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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:

Selecting 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.

pChitting:
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.

 

When you grow your own you will learn to fall in love with potatoes all over again

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

 1. Fill your container 2/4 with a good mixture of sand and manure.  (60:40 works for me). Soil must be well drained.

2. Place potatoes at 6-7 inches  distance from each other.

3. Cover with sand. Make sure the leafs are visible.

p1Keep your potatoes healthy

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 worp2ry, 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.

 

WRITTEN BY:

Zahra Ali Husain is a sustainability educator, freelance writer and an environmentalist. She is also a co-founder of Organic City Pakistan and runs the Green Schools & the Horticulture Therapy programs along with Yasir Husain. Zahra also manages an organic farm.

  • What a nice post – Potatoes were one of the first vegetables I tried to grow as a little kid and they are still one of my favorites.

    23/09/2010
  • Sukaina Abbas
    REPLY

    Enjoying your posts… Keep up the good work!!! 🙂 and Good luck!

    23/09/2010
  • Thanks for the post…
    Wish U have a nice harvest 🙂
    I remember I planted potatoes in a plastic pot @ my garage when I was a kid. Harvested 3 or 4 little cute potatoes 🙂
    I used a slightly different method and once again using the same.
    Will blog about mine in a week InshaAllah

    23/09/2010
  • Thanks:)

    Everyone seem to be in love with potatoes:D

    @ Nabil, do share your post!

    23/09/2010
  • Read Your post,,,:) let me know any thing about shakarqandi (sweet potato)…I love making its kheer and halwa…….

    26/09/2010
  • @ Sadaf,

    Sweet potatoes are simply superb! I love to make its kheer but how to you make halwa 😀

    Here a deal, I will teach you how to grow sweet potato and you teach me how to make halwa 🙂

    If you can find sweet potato vine from any plant nursery, plant that or take a cutting. Remove all the leaves of 1 foot long cutting but leave the new leaves. Or you can simply buy a sweet potato and plant it with its pointy part down.

    It spreads and covers a good amount of space so pick a good spot for it.

    26/09/2010
  • Anonymous
    REPLY

    but when do we do this process means time to sow the seed? I live in lahore.

    21/12/2010
  • best post best blog keep it up

    12/03/2011

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