Growing Potatoes indoors is much easier than you can imagine. Even if you do not thave Gardening experience still you can grow healthy potatoes indoors.
If you are looking for a vegetable to start your home garden than Growing potatoes indoors is the best option. Potatoes do not need much attention and care.
If you have good potting Soil, container, Natural Light or Grow lights, toothpicks, and water you can grow healthy potatoes. They are a good source of nutrients and you can store them for a long time without many efforts.
You can start growing potatoes indoors from potato seeds. You have to have potatoes seeds to grow them at home. Do this, buy potatoes that have small spots on them. Each one should have 5 to 7 nodes, these spots are called eyes of potatoes. This is the part that germinates and one potato with 6 eyes can give you near about 2lb of healthy potatoes at home in a container.
If you do not find potatoes with eyes in the supermarket do not worry, I have a solution for this.
Buy potatoes and leave them near a window for a few days until they develop small sprouts.
Once they Sprout you need to wash them with a vegetable brush but if you do not have at home. Wash them under running water and lightly scrub them to remove dirt and another residue. Be careful around the eye of potatoes make sure they don’t get damaged while washing.
First of all, take a potato with eyes and cut it into two pieces. Place your potato on a table and cut it from the middle. While cutting potato do not cut an eye because of this the part that will germinate.
Now put the 4 toothpicks in the potato as shown in the figure. The purpose of these toothpicks is to hold the potato when you put it on the top of the glass of water.
Submerge the potato half into the water like shown in the picture. Now place this glass of water with submerged potato under the grow light or south-facing window. At this point, you need to give 6 to 7 hours of light per day. After 7 to 10 days you see the roots coming out of the potato.
Soil and Container for Growing Potatoes Indoors
For home gardening, you can use plastic made containers they are easy to move from one place to another and cheap to buy. Just make sure your every container has one drainage hole at the bottom. This hole is there to protect your plant from accidental overwatering.
If you give more than enough water to your plant the extra water will drain out of the container through this darning hole.
Put small stones or pebbles at the bottoms of the container. This action will protect your plant from root rot and mildew.
To get the high yield you should use a container that has 9.5L of capacity.
Fill the one-third of the container with potting soil. The soil should be loose and high nutritious. The pH of the soil should be between 5 to 5.7. If the soil pH is high then this range use Soil acidifier also called elemental sulfur to adjust it to near 5.4.
In the next step place the potatoes in the pot with roots facing down into the soil. The longest sprout should be facing towards the ceiling.
Now cover the potatoes with 2 to 3-inch-thick layer of soil.
Light for Indoor Growing Potatoes
Potatoes need a good amount of light for 8 to 12 hours. This light can be sunlight or artificial man-made grow lights. If you can give sunlight to your potatoes for 8 hours you are doing great.
But if sunlight only comes inside your home for 3 to 4 hours you need a grow light.
In fact, it is best to buy a grow light to grow for indoor growing potatoes. Moreover, if you can afford a grow tent you can grow any vegetables at any time of the year. Because grow tents give you full control over the growth of potatoes and other vegetables.
600 watts LED grow light is enough to use for growing potatoes indoors and many other vegetables and salad items.
Water requirements of potatoes: At the initial stage keeps the soil moist spray water every 2 to 3 days. As the plant grows you need to give it more water. Keep the soil moist but do not give more water make it like mud. Indoor growing Potato plants need moist soil to produce tasty potatoes.
Add more soil to your container as the potato plant grows in height. Because when the potato vine grows it produces potatoes. Potatoes need sunlight on the foliage not on them. So, by mixing more soil you can encourage your plant to grow more in height and produce more potatoes.
Harvest your Potatoes: After 10 weeks you can harvest your potatoes. If you cannot remember the plant age don’t worry wait until the foliage gets to die. Whenever the foliage begins to die, stop watering it and after 7 days harvest your potatoes.
Give water to your plant to loosen the soil and after 30 min take the plants out of the container. collect the fresh potatoes with your hands (wear garden gloves). Leave the potatoes as they are for 3 hours
Store Harvested Potatoes
The good news is you can store your potatoes for 5 months in a cool and dark place. keep the temperature between 8 to 14 degrees C. You can also store your potatoes in the refrigerator in the vegetable tray but for only 1 week. Because after that the starch in potatoes starts converting into sugar so use them within 7 to 8 days.
NUTRITIONAL VALUES OF INDOOR GROWING POTATOES
Indoor gardens give us the continuous supply of these vegetables year-round. Potatoes are rich in potassium and studies have shown that a high potassium diet prevents many heart diseases.
Potatoes also stable the blood pressure or high blood pressure which is responsible for hypertension at a young age.
The vitamin C present in them acts as the best antioxidant for humans. We all know antioxidants are good for our overall health especially for our skin cells. Foods rich in antioxidants saves our skin tissues from the bacterial attack which makes our skin dull and dry. Some people use potato slices to remove dark circles under the eyes.
Growing Potatoes Indoors increases our mental health. They contain vitamin B6 which is required for maintaining our neurological health. This vitamin helps our brain to produce an essential chemical for proper functioning.
Potatoes make our immune system strong and common conditions like cold and flu do affect our body. Again vitamin C plays a major role in improving immunity. They are also rich in fiber content which improves our digestion system. Proper digestion is key to good health (both mentally and physically).
We hope you understand the whole process of growing potatoes and their benefits. See you next time with the latest news on indoor gardening.