Most of the time people try to plant the vegetables and fruits which are grown and sold on commercial scales. But there are many plants, especially vegetables which are not quite common in commercial markets but are having a good niche for home gardeners.
One such known plant is wilja potatoes. These are not quite common in the commercial markets because of their characteristics, but they sure are very popular among home gardeners for their deep earthly taste. If you want one, you need to know how to plant wilja potatoes.
Usually, it is a common perception about potatoes that these are grown on a commercial scale. But now these potatoes are grown at home more successfully.
Wilija potatoes are native to the Netherlands. These are grown on quite a huge scale in the United Kingdom. These potatoes are also very common in the United States because they don’t require any special environment. It grows well in the common environment required by potatoes.
These are highly recommended to gardeners not because of their versatility but because of the taste. It has a deep earthly taste and these potatoes are quite resistant to pests and diseases. That makes it easy to care for and effective to eat.
It is the second early ripening variety of potatoes. It is recommended highly because of no or fewer efforts and having a high yield. They have a great storage value also.
Why Plant Wilja Potatoes?
Importance in Food Preferences
First of all, we all know the nutritious value of potatoes. Potatoes are one of the most widely grown vegetables in the world. These are grown according to the verities and seasons around the world. It is used in many shapes and forms evenly by rich and poor all around the world.
Same as that, wilja potatoes are quite common for growth in home settings. These potatoes have been grown for quite a time because of their dry texture and taste. These potatoes can be used in boiling, baking, and roasting. They are a great source of nutrition.
Along with fulfilling the basic nutrition requirements, these potatoes can be grown in all the areas where other potatoes are grown. These potatoes have a dry texture. It has creamy yellow flesh which remains firm even if the potatoes are boiled for a longer period of time.
These potatoes have good storage value. You can enjoy these wilja potatoes for a longer period of time. It has a light yellow color. Its ability to keep its shape makes it one round-looking potato. It can be used in baking, and you can also use them for making fries, chips, etc.
Besides its a lot of applications, it has great nutrition value. It is a great source of vitamin C and Potassium. It is not commercially cultivated on large scale because of rough skin. But it is quite a favorite among potato enthusiasts because of its resistance to diseases, its flavor, and high yields.
How to Plant Wilja Potatoes
There is a common perception about potatoes that it is an agricultural vegetables that can be only grown on a massive scale to achieve effective yields. But it is not true. The potatoes can be grown indoors, and especially the wilja potatoes are grown in homes most of the time.
Getting the Seeds of Wilja Potatoes
Try to get certified seeds of wilja potatoes to ensure a high rate of germination and yield.
Now you know which seed to choose, choose it timely. The ideal time to sow the wilja potatoes is in March and April. Then you will need to get the seeds in February. You would have to keep the potatoes for some weeks to sprout.
When choosing or buying the seeds of wilja potatoes try to get the seeds that are smaller in size. Because bigger potatoes have fewer sprouting buds. If you get any bigger pieces of wilja potatoes, you can cut the potatoes with at least two sprouting buds on each piece.
Sprouting of Wilja Potato Seeds
Sprouting the potato seeds is one of the best ways to get the right seeds that will germinate at last. You need to keep the seeds in a bright and airy place. Keep the seeds for 3 to 4 weeks. The seeds will start sprouting from the buds. Then you can select the seed to plant or not. Protect them from frost.
Selection of Soil
As potatoes are nutritious vegetables these plants need the nutrition to grow and yield effectively. So, you need to select the soil that is rich in nutrients. You can add organic composted material to the soil.
You can also add mixtures of chemical fertilizers like ammonia and phosphorous to fulfill the nutrition requirements of the wilja potatoes.
Keep the pH of the soil between 6 to 7. You can check the pH of the soil and make it ideal by adding limestone or gypsum to it. Keep the soil moist before sowing the potatoes.
Selection of Space to Grow
Usually, potatoes are grown in sunny places. So, you need to select a sunny place in the garden. You can also go to a partially sunny place. It will go well.
You will have to make the trenches to plant the wilja potatoes in the garden. Dig the trenches 8 to 13 cm deep, and then add the composed matter or chemical fertilizers. Also, check for weeds in the soil. make sure you have enough soil because you will have to cover the seeds, and they will be used in the future also.
Planting the Wilja Potatoes Seeds
Now as everything is ready, trenches are made, and soil is kept moist you can now sow the seeds of wilja potatoes. Planting too much closer can result in a smaller size of the potatoes. So, plant the potatoes at a distance of 9 to 12 inches.
Be careful while planting, so that you should not knock the shoots of the sprouted seeds. Keep the sprouts facing upwards while sowing in the trenches.
After sowing the wilja potato seeds cover them with the soil. you can add soil to the plant in two ways. One you can add a good amount of soil by making a hill, this is called hilling. Or you can go for the addition of soil gradually along with the growth of the plant. Potatoes need more and more soil because they grow well in soil.
Taking Care of Wilja Potato Plants
Taking care of the wilja potatoes is quite easy. You just need to fulfill basic requirements and you are good to go. These potatoes are good at disease resistance, so they need relatively less care to be taken off.
Wilja potatoes like watering sp they would require moisture. But make sure that there is no overwatering. You need to check the moisture first and then add water to the plants.
Wilija potatoes need sunlight for effective growth. They need exposure to sunlight for around 5 to 6 hours a day. If you have selected the space where light is not enough, you need to manage it through artificial light settings.
Pests and Diseases
The wilja potatoes are quite resistant to some of the common potato diseases. These potatoes are resistive to slugs, splitting, and common scabs. But the late blight and Potato Cyst Nematode can cause problems for these plants.
There can be area-specific pests or diseases also. So, if you find any such disease then consult with the nearby horticulturist to get rid of those pests or diseases.
You can harvest the wilja potatoes once they are mature. You will get the signal by plants having the flowers. Then you can start harvesting. Be careful while tilling the soil because you might hurt the potatoes.
Just don’t wash the potatoes to store them. Only dry the wilja potatoes in a shady place and then store them in a cool and dark place. The wilja potatoes have many applications in baking, roasting, and boiling. These can be used in many ways because they keep the flesh firm.
Actually, the whole process of planting the wilja potatoes from the selection of seeds to getting the harvest is quite interesting and beautiful. Many gardeners have expressed their feelings of accomplishment after getting the final harvest because wilja potatoes are commonly sown in the home gardens.
In a nutshell, the wilja potatoes just don’t provide a source of nutritious food for the kitchen but also a source of happiness and accomplishment to the soul of the garden. It is a great addition to the garden.