Just like any other business, farming needs adequate planning, critical thinking and proper decision making before venturing. A journey of a thousand miles begins with a step and so a farmer should be aware of all requirements necessary for farming ,from seedling selection, favorable ecological conditions, possible diseases, pests and market for the produce.
Potatoes do well in areas with rainfall between 850mm and 1200mm, and an altitude between 1500m and 2800 m above sea level. Temperatures are key since potatoes require cold temperatures to allow tubers to increase and multiply. When planting a farmer should consider the season so as to get maximum produce.In selecting potato seeds, use medium seeds because before the roots obtain nutrients from soil they first depend on the seed for food.
Potatoes unlike other crops are mainly grown in hilled rows .potatoes need shallow trenches because they have shallow roots ,this will ensure maximum utilization of nutrients. Spacing should be about 30 cm and after the plants reach about 25 cm cover around stems with soil so as to protect shallow tubes from turning green due to exposure to sunlight. Pests will never lack in any farm. The greatest enemies of potatoes are aphids, wire worm and Flea Beetle. Flee beetle attacks young potato plants and its remedy is ensure crop rotation constantly. Aphids suck juices from leaves and a times they transmit diseases. Wirewoms on the other hand attacks roots and tubers.
When should you harvest your potatoes? when leaves begin to dry farmer should start harvesting tubers by digging carefully to avoid interfering with them.Strive to harvest when the soil is dry .Post harvest management is crucial thus store your tubers when they are dry to avoid rotting.
by :Patricia Kombo