Do not plant potatoes in the same location each year, and do not plant them where other nightshade family plants were grown the previous season. Gardeners can grow many types of potatoes, including russet, red, and specialty potatoes, even in cool climates. With so many varieties and so many ways to enjoy eating them, potatoes are relatively easy to grow in Colorado. Potatoes are naturally fat free and a good source of vitamin C. Colorado State University has released 22 new potatoes since 1975. Photo by David Holm. Careful monitoring is required to keep your potato container uniformly moist. A graduate of the University of Calgary, Jensen writes about gardening, home projects, social sciences and sports and recreation. Dip the cutting knife in a 10% bleach solution between potatoes. Weeds should be identified and removed frequently, as they can act as hosts of potato disease and compete for water and nutrients. How to Grow Potatoes in a Bag One of the simplest ways to grow a few potatoes for fun is … These potatoes have a thin skin, bruise easily, and are not suitable for storage. It is related to peppers, tomatoes, and eggplants, but is adapted to higher elevations and therefore harsher growing conditions. Almost any vegetable can be grown successfully in a container, and potatoes are no exception. The tubers should not be kept in sealed containers, but should be stored in burlap bags or slotted bins conducive to airflow. Garden centers, reputable, garden catalogs, or your local CSU Extension Agent are all sources of certified seed. Colorado is the fifth to sixth largest producer of potatoes in the United States, with the San Luis Valley in southeastern Colorado producing 90 percent of Colorado's commercial potato crop. These sprouts are rooted and cultivated to produce the seed tuber. Straw mulch also makes them less prone to pests and diseases like the dreaded Colorado potato beetle. Tips For Growing Potatoes There are several types of potatoes, each has its unique characteristics and use. Potatoes, especially those of the early-maturing varieties take between 80 to 100 days to mature. Prior to seed preparation for planting, the potatoes should be kept between 50 and 65 Fahrenheit and away from direct sunlight for up to two weeks before planting to encourage germination and growth. A fork or large shovel should be used to lift the plants out of the ground and prevent tuber damage. How Potatoes Grow. Potatoes grow best in sandy loam soil, but gardeners can manage a wide variety of soil types. For Brunswick County the average last frost is March 19 th. Preparing seed potatoes. In the San Luis Valley, parts of the Western Slope and other areas of Colorado with an elevation below 7,000 feet, plant potatoes in late April to early May. Tips for Growing Potatoes in Containers: 1. Potatoes need at least an inch of water a week, 1 1/2 inches for maximum production, particularly after tubers have started to form. To apply the correct amount of fertilizer and manage the soil appropriately, gardeners should test their soil to determine pH, organic matter, and nitrogen levels. If potatoes are planted in the same place for several years, pathogens can thrive in the soil and easily infect the next potato crop. Gardeners should choose a variety based on the length of the growing season, disease pressure, garden size, and desired use. Equal Opportunity | How to Grow Potatoes in a Container. For people with very small gardens or just a patio or porch, growing potatoes in containers can be interesting and productive. Container growing makes it easy to check. Wood chips and straw are acceptable sources of mulch if they effectively block light. Fill a quarter to third of your container with well-draining soil and plant the seeds at least 6 inches apart. Weed control is especially important while the potato plants are less than a foot tall and fast growing weeds can outcompete the young potatoes. The best strategy to prevent potato diseases is to avoid conditions that favor disease development. However, any container with drainage will do as spuds will grow in anything – one of my best harvests came from a plant growing in a pile of old straw. If the potato plants are still green close to this time, the vines can be cut to about six inches tall one to two weeks before the desired harvest date. Dig a trench 6 to 8 inches deep, and plant the seed potatoes or pieces 18 inches apart, in rows 2 feet apart. A rain gauge placed at ground level near the potato plants will indicate how many inches of water the plants receive. Potatoes (Solanum tuberosum) are native to the Andean mountains, and well-suited to Colorado's rugged geography and varied climate. Choose a location where the potato plants will receive at least six hours of sunlight each day. You may choose to grow potatoes on the deck in order to have quick access to the smallest new potatoes. Growing potatoes in containers is a great option for anyone who has limited space to garden, is concerned about what is in their soil or is looking for an easier way to harvest potatoes. Potatoes can be planted up to two weeks before the last killing frost. you can also grow potatoes in the container for your home use. If potatoes are grown every year, they should be grown in different areas of the garden each year. Because they can be grown indoors in various containers, even harsh weather doesn’t preclude the growing of potatoes just about everywhere.. As a commercial product, potatoes are both widely available and internationally produced. Keep