Growing potatoes

Potatoes are fun to grow and a small area can provide a nice yield of this tasty vegetable.

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Growing potatoes under soil

Potato plants prefer fertile, well-drained, slightly acid soil. Garden bed should be prepared in the same way as for production of any vegetable with high nutritional demands.

growing-potato1Deeply fork the soil and incorporate plenty of organic material. Avoid using very fresh manure as this can result in the burning of young potato plants.
Potatoes belong to the Solanaceae family as well as tomatoes, capsicums, chillies and eggplants. Avoid growing potatoes in beds that have grown these crops in previous season.
The root system of all members of the Solanaceae family is subjected to attack by soil nematodes (eelworms).
Populations of destructive nematodes build up in the soil when successive crop of relates plants are grown.
Practising crop rotation an incorporating large amount of organic material is a simple and effective way of guarding against nematode damage.

To improve quality of soil you can add gypsum.
Gypsum will loosen heavy clay soils and break surface crusts, making soils more permeable for potato plant roots and water.
Seed potatoes should be planted 10-15cm deep (slightly deeper in hot climate with 25cm between plants and 75cm between each raw.

As the potatoes begin to grow it is necessary to hill up the soil around each plant to prevent the developing tubers being ruined by exposure to sun light. A thick layer of mulch can be used to the same effect.

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