Along with a bounty of nutrients, home grown potatoes are delicious when compared to store bought tubers.
It is one among the easy to grow root vegetables that require low maintenance.
All they need is well-drained and fertile soil with consistent moisture.
We learned this in our school days, along with carbon-dioxide and light, water is used to produce food for plants.
Now, a question arises, do potatoes need lots of water?
Compared to houseplants root vegetable plants like potato may require more water. But, this doesn’t mean overwatering them.
Quality and quantity of water directly impact the yield.
Being a root vegetable, potato plants need consistent water and good amount of organic fertilizers to produce tubers.
How often you should water your potato plants depends on the climatic conditions of your region.
As a thumb rule, potato plant needs 1-2 inches of water every week. Water is also responsible to transfer minerals and nutrients from soil through roots to plants.
Remember this: You can grow food without fossil fuels, but can’t grow without water. (Source)
Potato – Knowing Your Plant Helps to Grow Successfully
While some individuals consider potatoes to be roots, they are tubers or underground storage stems.
There are over 100 different potato types, although white and red-skinned kinds are the most popular in household gardens due to their texture plus flavor.
This is a cool-season plant that thrives across much of the United States, although especially in northern states with limited growing seasons.
For tuber development, potato crops require soil conditions between 60F and 70F.
Also Read: Can You Plant Potatoes that Have Sprouted
Tubers do not grow if soil levels reach 80 ° Fahrenheit or higher. Mild cold is generally tolerated by potato plants.
Importance of Watering Potato Plants
- When developing potato crop, ensure that they receive adequate moisture at the appropriate period this will assists to increase the quantity and quality of tubers harvested.
- Potato crops that aren’t getting enough water may produce lesser and undersized potatoes.
- As the tubers mature, they can acquire deformities such as knots, lumps, and breaks.
Potatoes produced in the proper quantity of water will have a superior flavor and stay longer once preserved.
It is necessary to disinfect and dry fresh potatoes’ skins once they are collected. The potatoes would not cure correctly and would not preserve long if the skins develop cracks and knots.
You can determine the number of times you have to water your potato plants by tracking precipitation in your area, examining soil moisture content, and understanding how much moisture the plants require.
Also Read: Potato Leaves Turning Yellow, Black
How Much Water Do Potato Plants Need?
Potato plant water needs vary depending on its growth and climatic conditions.
So not just how much when to water your potato plants is something you must know as a gardener.
A simple potato watering sheet is:
- Watering needs for newly germinated potato seedlings is not high. A well-drained and moisture retentive growing soil is very important.
- 30 to 60 days after planting, watering needs of potato plant is high to grow early tubers.
- 60-90 days after planting, plant needs high watering to produce bigger tubers.
- 90-120 days after planting, when potatoes are produced watering needs can be limited. Before harvesting, experts recommend stop watering potato plants.
In hot summer weather, it’s common to notice plants wilting, although this does not always imply they require watering.
It is preferable to examine the soil moisture content rather than always glancing at the crops.
Insert your index finger in the soil and check for moisture, if the soil is sticky then your plant don’t need water as of now. Water the plant when the growing soil is dry.
It’s impossible to observe how young potatoes grow and expand underneath. You can’t be sure if the potatoes were too dry or damp until they’re harvested.
Whereas if a potato plant receives excess water, its foliage will appear yellow and begin to die away.
How Often to Water Potato Plants?
Water is necessary for crops to develop, flourish, and bear fruit, and we don’t need to remind anyone what happens if you don’t water them.
Plant leaves starts drooping, curling, tuber formation slows down and eventually plant dies.
When growing potatoes, you have to keep the soil wet at all stages.
While other plants may benefit from a chance to dry out, potatoes require moist growing medium.
They’re a cool-weather plant that thrives in springtime conditions, which includes abundant rain!
As mentioned above, potato plant needs 1 to 2 inches of water every week and also that the growing soil must be moist consistently.
Just two deep soaks each week should be enough to keep your potato crop healthy, provided that growing soil good enough to lock moisture.
A simple hack, insert your finger in growing soil, if you see the soil is moist and sticky, don’t water. In case the soil is dry, water generously.
Remember this: Along with leaves and branches, as a gardener you must look its growing medium regularly.
The water requirement may vary according to the seasons, high temperatures, moisture, and soil composition.
This is because certain soils (clay, for instance) are greater at holding water than some others, potatoes on particular grounds may need less water.
Also Read: How Far Apart to Plant Sweet Potatoes?
It is common to overwater plants.
New gardeners, often do this mistake.
Yellowing of leaves and stunted growth is common signs of overwatering potato plants.
Tuber will rot due to this common gardening mistake.
Excessive moisture will have a variety of impacts based on the stage of growth.
Malformed potatoes could be caused by watering more after sowing and not sufficient when the young tubers are developing.
Potatoes can decay if they are overwatered after the plants have unfortunately died.
When you’re on unplanned vacation or when you choose wrong growing soil, plants undergo underwatering situation.
Drooping of leaves, dry soil, yellow foliage and stunted growth are signs of underwatering potato plants.
Potatoes require consistent watering from the time they are planted until the plants start dying back to reach their full capability.
When you do not even water your potatoes sufficiently, you’ll get lesser, shorter, and more uneven potatoes.
Check this out: How Deep Do Potato Roots Grow?
How Much Water Does a Potato Plant Need Per Day?
