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Thepotato cropshave been a constant in Italian peasant history. The potato, from its import to today, has seen growing interest. The Italian production of potatoes reached 4 million tons per year in the sixties of the twentieth century. Today, production has decreased, especially thanks to imports from abroad.
Thepotato cropshomegrown cover an area of 60,000 - 70,000 hectares against the approximately 400,000 hectares of 1950. Pergrow potatoeslarge plots of land are not needed: a small space in the garden, a large planter or a sack is enough. Yeah, thepotato cultivationit is also possible in pots. Let's see all the details.
How to plant potatoes
With potatoes there is no talk of sowingbut of planting the shoots. This premise is a must for all those who are wonderinghow to sow potatoes.
Forplantpotatoes just choose an older one. The photo above shows a potato with well developed shoots. When the potato has sprouts, it can be split into several pieces: a plant will develop from each sprout.
Take some potatoes with sprouts, cut them into pieces making sure that each piece has two sprouts. Bury each piece of potato and let the sprout produce a new plant.
When to grow potatoes
Theperiodideal for starting cultivation depends on the geographical area. Generally the "sowing" is carried out in spring with temperatures of at least 10 ° C.
To allow faster development, the ideal is that temperatures are between 12 and 20 ° C.
In southern Italy, in areas with a mild climate, the sowing potatoesit can be done in autumn, between September and October.
Thepotato cropsare within everyone's reach. Before planting the sprouts orplant potatoespurchased from the nursery (you buy seedlings already developed) a deep digging is recommended.
In this way it is possible to work the soil by burying organic fertilizer or manure. The ideal pH forpotato cropsis around 6.
How to proceed topotato cultivation?
- Theplanting sixth provides for one sowing per row.
- The rows must be spaced 70 cm from each other.
- A potato fragment with sprout is placed every 25-30 cm along each row.
- The sprouted fragments must be buried to a depth of 10 cm.
How long will the potato plants to grow? Generally, the first leaves appear after 15-20 days, although a lot depends on the temperature.
Irrigate and fertilize potatoes
Generally, if potatoes grow deformed (with irregular shapes!) Thecauseit is linked to poor irrigation and poor nutrient management in the soil. Potatoes needirrigationonly in case of protracted drought. Potato plants need water especially when buds appear and then at the end of flowering.
Fertilization is carried out even before the sprouts are planted: as stated, it is advisable to bury mature compost, manure or, before planting the potatoes, add ammonium sulphate which will also help you to slightly lower the soil pH.
Growing blue potatoes
Thepurple potatoes or blue potatoes, have a milder soap and slightly different nutritional properties than traditional potatoes. Theblue potatoes are rich in particular coloring substances (natural!), saidanthocyanins, which in addition to giving the characteristic color, play an important antioxidant function in our body.
The cultivation ofblue potatoesit does not differ from what was described above.
When to harvest potatoes? When most of the leaves of the aerial part begin to wither and dry up. Much has been said here:When to harvest potatoes.
For the harvest, an excavation is carried out or the earth is emptied of the pot or sack. In case of digging with a hoe, this tool will dig well spaced from the plant (placing the tool well deep) so as not to damage the tubers!
Grow new potatoes
Please note, if you want to harvest new potatoes you have to anticipate the digging and harvesting times. If you want grow new potatoes they must be collected when the plant is still green.