Potato

← Return to A to Z

[scientific name]

Sustainable Ewe favourites:

Quick Reference

Optimum Soil Temperature
Days to Germination
Days to Harvest
Direct Sow or Transplant
Distance Apart
Soil pH
Annual/Biennial /Perennial 

History

leave potatoes on the surface for a couple of hours to dry off.  place in paper – plastic will cause the potatoes to sweat and rot

Sprouting:  place in a light airy place out of direct sunlight

plant out when shoots are 2.5 to 3cm long

not frost hardy.plant in a sunny position

like fertile soil with plenty of manure/compost

do not over fetilise

wilted comfrey at the the bottom of the trench is good

plant in about 5cm of soil 20-30 cm apart.

mound soil up with they once they are 20-30 cm high…and keep doing that every 2 to 3 weeks

need moisture – especially when flowering – water early morning allowing time for foliage to dry out thoroughly to minimise bacterial and fungal infections.

store in cool dark area.  light will cause skin to go green

Waxy – good for boiling, steaming, salads, casseroles – Nadine, JB Fisia, reg king Edward

Floury:  wdges, chips roasting mashing baking – Ilam hardy, agria, red rascal

general:  rua, desiree, maris anchor, karaka, rocket.

Growing

Chitting Potatoes

4-6 weeks before planting:  Place seed potoatoes in a bright frost free spot to sprout

Cut potatoes 12 hours before planting so cut will seal but not shrivel

Plant out when shoots are 2.3-3cm

Plant with shoots pointing upwards

 

Storing harvested [name]:

Dig main crops when foliage has died down.

On a sunny day separate out any with holes or blemishes.  Wipe tubers with a dry cloth.

Store in a cool, dark, dry place.

NEVER store in plastic

A single layer in a drawer works well.

Storing harvested [name]:Seed Saving:

Maintenance

Feeding:

Fun Facts

Problems

Magnesium deficiency – yellow and browning between veins on leaves. Apply Magnesium Sulphate (Epsom Salts)

Mosaic virus – yellow mottling on leaves. Crinkling leag tissue. Plants may die early. Plant virus free varieties. Control aphids.

Cracked and split tubers – dry spell, keep well watered

Late blight – irregular green/brown/black patches on leaves and stalks. Patches will be bigger in wet weather. Whole plant may blacken. Common in humid conditions where nights are cool and days are warm and dry.

Early blight – Small spots on older leaves (can be up to 10mm) Spots appear to have concentric circles. Common in hot, humid weather.

Yellow blotched leaves – frost damage.

Spindly sprouts on seed potatoes – tubers too dark or too warm prior to planting. Store in well ventilated, cool position out of direct light.

No sprouts on seedlings – Frosting of seed tubers. Diseased. Keep cool but not too cool. Use virus free varieties.

Soft rubbery tubers – dry summer. Water frequently

Tubers soapy, waxy texture – potatoes not mature. Excess lime. Dig only after the top has completely died down. DO NOT add lime.

Hollow centers in large tubers – prolonged wet spell after dry weather. Water in dry weather.

Tubers with a sweet taste – too cool in storage. Store in a cool, dark place.

Tubers have black heart or turn black when cooked – potash deficiency – Potatoes have been stored above 10 C.

Poor emergence or small tubers – sweating of tubers in storage. Stored for over six months. Store carefully. Do not plant too late. Avoid planting in cold, wet soil.

Pests

Aphids – plant wilts, leaves puckered and distorted. Insects under leaves or on new growth. Water regularly in dry weather.

Potato Tuber Moth – Blotches and holes in leaves. Tunnels in stems and tubers. Do not plant in warmest months. Keep well watered. Have plenty of organic matter in the soil

Tomato/Potato Psyllid – stunted plants, distorted growing tips, pink tinge to curled leaves. Plants collapse

Companion Planting

Beans, Broad Beans, Bush Beans, Beets, Cabbages, Corn, Eggplant, Horseradish, Marjoram, Nasturtiums, Parsnip

NEVER Celery, Cherry, Cucumber, Pumpkin, Raspberry, Rosemary, Sunflower, Tomatoes