Monday, February 23, 2015

How to Grow Potatoes in your Patio

A patio is commonly used for relaxation and recreation but, it can be used more than what it is intended for. As an outdoor place that is usually abundant of sun and rain, it can also be a good place to start growing your own food. An open ground space is not a requirement to get started because you can always cultivate plants in a container in and around your patio place along with your patio furniture setup.

One of the primary food you can start to grow in your patio is a potato. They are not just limited to ground cultivation and are even easier to grow in containers. When done correctly and organized nicely, the crop may even be a great addition or feature to the design of you patio.

To start growing potatoes, you’ll just need a few things which includes the following:

  • Seed Potatoes - these are potatoes which are about the size of a chicken egg.
  • Potato Bags -  there are dedicated garden bags but you can also use bin bags or trash bags or any similar used containers as an alternative.
  • Multi-purpose compost - good quality compost makes sure you have a good start and all you need is water them.

The best time of the year to plant potatoes is on end of February until early August.

There is a practice called “chitting” which is the process of growing potato tubers before planting. This will make sure faster growth and produce heavier crops. As soon as you get the seed potatoes in hand, you can start this process. Set them in a secure container preferably seed box or in egg boxes which is more practical. Put them in a place where they get plenty of sunlight to grow healthy shoots and roots.

Fill your potato bags with the multi-purpose compost to around 2.5 cm or one inch below that rim. Ideally an eight litre potato bag can make a good room for a single seed potato. Make sure the shoots are pointing upwards and bury the "chitted" potato to a depth of 12cm or five inches.

Arrange the newly planted potato bags around the patio and make sure they get plenty of sunlight. Repurpose old outdoor furniture and fixtures as a rack or stand for the growing crops. After that, water and keep the crops well watered. Feeding the plants with potato fertilizer once every two weeks ensures you grow your own food really well.

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