
Growing potatoes from scraps is sometimes a guest work. The scraps may grow if you are lucky. And sometimes they may not grow if you are not lucky.
However, if you are one who knows how to select good potato tubers that have buds or eyes, you can grow a good number of potatoes from store-bought potatoes and potato scraps.
Here is a step-by-step guide on how to grow potatoes from potatoes, scraps, and in water.
How to grow potatoes from potatoes
Both seed potatoes and store-bought potatoes are tubers. The only difference is that seed potatoes are cultivated for growing purposes and they have a 100 percent chance of regrowing into new potato plants. You can get seed potatoes at garden centers. You can buy them sometimes when they started sprouting. Additionally, seed potatoes are certified diseases free. Meaning, they are not infected by diseased pathogens.
Seed potatoes can be small pieces or whole potatoes. Sometimes, seed potatoes can be cut off into halves or more and sold as golf-ball-size pieces.
If you are growing potatoes from potatoes, make sure there is at least one sprout, bud, or eye on each seed potato you want to buy. If the potato is small, just plant the potato without cutting. However, if the potato is large enough, cut them into two halves or more. But, make sure there is an eye in each piece you cut.
When cutting the larger potatoes, use a clean knife that is sterilized with a percent bleach solution. Repeat the process whenever you want to cut another potato. This can help prevent the spread of diseases.
Potatoes are versatile crops that can be grown in almost all types of climatic conditions. But, it is important to know that potatoes love cool weather. But, avoid frost. The right times for planting potatoes differ from one region to another region. For example, potatoes can be planted as a winter crop in some parts of southern American countries. The right times of planting can range from September to February.
And gardeners in central Florida, plant potatoes in January while those in Georgia plant potatoes in February. If you are a gardener who is living in colder climates, plant potatoes from 0 to 2 weeks after last spring frost.
The ideal soil for planting potatoes is a well-drained, well-aerated, and nutrient-rich sandy soil with a pH near neutral. While the soil temperature requirements for potatoes is about 50°F (10°C).
How to plant potatoes: after you finish cutting the potatoes, leave them to dry for 1-2 days. Leaving the potatoes to dry can prevent rotting and diseases when they are planted.
Potatoes grow well in rows. So, prepare trenches that are at least 8 inches deep. Keep the distance between rows 3 feet apart. Plant seed potatoes in the trenches 12 inches apart. The potato eye or bud should face up. Then, cover each seed potato with about 3 inches of soil.
Take care of your potatoes garden. After some days, your potatoes will start sprouting. Then, when you notice this, gently fill the trenches with few inches of soil. Do not cover the top of the potatoes plants. Continue to cover the trenches with few inches of soil every 2 weeks. This helps prevent the potatoes plants from the effects of direct sunlight. And this method of adding soil trench from time to time in order to prevent the potatoes from direct effects of sunlight is called “HILLING“. (Learn more about seed production from sprouts.)
Now, you have seen how to grow potatoes from seed potatoes. Let me show you how to grow potatoes from scraps and in water.
Read also: Learn How To Grow Vegetables Without Seeds
How to grow potatoes from scraps
If you are growing potatoes from scraps, know that you can succeed or fail. Sometimes, the scraps can grow into the new potato plants especially if they are not treated with growth inhibitors.
If you are growing from potato peels, make sure you leave some potato flesh to the peels. Because this is the food that the peels will use to regrow into the new potato plant. Additionally, make sure that the peels have at least one ye each. When the peels have all these qualities in place, spread them on trays and keep them under the sun to dry for 24-48 hours. If you want to plant them, follow the method I discussed above while discussing how to plant seed potatoes.
And if you are growing from damaged store-bought potatoes, make sure the potatoes have eyes in them. Moreover, if they are large cut them into pieces and make sure each piece has eyes or bud. If you want to plant them, also follow the planting method I discussed above.
How to grow potatoes in water
Potatoes can be grown in water but the plant can only be allowed to grow for some weeks in this environment before transplanting the new plant to the garden soil or potting soil.
Note: do not grow store-bought potatoes in water and then transplant them in your potato garden. Transplanting store-bought potatoes to your potatoes garden can spread diseases.
How to grow potatoes in water: find a glass cup of a reasonable size and fill it with water. Find a good potato with sprouts or eyes. Make sure the potato has a small diameter that can fit the size of the glass.
Find 4 toothpicks and insert them into the middle of the potato about 2/3 from the upper ends of the densest sprouts or eyes. Place the potato in the glass water so that the toothpicks support the potato on the rim and then the bottom 1/3 of the potato is immersed in a glass of water.
Place the glass water in a place that receives about 6 hours or more of direct sunlight daily.
Change the water from time to time at least every two days. After 1-2 weeks, you will start to see young roots sprouting from the potato. And after some weeks, stems will also begin to grow.
If you want to grow potato plants up to harvest, you can transplant the potato plant to a garden or an 8-inch potting soil that is moistened with water (Tip: learn more on how to transplant plants.) Take care of your plant. Water when the top 1-inch of the potting soil feels dry.
Beginner at gardening? Learn how to lunch a new garden from scratch
Can I plant a potato that has sprouted?
Potato that has sprouted is the type of tuber that can grow into new potato plants. This is because they are viable and you do not need to waste time looking for eyes or buds on the potatoes.
How long does it take to grow potatoes?
On average under normal conditions, potato plants can be harvested after 10 weeks of planting. But, a full-size potato plant can take about 80-100 days to become fully ripe.
How many potatoes will grow from one potato?
Under normal conditions, you can get about 5 to 10 potatoes from one potato plant for the work you have done. The yields of potatoes depend on the type of variety you grow and the care you give to your potatoes during the growing season.
Potatoes are among the easiest plants to be grown. They are cultivated in garden soil or containers. They are usually grown from seed potatoes. However, some good gardeners can also grow potatoes from scraps and peelings. In this article, I looked at how to grow potatoes from potatoes, scraps, and water. I hope the article will be of excellent help to you in understanding how to grow potatoes. Let me know if you have any questions.
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