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Growing potatoes.

This post was due since long time, but lot of things happened in the country that made these things very insignificant. Here goes..

Last time I had a potato plant grow

ing like any other in a pot and me being the impatient kind, I dug it up little too soon and I ended up with 3 fairskinned potatoes ;). Then I looked up the web to know the way it should be done and I set out to do exactly the same way.

Potatoes belong to the same Family as that of Tomatoes. Interestingly they start from tubers and not seeds.

Chitting:

“Chitting” is the term that is used for the process of sprouting potatoes. There are several pages on the web showing how to chit a potato. I am not going to go into details on that since ‘I’ didnt chit the potatoes I planted. It was my friends mom. I went to their house kitchen and Voila! a bowl full of potatoes with sprouts eager to see the world and needless to say what happened next. Those fellas ended up in my garden and I skipped the chitting part.

Planting:Image(733)

I potted these potatoes with sprouts into 4.5 inch pots and with in 3 days the plants showed up. The mix was peat, perlite and sand mixed. They had such a vigor and strength that I never had to fertilizer even a bit. The root system was also well developed. I was amazed by the amount of food stored inside the tuber for plant growth.

Date: Nov 2nd 2008.

Roots:

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. I transplanted the plants at this stage to polythene sacks(mostly the ones that manure comes in). Pictures of the same are below.

Date : Nov 6th 2008

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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I started out with just 6 inches of soil mix and planted these plantlets. As they grew I added more soil. Now the bags are a little more than 2 feet. Boy! thats lots of mix.

Date: Nov 8, 2008

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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This is what they looked like once done. Date: Nov 8, 2008

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Grown plants with flowering buds.

Date: Dec 7th 2008.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

And the entire battalion.Image(765)

After it had flowered, I learnt from the web that there will be some early potatoes that would have formed. I did a test poke into the soil to a depth of 3-4 inches and Oops…. My fingers felt something that feels like potato… It better be one ;)

 

 

 

 

 

 

Harvest:

Its not time for harvest yet. The sign for maturity is yellowing of leaves and plants die back ( or my running out of my patience.. which is usually the case). Will update this blog once i harvest those tubers….

More later.

gg

Seed Starting Updates

Its been a month since I sowed tomatoes, chillies and egg plants. I check their progress daily and they are on a growing spree. They are now waiting to be transplanted into bigger pots. Hmm.. thats where the catch is. How big is bigger.

Many websites and university extensions mention that a 5 gallon bucket is the best for tomatoes.Also they dont recommend indeterminate variety in containers( which is what I exactly did ;). So I went ahead and purchased old paint buckets of 20 Litre capacity from a painter.

Each of them needs a whopping 10Kg bag of potting soil. I have a limited supply of soil with me, but I definitely didnt think I will have 100% germination rate for tomatoes, requiring lots of soil. So this weekend I am planning to get potting soil ( basically compost+cocopeat+red/loamy soil).

Here is a 1 month old tomato seedling

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And this is the whole bush. They are little leaning on the sides due to phototropism.

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And I have harvested the two batches of spinach.

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And the next batch of spinach is on its way.

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I am growing spinach in my balcony and it is responding very well to the limited sunlight that they get. Anyone who wants to try out veggie gardening should start with spinach.

My next post is on Potatoes….

GG

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