Russet Potatoes are one of the delicious vegetables on the dining table. Fortunately, anyone can grow potatoes, even if they do not have a large land. As they can be grown with the simplest tools and the narrowest places. Any bucket or garbage you have can be recycled and used as a container to grow potatoes. Here’s how to grow potatoes at home, step by step, with the most important tips.
How To Grow Russet Potatoes At Home?
Russet potatoes can be easily grown at home. However, you need to pass through 4 steps to make sure that you’re doing it correctly:
- Preparing To Grow Russet Potatoes.
- Planting Russet Potatoes.
- Caring For Russet Potatoes.
- Harvesting And Storing Russet Potatoes.
Let’s explain each one of them in more details:
I. Preparing To Grow Russet Potatoes
The very first step to make everything ready for the planting process. This includes preparing your seed potatoes and planting site. Once this step is done, everything will be straight away and a matter of time.
A. Selecting Seed Potatoes
Choosing Certified Seed Potatoes
Potato seeds must be carefully selected. You don’t want to waste your effort and time in planting poor seeds, which costs you more to treat their deficiencies and ultimately produce a poor crop. Avoid planting regular potato seeds that you buy from the market.
Store bought potatoes are chemically treated to prevent the growth of buds, and they are also sprayed with pesticides so that they maintain their healthy shape and prolong their life on the shelves of the market without spoiling or growing buds on them.
Mostly, these pesticides are harmful and may leak into the tubers. When they are planted, they result in plants that carry harmful chemicals, mainly before they are even exposed to the challenges of agriculture and pests which may also require pesticide spraying, and thus will result in potatoes that are saturated with harmful chemicals.
In addition, there is a high possibility that regular potatoes are carriers of diseases, whether bacterial, viral, or fungal. which leads to the growth of diseased plants which you won’t reap anything behind them except suffering and loss.
Identifying Healthy Seed Potatoes
So what seed potatoes should you plant? Potato seeds that are recommended for obtaining an excellent crop result are those purchased from the garden store or online from the Plant Supplies pages.
The seeds must be reliable, disease-free, and not treated with pesticides. Although some use regular potatoes to grow potatoes, the difference will be great in care and the final crop. The cost of reliable potato seeds may be more expensive than regular potatoes.
However, money is not wasted, as planting healthy seeds will produce an excellent crop and reduce the suffering of disease and pest treatment.
Therefore, start your journey in growing Russet potatoes correctly, which may last weeks and months until you are finally happy with satisfactory crops.
B. Preparing Seed Potatoes For Planting
1. Cutting Seed Potatoes
It is okay to grow small potatoes as is without cutting, but it is even better, but Russet potatoes are often large and need to be cut, so cut potatoes that are larger than the size of a golf ball, so that each piece contains two or three bud eyes.
Cut the seed potatoes into plump pieces that are about 1.75 ounces.
Seeds weighing less than 1.5 ounces should not be planted, and it is not preferable to use seeds weighing more than 3 ounces, as food will not reach them well.
Throw away badly cut seed potato pieces and remove torn seed pieces. Be careful to use a sterile knife to cut the seeds, so as not to transfer any infection to them or cause any kind of pollution to them.
2. Allowing Seed Potatoes To Dry
Do not plant the cut potato seeds on the same day, but rather leave them in a warm place for two to three days, then plant them, until they settle and not rot.
If they were planted in wet soil while they are just cut, this will expose them to rot, so give them a chance to dry well.
C. Choosing A Planting Site
No one wants to do everything perfectly, then fail because you didn’t choose the right place and conditions to plant your Russet Potatoes wisely. Here some recommendation to check before planting:
1. Light Requirements
Potato plants need sunlight, so you should plant them in a place where the sun gets about 6 to 8 hours a day.
2. Soil Conditions
Potatoes need light, loose, well-drained soil, so potato planting containers must contain holes so as not to retain water at the bottom and lead to rotting potatoes.
You should also keep in mind that the soil that you will put in the containers is acidic, as potatoes grow in acidic soils with a pH of 4.5 to 5.
If you’re interested in a different method of growing Russet potatoes, you learn about how to grow them in a potato bag. This method is perfectly suitable for those with a limited space. Check out our guide on growing Russet potatoes in potato bags for more details.
II. Planting Russet Potatoes
Finally, we’ve done our preparation and ready to plant. Russet Potatoes planting requires 3 things:
- Good Timing.
- Planting Technique.
- Proper depth and spacing.
Russet potatoes tolerate cold somewhat a little more than other types of potatoes. The date of planting is determined based on the weather in the region.
For example, if you’re in Texas, The climate is different from other regions. You can learn all about it from our guide to growing russet potatoes in Texas.
It is preferable to plant Russet potatoes two to three weeks before the date of the last frost in your area.
Soil temperature is a very important factor for the proper growth of potatoes. If the temperature is not suitable, whether it is too high or too low, the result will be the same, tuber failure and stop of plant growth. Although Russet potatoes are considered to be grown in cold weather, they do not tolerate severe frosts.
