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POTATOES

Dummer. ゛☀
2017-08-06
BOTANICAL NAME: Solanum tuberosum
PLANT TYPE: Vegetable
SUN EXPOSURE: Full Sun
SOIL TYPE: Sandy
SOIL PH: Acidic
The taste and the texture of home-grown potatoes are far superior to those of store-bought spuds, especially the early varieties. They need a cool climate, and also need to be watched to prevent sunburn. In warmer climate zones, potatoes can be grown as a winter crop.


PLANTING
How to Plant Potatoes
Plant seed potatoes (pieces of whole potato or a small whole potato, with at least 2 eyes per piece) 0-2 weeks after last spring frost. (See local frost dates.)
You may start planting earlier, as soon as soil can be worked, but be aware that some crops will be ruined by a frost.
If you are cutting up potato pieces for planting, do so 1-2 days ahead of time. This will give them the chance to “heal” and form a protective layer, both for moisture retention and rot resistance.
Spread and mix in rotted manure or organic compost in the bottom of the trench before planting.
Plant seed potatoes one foot apart in a 4-inch deep trench, eye side up.
Practice yearly crop rotation.
CARE
How to Grow Potatoes
Potatoes thrive in well-drained, loose soil.
Potatoes need consistent moisture, so water regularly when tubers start to form.
Hilling should be done before the potato plants bloom, when the plant is about 6 inches tall. Hoe the dirt up around the base of the plant in order to cover the root as well as to support the plant. Bury them in loose soil.
Hilling keeps the potatoes from getting sunburned, which can cause them to turn green and produce a chemical called solanine. Solanine gives off a bitter taste and is toxic, so do not eat green potatoes.
You will need to hill potatoes every couple of weeks to protect your crop.
PESTS/DISEASES
Aphids
Flea Beetles
Leaf Hoppers
Early/Late Blight
Potato Scab: Most likely cause by a high soil pH. Remember: Potatoes like acidic soil (do not plant in soil with a pH higher than 5.2). Dust seed potatoes with sulfur before planting.
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