Potatoes Development Stages
Potato takes from 100 to 150 days to give an yield. Most important stages are sprouting, emergence, growth of the aerial part, growth of tubers and ripening. After dormancy, at a temperature of 6-8°C, buds on tubers sprout and seedling start to emerge from soil. Seedling are not “though”, so in this stage crust can hinder the emergence of seedling from the soil. At 3-4°C, tubers are in dormancy: at 8°C sprouting begins, but emergence is very slow: at temperature of 12-15°C sprouting goes quickly. After emergence, sprouts develop in stems that can branch at the leaves insertions. The growth of the aerial part, stems and leaves, is influenced by temperature, optimal being 25-28°C, moisture availability and presence of nutrients into the soil. After the formation of 14 to 19 leaves, or about 50-60 days after emergence of sprouts, first flowers begin to form. Best condition are long days, high moisture and night temperature about 15-18°C. Flowering continues for two weeks in each flower and up to two months on the whole plant: the formation of the terminal flower means the full growth of the plant. Flower forms also fruits that are of no consequence for production.