The best soil temperature in which you will grow Russet potatoes is 45 to 50 degrees Fahrenheit (equivalent to 7 to 10 degrees Celsius).
B. Planting Techniques
The potato is one of the root plants, where the stem and leaves grow upwards, while the fruits grow downward. Therefore, it needs certain techniques in its cultivation that differ from other types of vegetables and fruits.
Dig a potato planting trench about 6 to 7 inches deep. If you will be planting potatoes in the garden and not in containers, keep the excess soil from the groove piled up next to the potato row.
If you will be planting russet potatoes in containers, keep the soil in plastic bags near the containers, do not store them too far away as they are heavy.
Put 4cm of loose, wet soil in the trench, then stack the russet potato pieces, then cover them with 3 cm of soil and let them grow.
This technique is called hilling because it is about creating mounds of soil around the stems of the potato plants. Soil is applied around the stems to cover about half to two-thirds of the exposed potato stems and leaves.
As the stalks grow, use the soil how to collect the soil and make mounds around the potato stalks. You can do the first hill when the stalks of your potato plants are 6 to 8 inches tall. You may only need to do one or two mounds during the whole potato growing season. but if needed you can continue to mound the soil around the potato plants throughout the entire potato growing period.
C. Planting Depth And Spacing
1. Ideal Planting Depth
As we mentioned, potato seeds are placed in the soil at a depth of 4 cm, and then another 3 cm of soil is placed on top of the seeds.
2. Proper Spacing
Potatoes should be placed with proper spacing. The distance between one potato seed and the other one should be approx 12 inches or about 30 cm apart.
III. Caring For Russet Potatoes
You’re probably now tired of all the planting and techniques involved. Don’t worry, because now you’re you’re entering the passive part of the process which is caring for your Russet Potatoes.
1. Watering Frequency
Potatoes require regular irrigation of one to two inches of water per week.
2. Proper Irrigation Techniques
Sprinkler irrigation is a common spraying technique for potatoes. It is effective in achieving uniform application of water to the soil more easily.
1. Timing Of Fertilization
Potato plants need soil with plenty of nutrients. The soil is fertilized at the beginning of planting with fertilizers that contain nitrogen – phosphorus – potassium.
Potatoes are fertilized 1 to 5 times throughout their growing season, knowing that they need more nitrogen during the first two months of their growth. From the second month of potato growth until two weeks before harvesting, potatoes must be fertilized with fertilizers that contain more potassium as plants need more potassium In order to produce well-formed potatoes.
2. Types Of Fertilizer
The soil can be fertilized with either organic fertilizers from animal waste or commercial fertilizers.
C. Controlling Pests And Diseases
1. Common Potato Pests And Diseases
Potatoes are exposed to a variety of viral, bacterial, fungal, and other pests, so they must be well monitored to catch any imbalance and treat it immediately to avoid its spread.
2. Organic Pest And Disease Control Methods
There are many precautionary steps to avoid potato diseases, such as selecting reliable, disease-free seeds, using sterile pruning and planting tools, and using vegetation to avoid pests, but if disease symptoms already appear, the use of pesticides will be an effective solution to get rid of them.
IV. Harvesting And Storing Russet Potatoes
1. Signs Of Maturity
You can harvest new potatoes once the leaves of the potato plant have yellowed and wilted, while the harvest of mature potatoes can be continued after the vines die.
2. Harvesting Techniques
With a garden fork, dig the soil to reach the fruits of the potatoes. You have to be careful and dig gently when harvesting new potatoes so as not to harm or scratch the large potatoes so that they can continue to grow properly.
1. Why Curing Is Necessary
Curing potatoes after harvest is very important. It is the one who crowns your fatigue and effort during the long period of cultivation with success. It is a process in which potatoes are preserved in certain conditions to keep them healthy for as long as possible.
2. Curing Process
Potatoes are cleaned of soil and dirt residues and made sure they are completely dry before they are put into storage.
Place the potatoes for one to two in a dark area with a moderate temperature. It should be well-ventilated and has high hygroscopicity. Slowly reduce the storage temperature gradually to about 40 to 45 degrees Fahrenheit.
Since you’re interested in growing potatoes at home, feel free to check our guide on growing red potatoes at home.
Can You Plant A Whole Russet Potato?
No, as russet potatoes are often large and must be cut so that they can grow and obtain adequate nutrition.
What Month Do You Plant Russet Potatoes?
Depending on the climate in your area, for example, if spring starts early in mid-February, you can plant it in mid- or late-January, so that its planting date is 21 days before the last frost.
How Long Does It Take To Grow Russet Potatoes?
From 100 to 115 days, depending on the type of potato, as Russet potatoes have many types.
Do Potatoes Grow Better In Pots Or In The Ground?
It is known that the ground is better for planting potatoes, but the containers also showed great results in growing potatoes.