it somewhere that stays at room temperature. They have a few pests, such as the Colorado potato beetle, which can decimate your crop almost overnight, so you will need to keep an eye out and inspect your plants every few days. Cut larger seed potatoes into pieces of about the same size, as long as each piece has at least one or two "eyes" or sprouts. In more mountainous regions, wait until mid-May. Understanding the soil characteristics of a new garden space allows the gardener to select the appropriate type and amount of fertilizer. This is usually when the plant flowers and the leaves are dark green. Lay the straw with the height at four to five inches at the top of it. Our Potato Growing Guide covers planting, growing, and harvesting one of our favorite vegetables! The disadvantages of this method are the need for frequent watering and lower yields. The legume family, including beans and peas, is a good choice for crop rotation due to its ability to build nitrogen in the soil, while potatoes can deplete the soil nitrogen. To grow a sweet potato in a container, the roots need plenty of space to spread out. Potatoes typically require about two inches of water per week. Water the plants until the water level in the pot rises to just above the soil. The soil temperature should be at least 55F during the day and 45F at night. You can replant potatoes you grew the previous year, but after one or two growing seasons, the potatoes will no longer produce well. Colorado potato beetles can be handpicked or be eaten by birds. So, it’s always a surprise to dig them up and see your end result. Most root vegetables do well in Colorado’s high altitude climate, (except for sweet potatoes and rutabagas — they like warmer, southern climates). Those with smaller size profiles, such as fingerling potatoes, can be planted closer together, about eight inches apart. Can I cut them back? As the plants begin to turn yellow and mature in the later summer, gardeners can water less to encourage tuber development and prevent potatoes from rotting. And you should be sure to leave at least 24-30 inches between rows. Potatoes are in interesting crop that can be successfully grown in Colorado home gardens. Potatoes (Solanum Tuberosum) might be the only vegetable that tastes great with any cuisine. The procedure and tips for growing them are the same. Gardeners should identify a spot in their garden with well-drained soil and no low spots where standing watering can pool to plant their garden. We are starting our potatoes and we decided to grow some in containers this year. Potatoes should be planted two to three weeks before the last frost. Depending on your location in Britain they are usually planted out around Easter. Seed potatoes that are 1 to 3 ounces, or about the size of an egg, can be planted whole. Cover with another 10cm (4in) layer of growing medium then sit back and wait. However, potatoes planted too far apart can become misshapen or develop hollow heart. Frequent scouting for pests enables gardeners to identify and respond to insect problems before they become severe. This year she experimented with growing potatoes in laundry baskets. Gardeners should add an additional two inches of soil around the top of the plant when they start to emerge from the soil. The leaves will grow back and the plant will continue to grow, though repeated freezing depletes reserves in the seed tubers. CSU A-Z Search It is important for gardeners to identify and control pests and diseases on their potato plants. Learn potato planting tips and what size container you need for growing potatoes. Containers have several advantages for growing potatoes … In this article, you will learn the best soil mixture, good kind of grow bags, best varieties of potatoes and important tips to take care of your potato plants in a … Colorado produces annually about ten million bushels of potatoes. While most planters are really heavy and hard to move, Smart Pots are lightweight and have sturdy, webbed handles. Following is a typical fertilization strategy: It is important to rotate crop families about every three years to maintain healthy soil. The beginning of March is the perfect time to plant. The advantages of growing your own at home are numerous, and using containers rather than growing your veggies in the ground can allow you to save some serious space. It is designed to accommodate three or four seed potatoes. They still have a long time till they are ready to harvest. Containers holding potatoes will dry out more quickly than the soil in your garden. Add more layers of straw as they grow. Recycled Materials. By creating an account you agree to the Hunker, Colorado State University Extension: The Magnificent Potato, University of California Cooperative Extension: The Nightshade Plant Family, Colorado Potato: Colorado Senate Bill 10-072, Irish Eyes Garden Seeds: Growing Potatoes, Missouri Botanical Gardens: Solanum tuberosum, Smithsonian: How the Potato Changed the World. Gardeners may observe beneficial ladybugs on their potato plants. Growing Potatoes in Containers Irish potatoes can be grown on a small scale in various kinds of containers, in any area that gets at least six or eight hours of direct sunshine. The potatoes are then ready for long term storage in the dark at 40F, which prevents the potatoes from sprouting or shriveling due to moisture loss. The process of growing potatoes in containers is very similar to growing them in the open ground. 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