My First Love: Potatoes
Every one loves potatoes. Why not grow your own this season?
I have a roof top garden where I also grow crops in pots. Potatoes are my favorite crop because they are so easy to grow. This afternoon I decided to chit some potatoes.
Chitting potatoes simply means encouraging the tubers to sprout before planting. The easiest way to grow potatoes is in bags, bins or large containers. Here is how you can start chitting your potatoes:
You can simply select any potato that you like the best. It’s hard to find potato seeds ( which are basically baby potatoes) here in Karachi, so I use potatoes from the grocery store. Make sure the potatoes you select are healthy and do not show any signs of virus or infection.
Eyes of a Potato:
Yes, potatoes have eyes. Ever noticed the black spots all over a potato? Those are its eyes from where its shoots will begin to appear.
Before your potatoes go in a container or a grow bag, you want them to develop shoots. To encourage that, place your potatoes in an empty egg tray or cardboard box with maximum eyes pointing upwards. Place this tray in a well lit place but not in direct sunlight.
As soon as you see sprouts emerging, leave only 2-3 shoots on each potato and pinch off any extras.
It usually takes two to three weeks for the potatoes to sprout. Once you see the green shoots prepare your plot, container or a bag for planting potatoes.
I have selected a large blue tub. It has enough space for planting 5-7 potatoes.
Here are three simple steps how you can plant your potatoes
2. Place potatoes at 6-7 inches distance from each other.
3. Cover with sand. Make sure the leafs are visible.
Simply water the plant softly and put it in shade. Now your work doesn’t end here.Each week you will have to add an inch of sand or as needed. The idea is to keep adding sand as the plant grows.
You will need to do this for next few weeks until the plant turns yellow and then dies. No need to worry, you didnt do anything wrong. I’ts time for harvest!If you are using strong plastic bags or sacks, you will need to roll them down to 2/4 of the size. Make drainage holes and follow the same steps. As the plant will grow you will roll up the bag as much as needed and add more sand.
Trust me, you will fall in love with the potato again when you will unearth this incredible vegetable that you have planted yourself.
The post was originally written for E-T Blogs.