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Planting potatoes: information on varieties, substrate and time

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Potatoes can be grown in the garden in your own garden and even on the balcony in a pot without much effort. We'll tell you how to do it.

© Dreadlock / stock.adobe.com

Statistically speaking, every German consumes around 60 kilograms of potatoes per year. There are almost 4,000 types of potatoes worldwide. Almost 200 of them are grown here. Sieglinde, Christa or Agria are known by name. Potatoes are easy to grow yourself, not only in large fields, but also in a small space. What needs to be considered when planting potatoes is revealed below.

Select the right variety

Based on the abundance of different types of potatoes, a targeted selection should first be made. The trade offers special seed potatoes. Conventional supermarket potatoes can also be used. However, the yields tend to be low, because germinating agents are often used in commercial cultivation.

Potatoes can be selected according to the following criteria:

  • Time of harvest
  • cooking behavior
  • Shelf life
criteriasorts
earlier harvest time
  • Adretta
  • Anabella
  • Belana
  • Christa
  • Gala
  • Gloria
  • Sieglinde
later harvest time
  • Atlanta
  • Bamberg croissants
  • granola
  • Laura
  • panda
festkochend
  • Anabella
  • Bamberg croissants
  • Belana
  • Cilena
  • Linda
  • Sieglinde
mealy boiling
  • Agria
  • Melina
  • Victoria
  • Laura
  • Rosara
  • Christa
good shelf life
  • Adretta
  • Agria
  • Atlanta
  • Belana
  • granola
  • Laura
  • panda
  • Victoria

Find the right location

A sunny location is ideal for growing potatoes. However, potatoes should only be grown at the same location every four years. This can prevent the spread of diseases and nematodes.

Tip: Follow-on crops are lettuce, bush beans or kohlrabi.

Close proximity should be avoided when growing potatoes and tomatoes. Tomatoes are often affected by brown rot. The causative agent of late blight in potatoes and tubers is identical. The fungal disease first affects the leaves of the potato and the wind transfers the spores to the tomatoes planted nearby.

Recommended reading: Potato Diseases - Detect and Fight

Select and prepare the substrate

Potatoes can cope with all soils. A poor location will deliver correspondingly lower yields. The substrate should be deep and should not allow waterlogging. Enrichment with compost or stable manure enhances the soil.

Prepare the soil

© M. Schuppich / stock.adobe.com The soil is first loosened to a depth of around 30 centimeters. Remove stones, weeds and root remains. A sandy soil is ideal for growing potatoes. Heavy clay soils are prone to waterlogging and must be prepared accordingly before planting.

This can be done by incorporating sand or compost. A pre-culture with deep-rooted vegetables such as radish is also an option. Compost should be incorporated in early spring. If compost is only brought into the soil during planting, over-fertilization can occur. This weakens the plants and reduces the taste and shelf life of the harvest.

Note the time of planting

The first potatoes can be planted in the ground at the beginning of April. The hobby gardener chooses early varieties that have already been germinated. Planting can begin when the soil temperature is ten degrees. Pre-germinated tubers also tolerate temperatures around seven degrees. If this early planting time is observed, it can be harvested in July.

Germinate potatoes

New potatoes can be sprouted from the end of February. This promotes growth, makes potatoes less susceptible to diseases and ensures high yields. Pre-sprouted potatoes also grow at cool temperatures and ripen before the blight begins. In general, the yield can be increased by about 20 percent.

A box filled with potting soil is required for this. Alternatively, a cardboard egg box can be used. The tubers should be half covered with substrate. The planter is set up at temperatures of around 15 degrees. It is important that a lot of light reaches the tubers. After about six weeks, the pre-germinated potatoes can be planted out in the bed.

What is needed to plant potatoes?

  • seed potatoes
  • digging fork
  • hoe
  • shovel
  • rake
  • bucket
  • line
  • wheelbarrow
  • watering Can

Planting instructions

© fotoduets / stock.adobe.com1. Determine location
2. Prepare the soil
3. Level the ground
4. Tension the plant cord
5. Create the planting trough
Observe planting distance 7. Insert potatoes
8. Lightly press the potatoes into the substrate
9. Close plant trenches
10. Wait for germination
11. Keep plants moist
12. Pile up potatoes

The soil is first deeply dug and should be loose and moist when planted. Tensioning a plant cord makes it easier to plant the bed. A 20 to 30 centimeter deep planting groove is pulled with the hoe. If the soil has not already been pre-fertilized, compost, horn shavings or horn meal can be mixed in.

The potatoes are now inserted and lightly pressed into the earth. A minimum distance of 30 centimeters between the tubers must be observed. There should be a gap of at least 50 centimeters between the rows. The trenches are closed with the rake.

The first leaves appear after about five weeks. The hobby gardener now starts to pile up the potatoes. Earth is heaped up at intervals of one to two weeks. The tubers then form new roots and thus new potatoes instead of leaf axes. After the substrate had been heaped up, a layer of earth about 40 centimeters high was created. This is crisscrossed with potatoes. The potatoes can be harvested after three to four months.

Plant potatoes in a pot

Potatoes can also be grown in a small space. Cultivation in buckets and buckets is successful on the balcony or terrace. The vessels are first filled with a layer of expanded clay or gravel.

Tip: The planter must have holes in the bottom so that the water can drain off easily.

An approximately 15 centimeter high layer of earth is filled via the drainage. Then the tubers are inserted. Three to four potatoes can be placed in a medium-sized planter.

The seed potatoes are watered regularly and sprout quickly. When the shoots have reached a length of about ten centimeters, earth is filled up again. Only the tips of the leaves should remain visible. This process is repeated until the bucket or bucket is completely filled with soil.

Plant potatoes in the raised bed

Small gardens usually do not allow potato beds to be planted. The hobby gardener does not have to do without home-grown potatoes when using the raised bed. The potatoes are used as described and cultivated in the layering principle explained.

The varieties Golden Wonder, La Ratte or Rosa pine cones are particularly suitable for cultivation in raised beds. After about 100 days, the home-grown potatoes can be harvested.

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