Am afraid there is no exact answer to this query.
Potato plant needs 1-2 inches of water every week. I know this might be confusing to amateur gardeners.
To make it simple, 1 inch of watering every week is equal to 0.62 gallons of water or in other words, 2.36 litres of water. (Source)
Based on this, may be you must water potato plant less than half-litre per day. Again, it important that you use soil that drains well and the plant gets enough sunlight.
Note: Check the growing soil for dryness between watering cycles.
How to Water Potato Plants?
This depends on how you’re growing your potato plants.
If growing in garden, then use garden hose to water your adult potato plant at its base.
Water early in the morning so that water droplets on potato leaves are easily evaporated. Otherwise, moist environment attracts bacterial infestation.
Must Check this: What Causes Holes in Potato Leaves?
Maturity, Tuber Setup, and Irrigation While Blooming
As the potato crop matures, tubers emerge. When the potato crops are in blossom, you must start watering them more often to ensure that they get enough water to produce potatoes.
When the blooms have fully developed, you can tell that the potatoes are rapidly growing in size. Attempt watering fully four times a week at this stage.
You’ll keep the crops properly hydrated and stimulate great tuber development by feeding in this manner, but you’ll also prevent abandoning the plants’ very damp feet, which might also lead to fungal diseases or tuber rotting if the moisture stays too extended.
Continue watering till the plants grow yellow and wilt, then stop. The potatoes are no more in need of irrigation.
Also Read: How Often to Water Green Onions?
Reduce Watering at the End
Quit watering as soon as the plants begin to wilt and turn yellow so that the potatoes aren’t overwatered. This step lasts about 1 and 2 weeks and permits the potatoes to recover.
Wrap the bed with a breezy, waterproof tarp to permit some sunlight in during the last week of healing if feasible.
This is especially useful in regions where the soil is thick clay and might never dry completely.
The coverings of the crops will become tougher as a result of the curing, allowing them to be stored for weeks. Extra moisture might stifle the process, or, in the worst-case scenario, induce rot.
How Often to Water Potatoes in Containers?
When you plant, think about where the container can go.
Potatoes require at least six hours of direct sunlight every day. Containers should not be placed underneath overhanging or tree branches that could channel rainfall into the container.
When the seed potato eyes start growing — place them close to a bright window for one day or so to stimulate germination — they may be sliced into golf ball-sized portions that have at least 2 eyes for sowing.
Start planting them in your outdoor container one week or so before the typical last cold deadline.
On a bed of 2 inches or more of dirt, plants must be 10 to 12 inches off and 4 to 5 inches from the edge of the container.
Ensure your garden bed stays moist. Let the soil wet and not soggy till the flowers develop.
Crumbly is perhaps the right word to describe it. Potatoes in pots will dry up faster than that of the ground in the yard.
To maintain your potato pot evenly wet, you’ll need to check up on it. Potatoes require a minimum of 1 inch of liquid every week, and 1 1/2 inches for optimal yield, especially once tubers have begun to develop.
It’s simple to keep track of container planting. Simply lean in to assess the situation.
When you water your plants, it’s an excellent opportunity to use a liquid fertilizer. 2 or 3 treatments of foliar spray of seaweed solution over the planting season will help promote good tuber development.
Conditions required to Grow Potatoes?
In household gardens, potatoes may be produced rapidly for a plentiful yield. Potatoes could live in mildly cold regions, but they flourish in hotter climates.
You may start planting potato seedlings as early as the snow fades, the cold dissolves, and springtime comes.
There are more than 100 kinds of potatoes accessible around the globe today. It is ideal to plant potatoes in a location that gets a lot of direct sunlight.
Potatoes may be grown in a variety of methods at home, but they all require adequate sunshine.
The growing season for potatoes is determined by the weather in your nation. Potatoes must be planted after the latest frost period in cool-weather areas.
Keep in mind that frost can be fatal to potatoes.
Potatoes must be sown in late summertime when the temperature starts to calm down in warm-climate nations with scorching summer and moderate cold.
Also Read: What Are the Easiest Potatoes to Grow?
Tips While Watering Potatoes
When hydrating potatoes, using a soak hose is preferable to the above spraying since it provides more water. Several fungal infections flourish in the heated, humid conditions which overhead sprays may generate in warm temperatures.
Soak hoses not just minimize the likelihood of creating these circumstances by holding water on the soil rather than on the crop, and they significantly decrease water waste by distributing water where it’s required without needless over spraying.
But water shortages are a reality of the situation in several regions during the summertime. Mulching could be the remedy if water management is a significant element in the conditions required you might produce potatoes.
Mulching has a huge influence on the constancy of moisture content, and its importance cannot be overstated. High soil warmth and inconsistency in moisture content are seriously damaging to potatoes.
Blight and scab are two diseases that affect potatoes.
Blights can be controlled by spraying plants with composting tea every two weeks.
Scab causes tubers to develop rough skin, although it does not affect the potato’s flavor profile. Corky regions should be removed. Modify the soil pH to 5.5 when the scab is an issue.
While watering potato plants, you must consider soil temperature, climatic condition in your region, amount of sunlight plant gets and growing soil.
Watering needs of potato plant varies depending on its growing stages.
Potato seedlings need less water, but when the plant starts to grow after 30 days, it needs good amount of water. Before harvest, when tubers are formed, you can reduce watering frequency.
How much and when to water potato plant is different as mentioned above.