Originally potatoes came from Peru. Laura Stadley from “Whats cooking America” has a very interesting article on the history of the potato. I was particularly tickled by her reference to an Irish legend that told of potatoes coming from the shipwrecked Spanish Armanda. However, most historians agree that Sir Walter Raleigh introduced the potato to that part of the world.
Potatoes are very frost tender so plant after danger of frost.
I plant my potatoes in a trough that is about 6 inches deep. When I fill in the soil I heap it up into a drill that means the potato is under about 8-10 inches of soil. If I’m burying my potatoes in a pot or a grow bag I will usually only plant them about 4 inches deep and then add soil to them as they grow. This is called “hilling up.” I have found both ways work equally well. The bottom line is that you want a long stem under ground. Potatoes are not roots, but are tubers that have grown from the stem.
Whilst under the soil they remain white (blanched), but if they have sunlight on them they will turn green and this causes a build up of poisonous alkaloids. Green potatoes should not be eaten. Remember that the potato is a member of the deadly nightshade family. The only part of it that is NOT poisonous is the potato tuber. Never eat any of the rest of the plant.
It takes a while (up to six weeks) for the potatoes to emerge – especially the deep planted ones.
2 replies to A Piece on Potatoes for St Patricks Day
I think the rogue invading your chard bed will prove to be a tomato. We're so far behind this season, our tomatoes haven't even germinated yet…but that's what I get for being disorganized, and distracted by goats 😉 I do need to get my spuds in the ground though, once the soils are a little less saturated. I can't believe how relatively close we are, and yet how different our rainfall has been this week! Happy St. Patrick's Day!
I can totally see why you are distracted by those darling goats – so so cute! I love the video you shot of them. Anyone reading this should do them selves a favor and read this blog – you'll be grinning for the rest of the day http://curbstonevalley.com/blog/?p=9046. I must go now and paste it on my face book page too!
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