Are you growing potatoes in your home garden this season? Then this article is a must-read for you. If you have already started growing them, your next step would be to find the right fertilizer to give your plant all the nutrition it requires. This article on the 5 best fertilizers for potatoes is tailor-made for you, so you do not have to waste more time researching.
Choosing the Right Fertilizer for Your Potato Plant
Growing potatoes can be a challenging task, mainly when you cannot track the progress of the crop. The vegetable growing underground makes it difficult to know at what stage your plant is unless you had kept track of when you planted it and marked its growth on a calendar. So why is it important to know at what growth stage your plant is? It’s only because you will need to know when is the right time to attend to the fertilization needs of the plant. You will have to feed it on time so it can give you the yield you are looking forward to.
Understand The Different Stages Of Plant Growth
Potato plants have 5 stages in their growth cycle; it is during the third stage of tuber initiation that the plant starts developing the tuber crop. This is also the time that is significant for applying fertilizers. So, what are the considerations to be taken care of while applying fertilizers to the potato crops?
Get a soil test done
You must have the right balance of soil conditions to give you a good yield. Potatoes require fertile soil. It grows well on loose soil that is well-drained and slightly acidic. Hence it is advisable to get a soil test done before planting these crops. It will help you know the pH levels in the soil; the pH level should ideally be around 5.8 to 6.5. Simply dig down for about 4 to 6 inches and take a handful of soil for the test. You could use ready-made soil test kits that are available with leading E-commerce retailers.
Know Your Soil’s NPK compositions
The soil test will also reveal the Nitrogen, Phosphorous, and Potash compositions, so you can choose the fertilizer based on what your soil already has in abundance. Most fertilizers will mention the composition upfront on the label. Pay special attention to this as the success of harvesting a good yield depends on whether you feed your plants with the right amount of nutrition.
While nitrogen is an essential element to plant growth, what you need to keep in mind is that the tuber does not require much of this element.If your fertilizer has a higher content on nitrogen, it is sure to give you a nice- and healthy-looking plant; however, the tuber might not be as good as you expected. To understand the role of each element before using the fertilizer.
Organic or Non-Organic fertilizers
this is a personal preference; you can choose to apply organic fertilizers if you wish to keep your soil safe from harmful chemicals present in the synthetic fertilizers. You could also use farmyard manure or compost to give your potato plant the required nutrition. If you plan to choose chemical fertilizers, always consider doing the soil test to avoid the dangers of over-fertilization. While both types have their benefits and disadvantages, I prefer using organic fertilizers as I am more at peace when I use the vegetables grown this way.
Potato plants need a fair share of sunlight for their photosynthesis. However, once the tubers have set in, you will have to limit the exposure to sunlight as it can lead to discoloration and bitterness of the tuber crop. You could also consider covering the soil with mulch to help reduce the exposure to sunlight.
How you should use the fertilizers
If you are using fertilizers that are in the form of granules, you will have to use about 1/5th of an ounce. If you are going by the traditional off the shelf ones, you will find the exact measuring of how much you will have to add based on the area. The typical fertilizer bags will have a coding like 10-10-10, which shows the NPK composition we discussed earlier. So, use them by your soil test results. A good practice is to fertilize the plant will planting is often referred to as pre-planting fertilization and once the tuber set in you will have to fertilize again.
These are some commons concerns home gardeners have when it comes to fertilizing their home-grown plants. You could also refer to the potato growing guide for more information on planting and growing potato plants.
Our Top 5 Recommendations for Best Potato Fertilizers
We chose the top 5 best fertilizers after considering the available options in the market. Our recommendations include both organic and chemical fertilizers so that you can choose one based on your preference.
1. Best Organic Potato fertilizer: Organic Potato Fertilizer by Homesteader Hobbies
This natural fertilizer is a unique blend of fish bone meal, alfalfa meal, blood meal, feather meal, and sulphate of potash to give the plant all the food it requires to produce delicious and large potatoes. With this one you will not have to worry about fertilizing your potato plants frequently, users believe that it is usually enough if you apply it at the time of planting. It also has all the essential vitamins, microbes, and minerals that help promote the overall health of the soil to give you good yields that are of ideal size, flavor, and also disease-free crops.
