Get used to taking advantage of everything around you, even if it looks bad outwardly. If you have a bag of potatoes and you find sprouted potatoes [eyes] in it, do not be upset about it. You can use these red potato eyes as ideal seeds to grow new potatoes. Come with us to learn how to do it in an easy and simple way.
How To Grow Red Potatoes From Eyes?
Growing red potatoes from eyes is a straight forward process. Actually, it’s just like growing any types of potatoes that consists of the following steps:
- Selecting Red Potatoes For Eye Harvesting.
- Preparing Potato Eyes for Planting
- Choosing A Planting Site
- Planting Red Potatoes From Eyes
- Caring For Red Potatoes From Eye Planting
Now, let’s explain the details of each one of them:
I. Selecting Red Potatoes For Eye Harvesting
Seeds are the basis of all plants, so if they are healthy, you will get healthy plants. But if they are sick, then the disease will be transmitted from the seeds to the plants and will continue with you throughout the cultivation journey and incur great losses.
A clear eye that is not scratched or has any signs of mold or disease. You need to keep an eye on how it looks, whether are any signs of infection or a change in color.
Related Article: The Ultimate Guide to Growing Red Potatoes From Scraps.
The Best Red Potatoes For Eye Harvesting
There are many varieties of red potatoes that are best for harvesting. However, the top red potatoes that you want to choose for eye harvesting are:
- Red Pontiac.
- Norland Red.
- Red Gold.
- Red LaSoda.
- La Rouge.
- Red Ruby.
II. Preparing Potato Eyes for Planting
Right after choosing your eyes, you need to carefully prepare them from planting. The preparing phase consists of 2 steps:
- Cutting the red potatoes, if you’re going to plant them with the eyes.
- Properly storing the red potato eyes.
How Properly Cut The Potato
Do not cut Smaller potatoes less than the size of a golf ball. You need to cut them into pieces about 2 inches square, preferably with each piece containing two or three eyes. While cutting larger than that, use a sharp sterilized knife.
The Proper Way To Handle And Store Potato Eyes Before Planting
Keep them in a moderate, high-humidity place for about 3 days to dry well before planting. It should not be planted on the same day as cutting, as its surface is wet, which exposes it to rot when placed in the soil.
III. Choosing A Planting Site
Choosing the planting site is quite important. You need to make sure that provide the healthiest conditions possible for your red potato plant to grow and get the most out of it. The optimal place of growing red potatoes is a place that is warm away from frost, exposed to the sun from 6 to 8 hours a day.
The Importance Of Soil Quality And Drainage
Soil is the key factor in growing potatoes. Potatoes only thrive in rich, light, loose soil. Remove any stones or impurities from the soil, and mix them well with compost to be ready for planting.
The soil must be well-drained so that it does not retain water at the bottom and lead to the rotting of the seed potatoes. Small, sparse holes in the container in which you will plant the potatoes will do the trick.
The Best Time Of Year To Plant Red Potatoes From The Eyes
Potatoes do not like cold weather, so they should be planted when the weather starts to get warm. This is usually in late winter and early spring.
IV. Planting Red Potatoes From Eyes
The Process Of Planting
Potatoes are root plants that require tunnels for roots to grow. So if you are going to plant them in your garden, dig a tunnel of about 8 cm, but if you are going to plant them in containers, it definitely does not require digging.
The next step is to put about 4 cm of wet soil and then compact the potatoes so that they are spaced about 1 square foot apart, then covered with another 3 cm of moistened soil. The ground temperature, which is about 45 to 50 Fahrenheit, is an ideal time to plant potatoes.
The Importance Of Watering And Mulching The Potato Eyes After Planting
Water is the main source of potato growth and nourishment with the fertilizer in the soil, so it must be watered regularly. Potatoes need to be watered once a week with 1 to 2 inches of water.
Mulching potatoes is also an important point. It keeps the soil warm and moist and acts as a line of defense for potato roots against potato beetles and other insects that target potato plants and cause great damage to them.
You can mulch the potatoes with any biodegradable mulch, but deep hay or straw mulch will work effectively. Apply a mulch about 5 cm deep. Repeat mulching as the potato grows every few weeks.
V. Caring For Red Potatoes From Eye Planting
Caring is easy. You jest need to follow some simple rules and watch your plant grow. Here are our top 5 tips to care for you red potato plant:
- Regular watering every week.
- Mulching potato plants, while they are growing.
- Fertilize the soil with a balanced fertilizer every month.
- Follow the weather, and cover young plants completely with growth bags in the presence of frost.
- Constant monitoring of plants to monitor their growth and to detect any signs of disease.
Fertilizing The Potato Plants
Fertilizer and water are the food for potatoes as we mentioned before. Red potatoes need three main elements to grow, which are nitrogen, phosphorus, and potassium. so it must be provided with fertilizer that contains these elements in addition to other elements such as manganese, magnesium, and iron, which will maximize the benefit.
Weeding The Potato Plants, And The Best Methods For Doing So
Weeds compete with Potato plants for the nutrients in the soil and reduce their share of them, resulting in weak plant growth and a poor crop at the end. There are many herbicide options for weed control such as Stomp, Hotline, Kalif, and Sencor.
How To Prevent And Control Common Potato Pests And Disease
This step is pretty important and getting it wrong threatens your crop. I don’t want to make this article very long. That’s why I wrote a complete guide about the most important diseases that affect red potatoes and ways to overcome them in a simplified way in our article about how to grow red potatoes in home.
When the leaves turn yellow, it is time to harvest. Dig the soil gently so as not to scratch the potatoes and enjoy collecting them.
How To Save The Best Eyes For Future Planting
Do not wash them and do not try to remove any dirt harshly so that it does not get scratched. Then keep it cool and dry to around 50 Fahrenheit. About three months before the new planting, transfer the potatoes to a place where it gets sun but is moist at the same time. You can cover it with moist burlap bags to help germinate.