Potatoes are a popular and nutritious addition to any garden, and they are relatively easy to grow. However, the amount of time it takes for potatoes to grow can vary depending on a number of factors, including the variety of potato, the climate, and the care they receive. Here is a general guide on how long it takes for potatoes to grow:
- Choose a sunny location in your garden with well-draining soil. Potatoes prefer a soil pH between 4.8 and 5.5, so you may need to add sulfur to lower the pH if your soil is too alkaline.
- Potatoes can be started from seed potatoes, which are small potatoes that have been specially treated to encourage growth, or from seedlings. If you are starting from seed potatoes, cut them into small pieces, making sure each piece has at least one “eye” or sprout. Plant the seed potatoes about 8 inches deep and 12 inches apart in rows that are 3 feet apart. If you are starting from seedlings, plant them in the ground at the same depth they were growing in the pot or cold frame. Water the seedlings or seed potatoes thoroughly after planting.
- Water the potato plants regularly, taking care not to overwater or allow the soil to dry out completely. Mulch around the base of the plants to help retain moisture and suppress weeds.
- As the potato plants grow, you may need to “hill” them, which means adding soil around the base of the plant to cover the lower part of the stem. This will help to support the plant and encourage the formation of new potatoes.
- Potatoes are ready to harvest when the plants turn yellow and begin to die back. This usually occurs about 10 to 12 weeks after planting, depending on the variety. To harvest, gently dig around the base of the plant with a shovel or fork, being careful not to damage the potatoes.
Overall, it can take anywhere from 10 to 12 weeks for potatoes to grow from seed potatoes or seedlings to a mature, harvestable state. With proper care and attention, you can enjoy your own homegrown potatoes in no time. Happy gardening!