Place your orders in advance, so you get your delivery on time. Add this to your gardening essentials, as it is excellent for all the root vegetables. If you wish to have wholesome organic produce, then Homesteader Hobbies Organic Potato fertilizer should be your first choice. You will also not suffer from the guilt of dousing your garden with any harmful chemicals.
2. For High Concentration of Potash: Voluntary Purchasing Group Inc. 32145 4 lb. Muriate Potash
The 0-0-60 composition is ideal for supporting plant growth in terms of good stem growth, firm stalks, and deep root system. It is perfect for growing underground vegetables and therefore is best your potatoes as well. This can also be used as a DIY fertilizer that will aid faster plant growth. It is not only the best fertilizer for your root vegetables, but it also works wonders for your flowering plants as well. It is an excellent source of potassium for your garden.
Notice substantial growth in the vegetation after you have added the recommended serving on this potash rich fertilizer to your garden. It is like a one-time investment for your garden fertilization needs as it can be mixed with other fertilizers to come up with DIY fertilizers.
3. For Fertilizer Spikes: Jobe's Organics Vegetable Fertilizer Spikes
Easy to use pre-measured nutrients to promote growth, flowering, and fruiting of your potato plants. These are designed in such a way that it suits most vegetables and tomato plants as well. You do not have to worry about the nutrients getting drained away because of running off as the spikes will gradually mix with the soil and release the required nutrients. Gardeners need not break their heads on the composition as it comes with an ideal mix of 2-7-4.
Enrich your soil using this easy to use fertilizer spikes that also contain microbes that promote good root growth. It can be used for fertilizing most vegetables, not just the root veggies. Hence it is an economical option if you have a vegetable garden with different types of veggies. Apply it once at the time of planting and
4. For Concentrated Organic Additive: 1/2 Inch by 200 Feet Double Braid Polyester Rope Yellow
The concentrated formula in this additive helps in activating the enzymes that are responsible for photosynthesis in plants. It works as a plant rescuer by revitalizing struggling plants. It is also used to increase the yield and quality of the produce. Hence it is also known as a multi-purpose fertilizer. This fertilizer is compatible with any method of application such as hydroponics, aeroponics and coco, DWC, and soil. It serves as an all in one solution for all your growing needs in the garden.
For a soil that does require reasonable amounts of nitrogen and phosphorous, you can use it in conjunction with other fertilizers. Otherwise, at a price it is available, it is an excellent source of nutrition to save dying plants. It is sure to increase your yield from the potato plants by 20% and also saves your time as it is relatively easy to use.
5. For the Acid-loving Vegetation: Down To Earth 6-Pound Acid Mix
All those acid-loving plants will love this all-natural ingredient mix of fertilizer. Use it in early spring to promote the growth of your potato plants and again use them at the time when you notice the first blooms, to give you a bountiful yield. The composition of 4-3-6 works great for acidic soil. It is also great for growing several flowering plants such as Rhododendrons, Camellias, and fruits such as berries. It is also ideal for promoting budding in potatoes.
You can transfer the contents into another container once you have opened the pack to make good the defect of poor package. It acts as a natural bloom booster for all the flora in your garden. Harvest your potato produce that is great on quality and yield. You could promote the root development when used in the fall; this will also help in developing resistance to the extreme winter temperatures.
You have five fantastic options to choose from when it comes to fertilizing your potato plants. Most of the options we have discussed here are organic and will not spoil the natural balance of your soil. My personal favorite is the Organic Potato Fertilizer by Homesteader Hobbies because it contains a lot of natural and plant beneficial ingredients. It is also an affordable option considering it is ideal for use throughout one growing season. The organic composition of the three elements NPK is at the right proportion for slightly acidic soil. So, it makes for the ideal natural fertilizer for potato plants.
If you liked our article, please comment in the section below. You could also let us know your potato growing stories and how this tutorial helped you.