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Potato Farming in the Philippines: How to Plant and Grow Potatoes

Potato farming in the Philippines is one of the major agricultural activities that provide income to many farmers, especially in Central and Northern Luzon, and the Davao Region. If you want to know how to plant and grow potatoes, this article is for you.

Are you thinking of growing potatoes but don’t know where to start? Potato farming is an incredibly rewarding experience, but it does require some knowledge and preparation, just like any other crop. This guide will walk you through all the steps involved, from preparing the soil to harvesting your potatoes and all the stages in between. We’ll look at choosing the right potatoes, making sure your soil is suitable, planting correctly, and taking care of your crop. After reading this guide, you’ll be ready to get started in the exciting world of potato farming and growing potatoes!

potato farming in the philippines
Davao farmers Harvesting Potatoes

Potato Farming Step 1: Preparing the Soil

Before you begin planting potatoes, it’s essential to prepare the soil in your potato-farming plot. Start by tilling the soil and removing any existing weeds and stones. This will not only make the soil easier to work with but will also help ensure that your potatoes get the nutrients they need to develop properly. You can also make sure the soil is level and add rich compost materials to the soil to further create a nutrient-rich environment for your potatoes. Finally, make sure the area is well-drained, so that water can move freely amongst the soil and increase root growth and development. With your soil properly prepared, you’re ready to begin planting potatoes!

1. Testing the Soil

One of the most important steps in potato farming is testing the soil. It is critical for the farmer to have an understanding of the pH level and nutrient content of the soil in order to determine the best course of action for growing potatoes. There are a few simple ways to test the soil, including the use of soil testing kits, which can provide a comprehensive breakdown of the nutrients and pH levels in the soil. Additionally, a farmer can bring a sample of soil to a local agricultural lab, where they can get a professional opinion on the soil conditions. By taking these simple steps, a farmer can ensure they are providing their potato plants with the best possible environment for growth.

2. Adding Compost

Adding compost can be a crucial step when it comes to potato farming. Compost helps to add important nutrients to the soil, allowing for better potato yield. When manure is added to the soil, it helps to increase the amount of organic material in the soil, which helps to promote better potato yields. Compost also helps to increase the water-holding capacity of the soil, which is necessary for growing potatoes. Additionally, compost helps to reduce disease and pests, as well as improve soil structure and provide beneficial bacteria for a healthy soil environment. Adding compost to soil before planting potatoes is an essential step for successful potato farming.

3. Improving the Drainage

It is essential to select a planting site that has good drainage to ensure successful potato farming. Planting in low-lying areas or heavy clay soils can lead to waterlogged conditions and poor growth of potatoes. By improving the drainage of your planting area, you can ensure that water is able to drain away quickly and easily, resulting in healthier and more plentiful potato plants. Placing organic matter such as compost or mulch in or around the planting area can help to increase drainage, as well as improve overall soil health. Additionally, raised beds can be constructed to provide additional drainage and reduce the chances of waterlogging. Improving drainage is an easy and cost-effective way to ensure successful potato farming.

Potato Farming Step 2: Choosing and Planting Potatoes

When it comes to potato farming, one of the most important decisions you can make is in choosing the type of potato seed to purchase and plant. There are many varieties available, including russet potatoes, Yukon Gold, and red potatoes. Each variety has its own characteristics in terms of color, texture, and taste. Once you have chosen a variety, you need to buy certified seed potatoes. It is important to ensure that the potatoes are disease-free and certified to be of high quality.

Once the potatoes have been chosen, they should be planted in a sunny spot in the garden at a depth of four to six inches. As they grow, they should be covered with soil or mulch to protect them from the sun and to keep them moist. The soil should be kept in a loose and moist state for the duration of the season. The potatoes can then be harvested about 90 days after planting.

1. Selecting the Potato Variety

When it comes to growing potatoes, selecting the right variety is key. Different varieties of potatoes are developed to thrive in different climates and conditions. Depending on your location and desired outcome, your selection of varieties will vary. Some potatoes can be grown in colder climates, while others thrive in warmer climates. Additionally, some potatoes are better suited for mashing, baking, or roasting. Doing your research on the different varieties available and understanding the nuances of each are important components in the planting process. Seek out a trusted seed supplier to ensure you get access to high-quality and reliable seed potatoes.

2. Planting the Potatoes

Potato farming is an essential agricultural process for anyone looking to grow potatoes. To begin the process, the first step is to plant the potatoes. The ideal time for planting is between November to June when the soil temperature is cooler. The best potatoes to plant are certified seed potatoes, as these are free from potato diseases. To plant, simply bury the whole potato halfway into the soil and water regularly. As they begin to sprout, add a thin layer of soil to the sprouts. Following these steps will help ensure a successful harvest and will make potato farming a rewarding experience.

Potato Farming Step 3: Watering and Weeding

Watering and weeding are essential components of potato farming. To ensure a healthy crop of potatoes, you must keep weeds to a minimum and water the plants regularly. Before planting, make sure the soil is free of weeds and has adequate drainage. It’s best to water potatoes early in the morning, as the sun can quickly dry out the soil. Make sure the water reaches the roots of the plants rather than just wetting their leaves. Additionally, check the soil periodically to make sure weeds haven’t sprouted up. Pull them out as soon as possible to ensure the potatoes get enough nutrients and water. With proper watering and weeding, your potato crop should flourish.

