April 22, 2020
Written by: Aly Besing, VU Agribusiness Student
Living in an ever-changing world, there are always new trends and
endeavors to learn about and be involved in. With food and where it
comes from being a hot topic as of late, people are growing ever
inquisitive about their food and its processes. With the consumer
being more curious about their food and how it is grown, that poses a
new responsibility to agriculturalists. This new responsibility is
education. In this article, there will be steps to grow and maintain
your own potatoes. Because who does not love a baked potato with their
steak, french fries with their burger, or home-made mashed potatoes?
My potatoes in their home in my sunroom
I have personally
been growing potatoes for about a year now and they have turned out
amazing. I always have plenty of potatoes for my family and friends
and it feels great to eat and enjoy something you have grown yourself.
I have 60 potato plants currently but one can grow more or less with
the methods I am about to discuss.
Here are the supplies you will need:
-1 five-gallon bucket
-Small rocks / pebbles
-Potting soil / dirt
-Seed potatoes (can be purchased at any farm store or most grocery
stores) (i.e. Rural King or Tractor -Supply)
Steps to planting your potatoes:
Put 1 inch of pebbles in the bottom of your five-gallon bucket
Next, add water just barely covering the pebbles
Then, put in 3-4 inches of potting soil mixed with dirt on top of the
water and rocks
Then place your potatoes (up to 4 in one bucket) into the dirt (eye
of potato facing down towards the dirt)
Next, cover the potatoes with 3-4 more inches of the potting soil
Now, give a small amount of water to the top and set in the sunlight
Steps to maintaining your potatoes:
Water every 3rd day
Make sure the plants receive plenty of sunlight every day (I usually
set mine outside between 12-4 p.m.)
Once the potatoes start to grow, the tops of your new potatoes may
start to pop through the top of the dirt, you will need to cover the
tops with more dirt so they are not visible (1 inch typically more dirt)
Harvesting your potatoes:
It will take about 70-120 days for your potatoes to be ready to harvest.
Once the green leafy top part of your potato has died and turned
yellow / brown, you are probably very close.
Pull your plant by the top and rub your fingers across the skin of
the potato. If the potato skin easily rubs off, it is not ready. If
the skin remains on the potato after rubbing it, your potato plant is ready!
Yay! Now it’s time to enjoy that spud you've been nurturing! If you
would like to continue growing potatoes, grab a few from your harvest
and replant them following the same steps above. They will be the gift
that keeps on giving.