How Long Does It Take To Grow Potatoes?
Potatoes are probably some of the most inexpensive vegetables you can buy at the local supermarket. They are used as the base of many main dishes or side dishes, they can be used in bread recipes, to make pasta or even sweets.
Because potatoes are extremely simply to grow in the most unexpected conditions, such as in a shopping bag, many people with a passion for gardening decide to grow their own potatoes at home. And the question that arises is: how long does it take to grow potatoes?
Read on to find out!
How Long Does It Take To Grow Potatoes
A question with many answers. In fact, how long it takes to grow potatoes depend on the variety of potatoes you seeded. There are three main types of potatoes, each of them having a different maturation time.
The early varieties of potatoes, as their name suggests, have shorter maturation times and are usually fully grown and ready to harvest in less than 90 days from seeding. For this reason, they could be a good fit if you live in a cool region or if you want to harvest an early crop. Some varieties of early potatoes are King Harry, a variety resistant to potato beetles, Caribe, which has a purple skin and Red Norland, a very prolific variety.
The midseason varieties usually reach their maturity in about 100 days from seeding and are ideal to be planted if you live in a warm region.
If you want to produce enough potatoes to store throughout the winter, you should probably opt for a late variety. Potatoes in this category usually need about 110 days to mature, are ideal to be grown in warm climates and store extremely well for longer periods.
For all potato types described above, you can start harvesting them as soon as you notice the first large-enough tubers. You don’t have to wait for the potatoes to reach their full-size and the small, young tubers are tasty and tender.
Growing Potatoes: Useful Tips
Regardless of what variety of potatoes you choose to grow, there are a few growing tips you should follow.
1. Start with certified tubers
Technically, each potato tuber equals a potato seed. Your potato plants will actually grow from the tubers you will plant in the ground, and you can virtually use any tuber for this purpose.
However, I strongly suggest you should start growing potatoes from certified tubers bought from a local nursery. Potatoes sold in supermarkets are usually treated against sprouting and even if you will probably be able to grow a plant from a supermarket potato, the plant will probably be weaker and more prone to diseases.
2. Pre-sprout your potatoes indoors
If you want to diminish the growing time, start your crop with pre-sprout potatoes. To do this, place the seed tubers in a warm and well-lit room about five weeks before the seeding. You will notice the sprouts starting to come out from the tubers and your potatoes will be ready to harvest about one month before the standard maturation time.
3. Fertilize wisely
With potatoes, you should use half of the fertilizer when seeding them and the other half should be added as the plants grow up if needed.
4. Mulch heavily
Potatoes need a lot of moist to grow well, so the most logical thing to do is to keep the soil moist by applying a generous layer of mulch. You can use either shredded leaves, straws or plastic mulch, either type is equally suitable.
5. Cover the potatoes
If you already seeded your potatoes and a late frost is announced, use an old blanket to cover the seedlings. This will prevent them from being nipped back and the stems will continue growing as soon as you remove the blanket.
Alternatively, you could leave the potatoes to frost but they maturation period will be longer.
6. Plant new crops as soon as you harvest the potatoes
Especially if you planted an early variety, don’t just let that spot stay vacant after you harvested the potatoes. The soil in which potatoes have grown is rich in nutrients and you can easily plant other crops such as squash, beans, or tomatoes.
How long does it take to grow potatoes is not a mystery anymore. Now, you only have to decide how long you want to wait before tasting your first, tender, organic potato.
Do you have any questions or tips? Please leave us a comment below.
And don’t forget to keep a few tubers from your crop to seed the next spring!