How to Plant Potatoes: Why does Distance Matter?
Potatoes are essential to our diet. These tubers are rich in fiber, Vitamins B6 and C and low in calories. Potatoes are part of the crops that grow beneath the soil. But unlike the other root crops like turnips, carrots and beets, potatoes are the only root crop that has an edible root.
If you wish to grow them in your backyard, you don’t have to worry about it. Potatoes are very easy to grow. There are more than 500 varieties that you can choose from. You can produce more than 50 pounds of potatoes by just planting 2 pounds of potato seeds. It is important that you follow the required space before you start planting them.
So, why is it important that you know how far apart to plant potatoes or why space is important to them?
Why do Potatoes Need Space
Potato sets need space. Yes, that’s right. When you decide to make a garden full of potatoes, you need to consider the space. There are different varieties of potatoes with different space requirements that you should keep in mind. This will help you know how far apart to plant the potatoes and how much yields you can expect from it.
Seed potatoes rely on their roots; it is best that you use a bigger area so that your root crops can expand. It is best that you consider getting a bigger area for your potato plot. Once you have chosen your plot, make sure that it is free from pests.
The Potato Nemesis
- Potato Beetles are your number one nemesis in planting potatoes. These insects feed on the leaves of your tubers. You can pick them by hand; you can easily see them due to their patterns. You can use a Pyrtherin-based insecticide to keep them off your potato plantations. If it continues to persist, you should consider rotating your crops. This is to keep the beetles from reproducing.
- Another pest you should be wary of is wireworms. These are beetle larvae that reside in the soil and feed on growing potatoes. There eggs are usually laid in the grass. If you have recently turned your lawn into a garden pot, you might have to reconsider planting these tubers in another year. You can also change your garden location to avoid these pests from infesting your potato garden.
Once you had made sure that the plot is free from pests that could harm your potatoes, it is best that you measure your plot before cultivating and start planting them. Before planting the seeds, one of the things that you should do is make markers. The markers will help you recognize how far apart to plant potatoes in the potato sets. This will make it easier for you to plant your potato seeds. You can use flags as markers.
How Far Apart to Plant Your Potatoes
- In between the rows, how far should you plant potatoes? You should consider at least 12 inches space interval. The distance allows the tuber to expand its roots in the soil. This will allow your tuber to have more yields. Remember, the larger your garden plot, the larger the harvest you get.
- You have to plant your potato seed 3 inches below the ground. This will keep your potatoes from the hard freeze. It is best that you consider putting a hill on them. Hilling allows your potato seeds to develop more and to stretch their stems.
- They should be at least 3 feet away from other rows. With this space, it will allow you to have a plenty of space for mulching, weeding, and hilling. Aside from that, the distance makes it easier to harvest them.
How Far Apart Should You Plant Potatoes in a Barrel
If you don’t have a backyard garden or any planting space, you can still plant potatoes. Although it is not that practical because potatoes need a lot of space to grow, you can still plant them in bigger containers. If you wish to plant potatoes in a barrel, you don’t have to worry about how far you should plant the potatoes inside the barrel. There should only be one potato seed in one barrel.
Choose a barrel or a garbage can as your pot. Then, make holes in the bottom part of your container. This will serve as your drainage. Then, you plant your tubers inside the barrel. How far apart you plant potatoes tuber inside the barrel? You should have at least several inches below the edge of the container. This will make it easier for you to do the Hilling procedure. This process will allow you to have more yields.
During the harvest season, it is better that you harvest the whole plant instead of harvesting it one by one. Harvesting it one by one will take time, considering that you will have to dig the whole container. It is best that you harvest everything in one go.
If you wish to have a potato garden, it is best that you know the importance of space. This is to allow the roots to expand. It also stops you damaging the soil by making it compact. So grab your seeds and hoe and let’s start digging for your potato plantation.
Thank you for reading this articles. Feel free to comment below and share some of your experiences in planting potatoes. I’m excited to know your thoughts!