Potato (Solanumtuberosum) is perhaps among the globe’s most significant food plants and cash crops, with the tubers containing a massive amount of minerals and digestible carbs.
Overages, these yearly root vegetables have kept hunger and poverty at bay in many parts of the globe, and few crops are more adaptable.
Potatoes are a part of the nightshade plant family, which includes various vital food items such as tomato, eggplant, and pepper.
Like some other plants, potatoes have harmful alkaloid chemicals in their foliage and some other green portions. The grown roots of potatoes, on the other hand, are pleasingly edible.
Potatoes are very cheap to buy, but newly harvested potatoes out of your backyard garden appear to have a flavor of their own.
Although oblong baking potatoes & red potatoes have long flooded the world, over 1,000 other types of potatoes are accessible for cultivation.
They can tolerate partial shade, but the rich top foliage nourishes the tubers underneath. The more sunlight there is, the better—at least 6 hours every day.
Also Read: How Long Does it Take for Kale to Grow?
How Sunlight Affects Potato Plant Growth?
Plants require solar energy to grow. Sunlight is absorbed by leaf tissue and used as a power source for photosynthesis.
The capacity of a plant to gather sunlight is proportional to its leaf surface region, also known as the leaf area index. The ability of a crop to gather sunlight is enhanced when it is fully canopied.
If the temperature becomes too high, potato species produce much fewer tubers or nothing at all. As with all root crops, potatoes develop delicious tubers beneath the soil’s surface.
However, the green section of the plant over soil requires sunlight; practically all veggies need light for photosynthesis – the procedure by which nutrients are converted into starches that will nourish the plant. Whenever the tubers are subjected to sunshine, they often become green.
The green parts are not edible, so slice them out and throw them. Keeping the potatoes in a darkened room would also help keep them from turning green. If stored in darkness, the greening typically goes away.
There are clear advantages to growing potatoes in full sunshine. Full sunshine promotes optimal development, which then, in turn, encourages root development.
Potatoes can tolerate moderate shadow; however, the lush top foliage feeds the tubers underground. The more sunshine there is, the better it is for any of them to flourish.
Check this out: What Are the Easiest Potatoes to Grow?
How Much Sunlight Do Potatoes Need?
White potatoes (Solanumtuberosum):
7-six hours of bright sun is required. As new leaf development emerges, top it with soil, keeping some leaflets exposed to sunlight. Keep majority leaves out of direct sunlight till they grow six inches long.
Red potatoes (Solanumtuberosum)
Red potatoes require at least 6 hours of sunshine every day. With additional care, it may thrive in partial shade.
When searching for potato types, it’s essential to know what each demand is regarding sunshine. Seed packages or instruction labels on potato plants use four sunshine settings to help you choose the most OK potato type that will grow in your yard’s sun exposure.
Most tuber crops thrive when exposed to at least eight hours of full sun per day.
This quantity of sunlight can be a concern because many potato types prefer cooler temperatures, which happens at a year when daylight durations are fewer, such as spring and autumn.
Photosynthesis is required for the potato foliage to supply nutrition to the roots system and grow the tubers. As long as you keep other ground conditions appropriately, the more excellent sunlight the foliage receives, the greater your vegetable production will be.
Also Read: How Much Sunlight Do Green Beans Need?
Can Potatoes Grow in the Shade?
Potatoes may thrive in shady areas. On the other hand, potato plants require a minimum of 6 hours of bright sunlight every day to grow more tubers of larger size. Potatoes growing in some or complete shade may not yield tubers whatsoever, or when they do, they would be undersized.
While potatoes may grow in full shade, they require sufficient sunshine to create energy once they begin to develop. When the sprouts burst through the ground, their leaflets will direct sunlight for photosynthesis.
When the crops thrive in direct sunlight, the potatoes are bigger and more abundant; however, if the number isn’t a concern, go along and choose a shadier yard site if you won’t be utilizing it for something else.
Also Read: Growing Sweet Potatoes from Scraps
Signs that Potato Plant Isn’t Getting Enough Sunlight
Tiny potato plants can develop this way due to hereditary traits. Still, it can also indicate that they aren’t getting sufficient sunlight or that the land contains pesticide residues, both of which can impede their development.
If a potato plant does not get enough sunshine, it will grow leggy. Potatoes develop delicious tubers beneath the earth, but foliage plants above the surface. The leaf requires sunlight for photosynthesis. If they don’t get the necessary sun, they will not grow well.
To grow vegetables properly, you must give them a suitable location, soil, & moisture.
How Much Sunlight is Too Much for potatoes?
Nevertheless, the tubers require solar protection since too much sunshine during growing makes the tubers green.
Direct sunlight causes the potato’s green tinge. Sunlight causes the potato to create chlorophyll plus solanine. This can be harmful to you.