1. Frequency of Watering

Watering potatoes is an essential part of the potato farming process. As potatoes grow, they need a steady supply of water to keep them healthy and productive. Depending on your climate, you may need to water your potatoes every two to three days. If you live in a drier area, your potatoes may need to be watered daily to ensure they continue to grow. Be careful not to overwater as this can lead to issues such as potato blight. Additionally, if you live in areas with high humidity, you may need to water less frequently to avoid excess moisture. By monitoring your potato plants and making sure they are getting the right amount of water for your area, your potatoes will be sure to thrive.

2. Weeding Methods

Weeding is an essential component of successful potato farming. Weeds can compete for nutrients and water with the potato plants, leading to decreased yields and lower-quality potatoes. To prevent weeds from taking over, it’s best to handpick them as you spot them, or use a hoe or other mechanical weeder. If you have a large crop, you may want to use herbicides. Before doing so, be sure to read all label instructions carefully and follow all safety protocols. Remember, if you don’t get rid of weeds and other unwanted plants, they can quickly take over and ruin your crop. Take the time to properly weed your potato fields and you’ll be rewarded with a bountiful harvest.

Potato Farming Step 4: Harvesting Potatoes

Harvesting potatoes is one of the most rewarding parts of the potato-farming process. Because potatoes store a great deal of energy and nutrients over the rainy season, they can be harvested months after their initial planting. When the potato plant has begun to flower and the leaves have died off, the potatoes are ready to be harvested. It is important to keep the potatoes away from direct sunlight and not store them in temperatures below 40 degrees Fahrenheit. Potatoes should be inspected for staining and decay, and any affected potatoes should be removed and discarded. After being harvested, potatoes should be cooled and stored properly for optimal preservation.

1. When to Harvest

Harvesting potatoes is an exciting step when growing potatoes and should be timed carefully. Once the potatoes have matured and the tops have died off, they are ready to be harvested. Generally, the ideal time to harvest potatoes is when the soil temperature is around 60–70°F. If you harvest too early, the potatoes can be small and the skins will be thin and easily damaged. If you harvest too late, the potatoes may be exposed to frost or extreme heat and become damaged. When harvesting, it is important to dig carefully to avoid damaging the potatoes and to protect their skin. Once they are harvested, they should be sorted and stored properly.

2. Storage of Potatoes

Once your potatoes have been harvested, the next step is to properly store them. Potatoes stored at the correct temperature and humidity will last for several months and retain good eating quality. The ideal temperature for storing potatoes is between 38°F and 40°F, and the humidity level should be between 85-90%. Ensure that potatoes are checked regularly for spoilage, and any potatoes that have begun to rot should be discarded. To prevent the growth of mold and bacteria, keep potatoes dry and away from direct sunlight. It’s also important to thoroughly inspect your potatoes before using them. Enjoy the rewards of your labor with your freshly harvested potatoes!

Conclusion

In conclusion, potato farming is a rewarding experience that can be enjoyed by people of all ages and backgrounds. By properly following the step-by-step guide provided in this article, you can enjoy a successful harvest of potatoes. By taking the time to prepare the soil, test the soil, add compost, improve drainage, select the right variety of potatoes, and proper water and weed the potatoes, you can ensure success in potato farming. Additionally, it is important to know when to harvest potatoes and how to store them properly so that they can last longer. Ultimately, potato farming can be a rewarding experience with the right preparation and knowledge.

Questions Related to Potato Farming

Can potatoes be grown in the Philippines?

In the Philippines, the most commonly grown variety of table potatoes is Granola while the best processing varieties are Igorota. These varieties are being produced in CAR and Region 10.

What month do you plant potatoes in the Philippines?

Potatoes can be grown throughout the year, but are mainly grown from November – April.

Is potato farming profitable?

Potato farming –if done rationally and on a scalable basis- can be a good source of income, provided you have available well-drained, fertile soil with a pH of 5,2-6.7.

How many kg of potato is in one hectare?

In 2021, the average potato production per hectare was roughly 40,000 kilos

How many months can you grow potatoes?

Depending on variety and weather, the potato growing season is about three or four months from planting to digging, with some early varieties and immature or “new” potatoes harvested a little earlier. Potatoes are planted from small pieces of mature tubers, called “seed” potatoes, each with one or two buds.

What is the best climate for growing potatoes?

The potato is a cool-season crop that can tolerate a little frost. Potatoes will take from 10 days to three weeks to sprout depending on the dormancy of the seed potato and the soil temperature. Sprouts grow longest at 18ºC (64ºF) while the ideal temperature for tuber planting is between 16-19ºC (61-66ºF).

Can potatoes grow in hot weather?

Potato growth begins when the soil temperature reaches 40°F and, above this threshold, development is proportional to temperature. So it is not surprising that, during a warm growing season like 2010, the season is shorter and development is faster. However, temperatures that are too warm, are detrimental to potatoes.

Is there a shortage of potatoes in the Philippines?

The Department of Agriculture (DA) has earlier confirmed there is a global shortage in the processing variety of potatoes, particularly those commonly used for fast food fries. Filipino farmers mostly grow table potatoes and unfortunately, producing such variety locally is not yet seen as viable yet.

 

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