Potato is part of the Solanum genus. Its scientific name is Solanum tuberosum. The botanical name epithet for Potato (tuberosum) means 'tuberous'.
Potatoes are a popular and easy plant to grow in the home garden, with a huge variety of different cultivars to choose from. The edible tubers of the potato plant are a popular staple in dishes around the world.
There are basic four categories of potatoes:
As their name suggests, these groupings are categorised by their harvest dates, with “first earlies” being the first in the season to be ready to harvest. They also indicate the space you will need in your garden to grow these varieties – so if you are short of space, try to concentrate on growing earlies rather than main crop. Earlies are also less likely to suffer from pests and diseases as they are in the ground for a shorter period of time, so it’s worth factoring this in if low maintenance is your goal for your garden.
Blooms appear in these approximate colours: Dark pastel purple and Cream and Light pastel purple. When mature, blooms are roughly 2.5 cm (that's 0.97 inches in imperial) in diameter. The mature flowers take a single form, with an approximate petal count of 5. Leaves appear approximately as a Dark spring green and Ao green
Potato grows as a perennial and is a flowering edible vegetable. Being a perennial plant, it tends to grow best over several years (approx 3 years and greater).
Potato is known for growing to a height of approximately 3.90 feet (that's 1.20 metres in metric) with a forb habit. Expect blooming to occur in early summer and harvesting to start by mid summer.
Try planting Potato if you'd like to attract bees to your garden.
Chile is thought to be the country of origin for Potato.
Potato is normally quite a low maintenance plant and is normally very easy to grow - great for beginner gardeners!
This plant info is provided by the myfolia gardener's wiki. All details about Potato have been kindly provided by our members.
Do not plant potatoes where tomatoes have been planted the previous year. Do not plant potatoes in the same place in succession. Grow potatoes in full sun with little or no shade.
Remove any flowers from the potato plant as this will divert energy away from the tubers.
A partial sun / full sun position will ensure your plant thrives and remember to water moderately. Potato needs a loamy and clay soil with a ph of 5.0 to 6.0 (moderately acidic soil - weakly acidic soil). Keep in mind when planting that Potato is thought of as tender, so it is imperative to wait until temperatures are mild before planting out of doors.
See our list of companion Plants for Potato to see which plants you should plant in close proximity to encourage growth.
Potatoes are generally grown from the eyes of another potato and not from seed. The tubers need to be chitted (i.e. sprouted), in order to accelerate their maturity and shorten the growing time needed to get a good crop of new tubers.
How to chit potatoes
In late winter to early spring, place the tubers in an old egg-box, or lay them out in a tray. Position them so that the end or face with the largest number of eyes is facing up to the light. This is called the ‘rose’ end. The ‘rose’ end of the potato is the end that was not attached to the original plant. It is smooth. The other end of the potato is slightly more pointed and has a scar where it was joined to the plant whilst growing in the earth
Place the trays in an unheated, frost-free room, in filtered light (not direct sunlight).
By our calculations*, you should look at sowing Potato about 14 days before your last frost date .
Plant your chitted potatoes out when the soil has begun to warm up.
Planting potatoes into a garden bed
Dig a trench about 10cm deep (main crop may need a little deeper, and earlies a little shallower). Sprinkle in some fertiliser and then place the seed potatoes with the shoots pointing upward 30cm apart for earlies, 40-50cm apart for maincrop. Cover with a thin layer of soil. As soon as the shoots appear, “earth up” by making a mound of soil around the shoot so the shoot itself is just buried – do this regularily throughout the season until the mound reaches around 15cm in height.
By our calculations*, you should look at planting out Potato about 14 days before your last frost date.
Potatoes are ready for harvest when the foliage starts to die down and turn yellow. For new potatoes, harvest a couple of weeks after the first flowers show. Main crop potatoes are ready for harvest in mid autumn. Remove all soil clinging to the potato and leave on top of the soil for a couple of hours to dry out and store in boxes.
While it is uncommon for home gardeners to save true potato seed, it is both possible and easy. Pollinated potato flowers develop large, round seed pods. Harvest when dry, break open, and save the enclosed small seeds.
Plant / transplant on a schedule similar to bell peppers.
These estimates for how long Potato takes to sprout, grow and harvest are from real observations from real gardeners, right around the world.
Average 18 days | Min 3 days | Max 49 days (492)
Average 7 days | Min 2 days | Max 72 days (7)
Average 118 days | Min 43 days | Max 197 days (233)
Our when to plant Potato estimates are relative to your last frost date.
The English word potato comes from Spanish patata.
Potatoes, Tatties, Potties, Patate, Potato
Misspellings: Potatoe, Potatoes, Potatos, Potoato
Killed about a dozen Colorado Potato Beetle larvae. They only seem to like these particular potatoes for now.
HollyBee about growing Potato 'Banana' (Fingerling)
Added soil made of black earth and peat moss mixed.
HollyBee about growing Potato 'Russet Burbank'
Added soil to hill the plants
HollyBee about growing Potato 'Banana' (Fingerling)
Let's talk about potatoes! What varieties do you like or suggest? What techniques have you found to work the best?72 members / 19 topics