If the tuber is bitter flavor, then you shouldn’t consume it. Keep potatoes in a cold, darkened room with adequate airflow to keep them from becoming green. (Source)
Also Read: Is Bone Meal Good for Growing Potatoes
Temperature requirement of potato
The potatoes are a temperate weather plant, yet it thrives in various climates. It is only cultivated in settings where the temperature is somewhat chilly throughout the growing seasons.
The foliage development of the crop is optimum around 24°C, whereas tuber formation is ideal at 20°C.
As a result, potato is produced in the hills during summertime and in the tropical & subtropical areas during wintertime. The plant may be grown to a height of 3000 meters above sea level.
Soil, Water and Sunlight for Growing Potatoes
Potatoes require a minimum of six hours of sunshine every day, as well as well-drained soil. Compost assists the ground to stay hydrated and protects the tubers from the sun, which can cause them to become green.
Potatoes plants thrive in locations with summer temperatures around 65 to 70 ℉, although they may also flourish in hotter climates.
They’re a cool-season plant; they should be planted when soil temperatures exceed 40 degrees Fahrenheit.
Except for salty and alkaline soils, potatoes may be cultivated practically anywhere. Grounds that are typically loose provide the easiest path to tuber expansion.
Potato crop production is best suited to loamy or sandy loam properties rich in natural content and has adequate drainage and ventilation. A pH range between 5.2-6.4 is particularly recommended for soil.
Potato tubers exposed to too much sunlight become green due to a chemical known as solanine. If eaten in high numbers, this toxin can make individuals unwell and perhaps kill them.
Tubers that are close to soil surface will get exposed to sunlight after that rain washes away the top layer of the soil. They can also turn green from being exposed to artificial lights, like those in the grocery store, for a prolonged time.
Also Read: Can You Plant Potatoes that Have Sprouted?
Ensure your potato plants are adequately hydrated throughout the summertime, particularly during the blooming stage and soon after the flowering phase.
Throughout this flowering phase, the vines produce tubers, and a consistent water supply is critical to a successful yield. Potatoes thrive with 1-two inches of rainfall or water every week.
Stop watering whenever the leaves become yellow and start to die off. It will aid in the hardening of the potatoes in preparation for harvesting.
Planting and Growing Potato Plant
Typically, potatoes are cultivated using seed potatoes. It is possible to utilize “seed pieces” or little seed potatoes, small parts of a giant tuber. Seed potatoes are available at gardening shops and through seed firms when they are available.
At least two eyes must be present on every piece of quality seeds. The eyes are the location where a branch will emerge and must be left to heal for a couple of days before planting in the ground.
Curing keeps the seed bits from decaying and reduces the possibility of pathogens entering. Curing is as simple as putting the parts of the seed on napkins and leaving them to rest for 3 – 4 days.
Potatoes thrive in the sunlight, so place your potato plot in direct sunlight (in which the plants can receive at least 6 hours of sunshine every day) for the most satisfactory outcomes.
Potatoes are sown with tuber fragments known as seed potatoes. Plant seed tubers in the springtime, around the latest predicted frost date.
Smaller potatoes could be buried entirely, while more giant potatoes (more significant than a golf ball) must be cut into quarters before planting using a clean knife. Ensure that each component has an eye or even a bud.
Allow the parts to cure for a few days before planting to avoid rotting. Plant your seed potatoes just a few inches down and 12-15 inches apart in lines in the light, well-drained ground.
Also Read: When Is it Too Late to Plant Potatoes?
Potatoes will begin to blossom and create tubers shortly after planting. When the tubers have grown, your potatoes should require a lot of water to develop correctly. Quit watering when the leaves become yellow and die down in preparation for harvest.
The sprouts will grow from the ground within a few weeks. Heap several inches of clay over the stems after the shoots are 8 – 10 inches high. This is known as “earthing up” and otherwise “hilling,” and it aids in the production of a larger potato harvest.
Under or over water might hinder tuber growth and endanger plants growth. Pick a good location that gets plenty of sunlight—1 part manure or composted manure with two parts topsoil, mixed till nice and fluffy. There is no requirement to use chemical fertilizer.
Potatoes should be stored in a cool, dark room above freezing and have sufficient ventilation. Dust the dirt off freshly harvested potatoes, but don’t rinse them — the excess water is terrible for storing.
Inspect your saved potatoes periodically and discard anything mushy or rotting throughout the winter.
Growing a plentiful harvest of tubers in a backyard garden is simple if you follow the proper upkeep instructions. A tuber plant requires consistent watering and excellent soil conditions to generate significant, uniformly formed potatoes.
Potato tubes are a primary nutritional source in cooler climates, and they are consumed after they have been cooked. They can be diced or cut like potato chips or potato wedges. Potatoes may also be used to make starch, alcohol, and flour.
We hope this guide helped you and encouraged you to grow potato tubers in your home garden. We hope you can enjoy dishes made from your homegrown potatoes soon.