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All About Potatoes

CAN I GROW POTATOES?


Potatoes are thickened underground stems called tubers. For good tuber development, potatoes require deep, loose, well-drained soil that is free from stones. They need full sun. Plant tuber directly in the garden after danger of heavy frost. