Potato is one of the main and important sources of food, and therefore it is considered one of the most productive agricultural crops because it is considered an important crop to solve the food problem, as potato cultivation is the first alternative to cultivating grain crops.
Potatoes contain fiber, carbohydrates and some vitamins, and the nutritional value of potatoes varies according to the method of cooking in which it is presented.
The nutritional value of potatoes
The skin of the potato is very important because it contains most of the nutrients found in potatoes.
Potatoes also contain starch that improves and resists blood sugar levels, and potatoes contain antioxidants that help reduce the risk of chronic diseases and work on the integrity of the digestive system.
Egypt is one of the countries that rely on potato cultivation as a major vegetable crop. In Egypt, potato is one of the crops that take the lead in the crops that are exported abroad.
How to prepare potatoes before planting them
Potatoes are grown through potato kernels called tubers and it is recommended to buy them from approved places for cultivation and not from places that sell potatoes to eat them to ensure that the potato kernels are free of diseases or have been sprayed with substances that prevent the growth of potato kernels.
On the potato tubers, there are eyes with the buds that grow to give us the potatoes. You can plant the entire small tubers or cut the tubers if they are large.
The plant prefers the potato tubers before planting them by placing the whole potato tubers in a shady place for two weeks in order for the thick green development to sprout from the eyes so that these green growths reach a half or one centimeter. The large tubers are cut lengthwise so that each piece contains from one to three buds and their length is from about 3 and a half to 5 and a half Centimeter.
It is preferable to leave it in a shady place for a period of two days until the Filipino material that protects the pieces from molds is formed. The pieces can be sprayed with any fungicide such as sulfur powder and cultivated directly.
Soil preparation before planting
The soil is prepared before planting the potatoes by carefully guarding it to a depth of about 20 cm. The stones are removed, the soil is smoothed and the soil is leveled.
Compost can be added while the shovel
Then, using a shovel, we run a shallow trench with a depth of approximately 10 cm, and the trenching method is the traditional method.
Potato growing methods
Choosing the type of potato when planting, you must take into account the selection of the type of potato that is suitable for the soil in which the planting will take place and the ability of the potato kernels to resist pests and fungal diseases that affect potatoes.
Potato kernels that contain large proportions of starch and a small percentage of sugars are among the best types of potatoes that should be grown.
Choosing the type of soil Potato cultivation needs a cold climate in order for potatoes to grow because potatoes do not tolerate high temperatures. Potato cultivation also needs soil that is irrigated by spraying, as water provides the soil’s need for water.
One of the soils that helps potatoes to grow is planting potatoes in organic soils to ensure high quality potatoes.
Potato is grown in clay soil with attention to irrigation and cultivation, which works on fertility of the land and the cultivation of more than one crop per year.
As for potato cultivation in sandy soil, it needs a lot of attention, as sandy soil does not contain sufficient organic matter, and sandy soil is loose soil because it is exposed to erosion due to the abundance of winds, which makes it a weak environment Potato cultivation because it needs large quantities of water and organic materials necessary for success Cultivation process.
Preparing the land for cultivation by supplying the soil with adequate organic materials, providing moisture and continuous and constant monitoring of potatoes, is one of the most successful methods of planting potato fruits and producing high-quality crops and being careful and persistent in plowing the land at appropriate times to improve the physical properties of the soil. And it works well to get rid of the land from weeds.
Potato cultivation in Saudi Arabia
Potatoes are grown in Saudi Arabia in a cold climate. Potatoes are grown in Saudi Arabia on three different seasons, which are the spring season in February and the autumn season in September, and they are grown in the summer season in April.
These are cultivated in Saudi Arabia in many agricultural regions, Qassim, Eastern Province, Riyadh, Hail and Al Jawf.
Duration of planting potatoes
Potato cultivation requires a ripening period and the harvest time from 90 to 120 days, then harvesting takes place after that, and the planting period and time varies according to the type of potatoes planted and according to the quality of the soil and its production capacity.
The period of planting potatoes may be reduced to two months, in the case of potato cultivation at home and from the signs of potato maturity and knowing the time of harvest when the outer shell of the potato is complete and when it is easy to separate the new potato tuber from the mother tuber.
Growing potatoes at home
You must prepare and prepare arable soil consisting of sand, finely ground leaves, and clay soil. The components of this soil must be mixed well and placed in a bucket for planting.
The potato fruits that contain the green bulge or the tubers are prepared. If these fruits are not available, the potato fruits can be wetted and placed in the refrigerator for five days until the bulge or tubers are formed.
The potato fruits are shown in the prepared bucket for planting potatoes, and it must be taken into account that the bulge is facing upwards, after which the soil is irrigated with water and the soil irrigation process is repeated every two days for a period of two months until the leaves of the potato fruits begin to yellow, which means that the potatoes are ready to be extracted from this soil.
Varieties of potatoes grown in Egypt
The types and varieties of potatoes in Egypt are divided into five varieties
Early varieties and these varieties need time to grow until the stage of maturity is complete and then they are extracted from the soil and this period ranges from 90 to 95 days from the beginning of the time of planting these potatoes.
There are also the semi-early varieties, which are varieties that need to be cultivated from 65 to 105 days from the beginning of the time of planting potatoes, and among these varieties are Draga, Lady Rosita, Oblex, Marvona, Santi King Edward, Secret, and Ajax, and these varieties need a different time in the period of cultivation from 65 to 105 days.
There are also varieties of potatoes that are early and half late, and these varieties of potatoes need to grow from 105 days to 110 days from the beginning of potato cultivation until they are ripened and extracted from the soil and among these varieties are Herta Khakha Net, Kanbek and Nigola.
There are varieties of potatoes called the semi-late varieties
The growth and maturity of these varieties of potato cultivation requires a period of time ranging from 110 to 115 days from the beginning of the planting period until its full growth. Among these varieties are Picasso, Cardinal, Desiree and Agria Diamonta.
There are also varieties of potato cultivation called late varieties, and these varieties require their growth and maturity to a period of time ranging from 115 to 120 days from the beginning of the planting period until they reach full growth and maturity, and among these varieties are Kara, Alpha and Baraka.
In spite of the abundance of potatoes in Egypt and the Arab countries, they are not very expensive, in addition to insufficient experience in cultivating them, as the traditional method is used in agriculture without sufficient experience.