Adaptability is one of the potato’s great strengths. It is why you can find them all over the world today. China is the world’s largest potato grower, followed by India and Russia. The United States is the fifth largest, and Canada is the eighteenth. The potato is essential in feeding the earth’s population, a true staple food rich in vitamins and minerals.
Why should you grow your own potatoes?
Is there a reason for growing your own when potatoes are so readily available and cheap? It’s not that you can’t buy organic potatoes, nor that you can’t find the variety you want. It is for the pure pleasure of the experience, the satisfying process that begins with those old potatoes at home, that otherwise will end up in the rubbish bin, and moves on to the planting and, anticipation of the harvest.
Steps to regrow your potatoes
Find a good location for your plants
The first thing to consider to ensure successful regrowing is, of course, location. Just as humans are different, plants have different needs that must be satisfied.
Light. Light does not only determine if a plant will be able to survive. It also affects how the plant grows. Light is especially important when your regrown plants begin to establish their roots. Potatoes grow best in a sunny position.
Soil. Soil quality affects the health of the plants. For this reason, if you can, do not cut corners when it comes to potting and planting materials. Invest in high-quality soil, this will make you regrow seedlings happy and healthy. You can find special potting compost for cuttings in garden centres, nurseries, or online. You could also prepare your own compost at home.
Get some old potatoes and get them ready
In general, you should start regrowing potatoes during late winter/early spring, when it can still get pretty cold occasionally. If the potatoes are a bit on the older side when you plant them, that’s ideal. If you can already see its so-called eyes, perfect! The eyes are the spots where the potato forms its sprouts. Instead of throwing away old potatoes, you should regrow them! You can just cut the potato into two parts. Each piece should have at least two eyes to be able to grow roots. Let the potato dry out, it can take a few days until it’s completely dried out, depending on the humidity in the air. Once you can’t feel any more moisture at the spot where the potato was cut, it’s ready for the next step.
Plant the potatoes
Harvest and use the potatoes
After a few months, you can start harvesting. Usually, potatoes need a whole season to grow. They are ripe when the plant begins to die at the surface of the soil. Harvesting your own small potatoes isn’t so simple. Being gentle is important. Gently lift the potato plants to loosen the soil around them. Then you can pick the potato out o the root system. Since some of the small spuds may have already fallen off, run your hands through the soil to check.
With your regrown harvest, you can now prepare all types of potato dishes. Nothing beats the flavour of homegrown food.
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