How To Grow Potatoes: The definitive guide

Do you want to know how to grow a really good crop of potatoes?, do you want to know everything there is to know about how to grow the best potatoes ever? This article is the definitive guide on how to grow potatoes!

How to grow potatoes can be summarised in the points below:

  • To begin you should remove all weeds, grass and other green foliage from the soil.
  • Next you should dig the soil over at a depth of 6 to 8 inches, ensuring it is finely cultivated.
  • Form a drill by marking out a line with string and then place each seed potato 14 to 16 inches apart along the line.
  • Now you should cover the potatoes with around 6 inches of soil over the top of the seed potato- you can do this by shoveling soil from each side of the line- this will form a valley on either side, which will be useful for drainage.
  • Spray the drills for weeds before the plants emerge, spray them for blight when there is a blight warning and harvest them when the green leaves wilt and die.

That is the most basic explanation of how to grow potatoes – There is a lot more to it than these few points but it gives you an idea of the basic steps.

This article is going to be a fully in depth article in which i start with a brief history of the potato and then i will go throught the steps of how to grow potatoes in detail.

You can use the subheadings as a way of navigating to the section you require.

What are potatoes

Potatoes are a starchy, tuberous crop from the nightshade family of perennial plants Solanum tuberosum. They grow in the ground with the tubers (potatoes) below soil level and the leaves above the soil. There are usually 10 to 15 potatoes on each plant and they are normally anything from 2″ , 4″ or 6″ in round or oval shape.

Are the leaves of a potato plant poisonous?

As it belongs to the nightshade family- if you were to eat any green part of the plant such as the stem, leaves or flowers, a toxin called solanine found in these green parts would be cause you to become ill. Solanine is harmful to human health. This same toxin solanine can also be found in the tomato plant.

The origins of potatoes

Wild potato plants were initially discovered in North and South America. The first domesticated potato plants originated in what is known today as Peru between 7000 to 10000 years ago.

Who discovered potatoes

To say who discovered potatoes can be a misleading question. In 1536 Spanish Conquistadors conquered Peru and brought the potato to Europe where it was spread throughout the rest of the world. These men did not discover the potato as the Peruvians would have been using potatoes for 1000’s of years, but they were responsible for introducing it to the rest of the world.

Why are there so many different varieties?

Since that time they have been bred with other potato plants to achieve different goals in a quest to improve them. As each variety was introduced to a new part of the world it would encounter new challenges with different soil, climate and disease. This created new varieties and today there are literally thousands of varieties each with their own unique characteristics.

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