Find out everything you need about growing potatoes indoors during the winter and enjoy this treat all year round.
Freshly harvested new potatoes are sweet and full of moisture. They’re real treats whether you eat them in a salad or with a little butter and herbs. They really are much sweeter and tastier than potatoes that have been in storage for some time.
Did you know that the taste of fresh new potatoes doesn’t have to be reserved just for summer? Therefore, today we’re going to talk about growing potatoes indoors during the winter. Jump in and find out how you can grow this plant with little trouble.
Can You Grow Potatoes In Winter?
Of course, you can! Potatoes can be grown in winter as long as they have enough light and are protected from freezes or hard frosts. In some warmer southern areas like Florida, you can grow them even outside during the winter. However, in colder climates, potatoes planted outside will not be able to survive harsh climates. Therefore, it would be best to grow potatoes indoors, that is, in containers or in a heated greenhouse.
Growing Conditions For Indoor Potato Plant
All you need for success is a proper container and the appropriate amount of light. When choosing a tank, make sure it’s a minimum of two gallons and at least half a foot high. It must also be well-drained. In case you do not have a suitable container, a bag of soil will do its job well. Remember to drill drainage holes in the bottom of each bag.
Furthermore, we move on to lighting. The indoor potato plant needs at least five hours of light a day. If you’re not able to provide it with a natural one, you can always use supplemental lighting. For each hour of sunlight, you’re supplementing, your plants will need about two hours of exposure to artificial light.
So, for successfully growing potatoes indoors during the winter all you need is quality soil, a well-draining container, and lighting.
Choosing The Right Potato Variety
However, choosing a potato variety will determine the success of your winter crop. Namely, it would be good to choose varieties that are suitable for winter cultivation as well as those that mature faster.
Maris Peer Potato
Known as an early potato, the Maris Peer is ideal for indoor growing. This type of potato is versatile and suitable for boiling, baking, and steaming. Although it’s resistant to cold, keep in mind that it’s not resistant to potato eelworm. So, if the soil you are planting it in has problems with this parasite, choose a different type of soil or potato.
The Nicola is known as one of the easiest varieties of young potatoes to grow. It’s known for its great hardiness and disease resistance. It’s most delicious when boiled, and you can leave it with its skin on. However, pay attention as it’s sensitive to potato blight.
This variety of potatoes yields pear-shaped tubers with creamy white flesh. The Charlotte is well known for its taste and is an ideal salad potato. Charlotte potatoes are also susceptible to eelworm.
Planting Potatoes Indoors
The basic rule to keep in mind when growing potatoes indoors during the winter is that it usually takes 12 weeks from planting to harvesting. As already mentioned, it would be best to plant them in a greenhouse, cold frame, or grow potatoes indoors on a porch or conservatory. However, it’s very important that the tubers are frost-free.
Since not everyone has a greenhouse, this is an example of how to plant and grow potatoes on your porch or conservatory.
- First of all, one to two days before planting, cut the variety of potatoes you want to plant to a size of about 1½ to 2 inches. The smaller ones can be planted whole.
- Try to find a suitable container (minimum of two gallons and at least half a foot high).
- Mix the garden soil with the compost one, and fill the container with to about half full.
- Plant the potatoes. Plant the cut ones with the cut side down, and do the same every 15 inches.
- Finally, cover them with soil. Once the sprouts appear, cover them with a few more inches of soil as well.
Indoor Potatoes Care
After the planting process, caring for potatoes isn’t so difficult. The potato plant will not need regular watering. However, the soil in the pot must be moist so that the plant can grow healthily and properly. In most cases after the first watering, you will not have to do the same until the plant has germinated. You can also use general-purpose fertilizer to feed them adequately.
Don’t forget about hilling. Hilling means accumulating/piling up soil around the base of a plant as it grows. This will save the plant from temperature changes and the formation of a toxic substance – solanine.
It’s Harvest Time
Two to three months after planting, the potato will stop growing and its beautiful green leaves will start to turn yellow. When that starts happening, it’s finally time to harvest. Harvesting is done by pulling the plant out of the pot and removing each potato.
Clean the potatoes from the rest of the soil and leave them for a few days to dry. If it’s too cold or humid, be sure to leave the young potatoes under the light to dry. Make sure that they do not touch each other so that the moisture can completely disappear.
After drying for a few days, it’s time to store. Potatoes like dark and cold places, so root cellars, pantries, and cellars are great places to store. Also, it would be good to put the potatoes in a box with layers of straw or sawdust between each row. This way you can prevent potential rot.
That’s how simple it is!
Now you know all about growing potatoes indoors during winter! We hope these pieces of information will provide you with everything you need to enjoy fresh potatoes all year round.
Do you prefer to grow potatoes indoors or outdoors? Write to us below!
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