You can get a modest crop of potatoes from the tubers you buy. The only exceptions are potatoes imported expressly for frying or expensive imported varieties.
Potatoes are germinated in winter under special conditions and planted in spring at the proper depth of 10 cm in loose soil with the eyes facing up. The potatoes are then ready for harvest in September or October.
If you sprout store-bought potatoes, you can harvest a crop suitable for human consumption. Growing store-bought potatoes, however, presents a special challenge. Store-bought potatoes can be infected with diseases like Phytophthora and Fusarium, unlike seed potatoes, which are guaranteed disease-free.
Even if you've never planted a garden before, you can easily learn how to grow commercial potatoes. Before you plant in the spring, select tubers that have already sprouted and place them in bright light throughout the winter. Potatoes should be planted when the soil temperature is at least 7 degrees Celsius.
If you follow the instructions below, you should get a potato crop that resembles the characteristics of potatoes from the store:
- Put the tubers in the light in winter and let them germinate.
- Treat the tubers with ash, manganese solution or phytosporin in spring before planting.
- Plant the potatoes at the right time at the right depth of 10 cm in loose soil with the eyes facing up.
- Water the potato plants in dry weather.
- Prevent the spread of Fusarium and Phytophthora, the causal agents of Colorado potato blight.
- Stop the haul in its tracks (when it starts to turn yellow).
- Harvest the potatoes after 4-5 months in the fall.
Large potatoes should be chopped into pieces with at least one eyelet two days before sowing. Keep the cork in place so that the potatoes do not rot in the ground after cutting. Smaller potatoes with one or more eyes you can plant whole.