is a cool season crop belonging to the family Solanaceae.
The top portion of plant is called 'haulm'. This may
be erect or prostate with compound leaves. Stolens are
the lateral underground branches arising from lower
nodes on the above ground portion of the main stem.
These stolens bend downwards and enter in to the soil.
Their tips become swollen by accumulation of starch
resulting into tubers.
Potato can be successfully cultivated in the high ranges
of Kerala. It is being cultivated in the rain shadow
areas of Idukki district throughout the year.
A day temperature of 20-30ºC is optimum for growth
and tuberisation in potato. Tuber formation is adversely
affected, if the temperature goes above 30ºC
the high yielding varieties, Kufri Jyothi (early), Kufri
Muthu (medium), and Kufri Dewa (late) can be tried in
the high ranges of Kerala.
Loose friable sandy loam or silt loam, rich in organic
matter are ideal for potato. Hard clay should be avoided.
Optimum pH range is 5.2-7.0
Crops can be raised as shown below in the eastern
part of Idukki district.
Whole potato tuber or cut pieces (50-60 g size) longitudinally
cut from bud-end to stem-end can be used for plating.
For planting 1 ha, 1000-2000 kg seed tubers are required.
Seed tubers are treated with 1 ppm of GA 3 for one
hour and then dried in shade for getting uniform sprouting.
Tubers are filled in gunny bags after drying and kept
in vertical position in well-ventilated dark room
for 10 days for encouraging sprouting. Seed pieces
should be treated with mancozeb (@ 1 kg in 450 litres
of water) before planting to protect them from soil
Tubers can be planted on ridges 50-60 cm wide at a
spacing of 15-20 cm between the plants. Earthing up
is needed during the growing phase (30 days after
planting) and 70 days after planting.
the crop once in a week or 10 days depending on the
A basal application of FYM (20 t/ha) is required during
field preparation. Apply 60 kg N, 100 kg P2O5 and
120 kg K2O as basal. Topdressing with 60 kg N, 30
days after planting at the time of first earthing
up is essential.
Cut worms, aphids and jassids are common pests of potato.
Dusting with carbaryl 10 % DP immediately after planting
can control cut worms. To control
aphids and jassids spraying metasystox or dimethoate
(1 ml per litre) is effective.
Early blight and late blight are the important fungal
diseases. Spraying zineb (2 g per litre of water) is
effective to control early blight. Copper fungicides
can control late blight.
tubers are dug out along with haulms cleaned and packed
in gunny bags.
yield of marketable tubers ranges from 25-35 tons/ha.