You could try growing potatoes yourself if you would like potatoes without all of the harmful chemicals in them. There are varieties of potatoes (e.g., Irish cobbler and caribe) that are ready to harvest in roughly 90 days. Red norland, Yukon gold, and other mid-season varieties mature in approximately 100 days.
For early or mid-season varieties of potatoes, plant them approximately three weeks prior to the last spring frost, and also in short spring climates, and during hot summers. Late varieties can be planted in the early part of the summer. This way the potatoes will grow in the fall when it’s colder.
A good way to grow potatoes is to replant them. Obtain certified seed potatoes that are free of disease. You need to have about half a dozen pounds of seed potatoes to plant in a 50-feet row. This may yield you anywhere from 80 to 125 pounds of potatoes.
Select potatoes that put out shoots, since they’re perfect for seeds. You’ve got a choice between planting seed potatoes whole or cut. Every piece must have one eye or two. It’s okay for the seed potatoes to rot away in soil that is cool or damp.
You should loosen the soil (roughly 10 inches deep) prior to planting the potatoes. Put in a layer of alfalfa meal, rich compost, and natural plant food that is loaded with nitrogen. In furrows, plant the potato pieces 4 inches deep. Be sure you plant them one foot apart. Cover the pieces of potatoes with soil (around 2 inches). When the first sprouts come up, have the furrows filled.
Till the soil up on the perimeters as the potatoes grow. In this way, the growing tubers continue to be loose and covered up from exposure to the sunlight that can make them green and toxic too. You have to continue tilling the soil up until the plants reach 4 to 6 inches in height. Once you see the plants producing flowers, cease tilling.
Your soil may not be very rich, but that is okay; potatoes do not need soil that isvery rich for them to grow. You only need to add organic matter and make sure your soil’s pH is between 5.0 and 6.0. Like many plants, though, potatoes have to be often watered, ideally at the very least an inch of water each week. If you grow your potatoes in soil which has a high pH, the potatoes might have rough spots due to scab. Adding peat or rich compost to the soil can help stop this from taking place.
Potatoes are inclined to having beetle larva. Look out for wireworms too as they may cause the leaves to blacken and be moldy. Blackened and moldy leaves have to be burned. Be sure you use non-toxic organic pesticides or herbicides if you need to use pesticides.
The potatoes are going to be ready to pick within 2 to 4 months depending on the seeds, climate, and the soil condition. When the plants are ready for harvesting, the tops will die. You have to harvest very carefully with hands or using a shovel. Brush the dirt away from the tubers gently then bring the tubers inside and allow them to dry. Cover the tubers with dry towels for two or three days. The best potatoes from the batch may be used as seed-stock for growing potatoes the next year so keep them in a cool, dry place.