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Prepare potatoes for an early harvest

Potatoes – which belong to the botanical nightshade family – are indispensable in many households. They are rich in protein, vitamins and minerals. Moreover, they are relatively low in energy and good digestible. If you want to harvest your potatoes early it’s time to make some preparations now in January.

First, you should buy the right potato variety like ‘Christa’, ‘Solist’ or ‘Arkula’. These cultivars belong to a potato variety with early maturity and are therefore well suited for an early harvest.

For good casting of the potatoes, pick the biggest and most beautiful potatoes from the bag and place them side by side into a box or rack. Each Potato has a germinating spot and a stipe end which can be made out quite easily. Make sure, when putting the potatoes in the crate, to place the germinating area upwards.

Now place the crate in a slightly ventilated and heated room with a temperature around 12-15 °C. Put them on a window sill for example. After 6-8 weeks you can lower the temperature to about 6°C and keep it like that till sowing the potatoes. The aim is that the potatoes build long sprouts with apparent root building. Potatoes with long poor shoots cannot be used for planting. Therefore, avoid rooms which are too dark.

The soil temperature during the sowing process should reach 5-6 °C. Only start sowing when the soil is not constantly plagued by frosty temperatures. If late frost is predicted with the potatoes already being planted, you should cover the beds with some straw and pine branches, a perforated canvas or fleece to the prevent freezing of the potatoes.

Ideally, you cool the corms down to ground temperature just a couple of days before planting. When planting, the top of the potatoes should be covered with soil at least 5-6 cm high. Do not forget to water the rooting potato corms. Before you can see the first shoots peer out of ground, rake the bed sproperly to get rid of any weeds. About three month after planting, the potatoes are ready to be harvested. So now you can get ready for a great and healthy potato dish!