Russet potatoes are delicious and versatile, they are distinguished by their large size, and rough and thick brown skin. Russet potatoes are rich in vitamin C and are Perfect for baking, mashing, boiling, and frying as well.
Therefore, many prefer to grow it even if they do not own large areas, as it can be grown and give wonderful crops in containers. And this is our topic today, we will discuss the most important tips for the successful cultivation of Russet potatoes in containers.
How To Grow Russet Potatoes In Containers?
Here are the main 5 steps required to grow russet potatoes in containers successfully:
- Selecting The Right Container.
- Preparing The Soil.
- Planting The Potatoes.
- Caring For The Plants.
- Harvesting And Storing Russet Potatoes.
Let’s head to the details:
1. Selecting The Right Container
Potato seeds grow, forming full plants with stems and leaves above the soil while the new potatoes grow under the soil. Therefore, potatoes need a deep pot that you can fill with soil for the healthy growth of potatoes.
Size Requirements For The Container
The container in which you will grow your russet potatoes should be fairly wide, at least 12 inches wide, to ensure ample space for the plants to grow. Using a too-small container is not good for efficient potato growth. The ideal container for growing russet potatoes should be about 2-3 feet high with a 10-15 gallons capacity.
Avoid containers taller than this range, because the large length makes it difficult to take good care of them and hinders watering the plants evenly. The top of the soil of very tall containers dries long before the soil of the bottom. so the surface will appear dry while the bottom will be soggy, which will lead to rotting potatoes.
Material Options For The Container
There are many options available that can be used as containers to grow russet potatoes. Ready-made potato towers or special growing bags can be purchased at a garden store or online. You can also recycle any opaque container, such as barrels, trash cans, stack stacks, and plastic storage tubs.
Consideration Of Drainage And Aeration
The most important thing in the container for planting potatoes is to be well drained and ventilated so that the soil does not retain moisture. potatoes do not grow well in very wet soil, the potato seeds may rot and die from moisture. Whether you buy the container or use your own barrel, make sure it has drainage holes, even if you are using a 5-gallon.
Related Article: How To Grow Russet Potatoes In A Potato Bag?
2. Preparing The Soil
After preparing the container, you need to make sure that you have a suitable soil to grow it, whether you’re going to grow them in your home or your garden:
Soil Requirements For Growing Russet Potatoes In Containers
Russet potatoes prefer loose, well-drained, acidic soil with a slightly acidic pH between 4.5 to 5.0.
Mixing The Soil With Compost And Other Organic Matter
Use organic matter to enhance your soil, improve drainage and provide nutrients. You can use compost or manure.
You must bear in mind that fertilizers must adjust the acidity of the soil to suit the growth of potatoes, as well as provide it with the nutrients it needs, such as iron, phosphorus, nitrogen, and other microelements.
3. Planting The Russet Potatoes
You’re probably are tired now of searching for the right container and customizing your soil to get the best fit. Don’t worry, The fun is just about to begin! Roll up your sleeves, because we’re planting our russet potatoes:
Russet Potato Planting Time
You can plant Russet potatoes from the beginning of spring to the middle of it. Russet Potatoes tolerate cold soil and light frost to some extent.
Begin planting potatoes when the soil temperature has raised to at least 45 degrees Fahrenheit.
Seed Potato Selection And Preparation
Buy potato seeds from the garden store or online, where they are healthy and disease-free. Small potato seeds (1-2 ounces) are sown whole without cutting, but in the case of russet potatoes, the potatoes are usually cut into a few pieces because their seeds are usually large.
Cut the seed potatoes into pieces so that each piece has 2-3 eyes (sprouts) and leave them to dry for a few days in a warm place. For detailed instructions, you can check our guide on how to grow Russet potatoes from store bought potatoes.
Proper Planting Depth And Spacing
You should put 4 cm of soil and then put potato seeds in it at the stop watering the plants when the plant leaves turn yellow stop watering the plants when the plant’s leaves turn yellow and begin to die, as this prepares the potatoes for harvest. begin to die, as this prepares the potatoes for harvest. rate of one potato per square foot. Put another 3 cm of soil on top of the potatoes.
Maintenance Of The Proper Moisture Level
Use wet soil, not too dry or wet. wet soil helps the growth of potatoes. Dry soil leads to stunted growth, and too-wet soil leads to rotting potato seeds.
4. Caring For The Plants
After planting your russet potatoes, you’ve to make sure to care for them carefully to ensure the post output possible:
Regular Watering And Feeding
Water the potato vines well, at a rate of 1-2 inches of water per week. A regular supply of water is essential for the plants’ continued growth.
Controlling Pests And Diseases
The most common russet potato pests are aphids, potato beetles, cutworms, leafhoppers, potato sack nematodes, wireworms, and root-knot nematodes You can keep potato beetles, leafhoppers, and aphids off your potato plants by using insect net covers. Insecticidal soap can also be used to destroy these pests.
Monitor your plants frequently to catch any pests early. Look for holes in leaves or damaged stems and look for worm egg masses on the undersides of leaves. If you discover eggs, larvae, or worms, use an organic pesticide on the plants to get rid of them.
potato scale, gray mold (Botrytis), blight and blackleg, powdery scab, and wilt, are the most common potato plant diseases. These diseases can be prevented by placing potato containers in a place exposed to sunlight and good air, in addition to watering and fertilizing them. Fungal and bacterial sprays can be used to control the majority of fungal and bacterial infections, they are an effective treatment for these pests.
Proper Pruning And Topping To Encourage Growth
Some potato vines need pruning if the foliage is killed or damaged after frost. Pruning encourages branching at the cut sites, making the plant bushier. Prune foliage wisely, you cannot prune at all if not necessary.
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Harvesting And Storing Russet Potatoes
Finally, after working hard for weeks and patiently waiting, It’s time to reap the fruits our labor:
Knowing When The Potatoes Are Ready For Harvesting
When the leaves start to turn yellow, you can harvest the “new” baby Russet potatoes after about 70 days after planting. while the main crop of Russet potatoes will be ready for harvest after about 105 days.
Harvesting Methods And Storage Considerations
Harvesting New Potatoes
Use a shovel and gently dig into the soil, not going beyond the top layer of soil, and dig out the new potatoes. try not to disturb the rest of the fruits to complete their growth.
Harvesting Large Potatoes
Full-sized Russet potatoes are ready to harvest when nearly all the blooms have fallen and 50% of the potato vines have died. You can easily harvest ripe potatoes using a garden fork and a soil digger. Lift the soil and handle the plants carefully so as not to damage the tubers.
Preparing Potatoes For Consumption
Leave the potatoes in the sun for 1-4 hours so that all the soil on them is dry and easy to remove, then wipe off the dirt before storing them. Place them temporarily for a week in a dark, dry place at 65-70 degrees Fahrenheit to dry out more. Then transfer them to a cool dark place at around 35-40 degrees Fahrenheit where they can be stored for a long time and used for consumption whenever you want.
Finally, since you’re interested in growing potatoes in containers, feel free to check our article about growing Red potatoes in a buckets, containers and pots.
How Long Do Russet Potatoes Take To Grow?
Russet potatoes Medium-season potatoes can be harvested from 70 to 115 days after planting.
What Month Do You Harvest Russet Potatoes?
From late June to late August. when you start harvesting new potatoes first and then wait until the large potatoes are ripe.
How Do You Know When Russet Potatoes Are Ready To Harvest?
When the leaves turn yellow, you can harvest new potatoes, and when the vines die, you can harvest large potatoes.
How Many Russet Potatoes Do You Get From One Plant?
From 5 to 15 potatoes from each plant.