Potato is one of the cheapest vegetable available in the market. Potato can be used as a base of various side dishes and main dishes. Potatoes can also be used for making sweets and bread recipes. But did you ever wonder how long does it take to grow potatoes? If you wish to know more about this topic, then read the article below.
How Long Does It Take To Grow Potatoes?
To answer the question of how long do potatoes take to grow, you need to know that the time taken by the potatoes to grow is actually dependent on the seeds of potatoes that have been seeded. There are actually 3 different common varieties of potatoes and every single one of them has a separate maturation time.Earlies take only 80 days and the midseason variety takes about 100 days to get matured. The midseason variety is the ideal one to be planted in case you live in a region that is warm. If you talk about the late variety of potatoes, then it takes around 110 days to be fully grown. They are ideal to be grown during the warm climates and can also be stored for a long duration.
Variety of Potatoes
There are higher than 200 different varieties (species) of potatoes. But most commonly, they can be divided into 4 categories. These are generally bifurcated on the basis of the time that they require for harvesting. Such potato varieties are mentioned here in detail.
They get harvested within a period of less than 90 days. Plus, these varieties can be planted in any garden. Some of the prominent choices in the early varieties are King Harry, Red Norland, Caribe, and Irish Cobbler.
This variety takes around 100 days or more than 100 days to get matured. The most prominent choice under this variety is Yukon Gold. Another popular variety is Red LaSoda. This variety is ideal to be produced during a warm climate and you can get a huge output by growing it in warm weather.
This variety takes more than 110 days to grow and get matured. It may take a lot of time in getting matured but the wait is totally worth it as the longer it takes, larger is the yield. The late variety is perfect for storage. The prominent choices under this category include Kennebec, Katahdin, and Butte.
Fingerling potatoes (elongated)
This variety is the perfect choice if you wish to sell it in the market of the farmers. It is necessary to know that this variety is not covered under the early varieties but its growth can be quickened if the potato seeds are pre-sprouted prior to planting.
When To Plant Potatoes?
The perfect time for planting the potatoes is 2 weeks after the last spring frost. It can be planted earlier when the soil is ready for planting but there is a chance that the crops can get spoiled if they are planted in the wet soil.
However, if the spring comes late, it is possible to plant the potatoes in April. There are some people who plant potatoes during the month of June, especially in potato towers or containers.
How Should You Plant Potatoes?
How Many Potatoes Per Plant?
You must be wondering how many potatoes can be grown in a plant but the answer to this question differs depending on the potato variety. Late, mid-season and early potatoes are grown in different quantities. The yield that you are going to get is also going to vary depending on the growing season. Nevertheless, if you talk about average, then per plant around 10 potatoes can be grown.
Some Causes of Delayed Growth In Potatoes
It is not just about the time taken in the growth of the potatoes. It is also important for you to know the reasons behind the delay in the growth of the potatoes. The delay can take place in the time period between planting and harvesting of potatoes. Factors leading to such delay are:
Too cold, wet, or dry soil
The ideal soil for the growth of the potatoes must be well-drained. The soil condition can be improved by adding the organic matter prior to planting the potatoes.
Freshly cut seed potatoes
One of the reasons for the delay in the growth of potatoes is planting freshly cut seeds as they get dehydrated quickly and take a lot of time in healing. As a result, the growth of the potato stops. The basic reason behind this problem is that the freshly cut pieces of potatoes require a soil temperature that falls between 50 and 65 F, high levels of humidity, and oxygen so as to help itself in healing properly.
If these conditions are not offered by the soil, you need to properly cure the seed potatoes and then plant them. But in case the soil that is being used for potato harvesting, does meet the above mentioned conditions, then you should plant the seed potatoes right after cutting them.
When Should Potatoes Be Harvested?
If you are planning on storing the potatoes during the winter season, then you must leave it to the weather and plant to decide the time for harvesting. The tops of the vine will begin to die, which indicates the perfect time for harvesting the potato plant.
The soil temperature and air are the important factors determining the time for digging the potatoes. You are required to take out the potatoes prior to hard frosting it. Potatoes are capable of handling the light frosts but when it comes to hard frost, then it can actually kill the plant.
How To Harvest Potatoes?
Harvesting potatoes is an interesting thing to do. You can use a spading fork or a shovel. A spading fork is considered as the best tool when it comes to harvesting. Use the fork and light the plant from the corners. Now, take out what you require and put the plant back in the position it was in.
Prior to harvesting the potatoes, you must make sure that the potatoes are firmly attached and have thick skins. Generally, the skin of the potatoes does not rub off that easily but if something like that happens, then that means the potatoes are required to be kept in the ground a little longer.
If you think that they are ready, then you must start digging. If you use a shovel, then the hill formed will be removed. After that, pulling out the tubers becomes very easy.
Ensure that there isn’t any soil sticking to the potatoes. Next, you need to store these potatoes in a dark, slightly humid, and a cool place. The best temperature for storing the potatoes is 3 to 4 degree Celsius or 38 to 40°F.
Also, make sure that you do not keep the potatoes with apples since apples emit ethylene gas that causes the potatoes to get spoiled. You should never store the potatoes in a refrigerator. Whether you buy potatoes from a store or dig them yourself, you should never wash them prior to storing them. Washing and storing them for future use decreases the storage life of potatoes.