The edible part of the potato is a tuber, the modified stem that grows underground. The Scientific name of potato is Solanum tuberosum. Potato belongs to botanical family Solanaceae (Nightshades), the family of popular vegetables like Tomato, Brinjal, Capsicum & chilli. Read more about growing nightshade vegetables.
Potato is a staple food all over the world. It is a rich source of starch & other complex carbohydrates. There are hundreds of different cultivated varieties of potatoes available that can be categorized with taste, texture, color, size and shape. One cannot imagine any vegetarian cuisine without the use of potatoes. The joy of harvesting & cooking homegrown potatoes is something else. Following steps explain the trenching method of growing potatoes:
Steps for growing potatoes in containers:
- Potato plants require warm weather & full sunlight to be able to form tubers.
2. Take a large sized container of your choice as mentioned above. The container of 5-10 gallons can be used. Larger the container, better the results. Click here to buy planters & grow-bags online in India.
3. Fill one-third of the container with potting mixture. Potting mixture should have good quality soil, coco peat & compost. Click here to buy organic veggie mix online in India.
4. Potato plant is grown by sprouted potato tubers rather than seeds. Sprouted potatoes are also called as ‘Seed potatoes’. The process of inducing sprouts in potato tubers is called ‘Chitting.’
5. Plant 5-6 seed potatoes in the base of the container filled with potting mix. Cover the potatoes with more potting mixture & water them.
6. It takes 15-20 days to start sending out shoots. New seedlings will appear in 25 days. The healthy would attain 6-8 inches of growth in 30 days.
7. ‘Topping off’: Add more potting soil & cover the seedlings right up to the shoot tops. Keep adding potting soil every ten days as the plants grow till the container is full.
8. Potatoes require fertilizers rich in nitrogen. Add organic fertilizers like Bio-compost, seaweed & green manures every four weeks.
9. Use the string to tie the potato plants together to keep them in place upright.
10. Harvesting: It takes about 130-150 days to form edible potato tubers. Harvest your potatoes when all the foliage dries up & plant starts to die. Wait for 2-3 more weeks if you want to harvest large sized potatoes.
11. Collect all the harvest by emptying entire content of the container on a plastic sheet. Wash & store the harvested potatoes at a dry indoor location.
You may like to read in-depth on growing potatoes, how to take care of potato plants & its common problems.
Read more about growing root vegetables in containers.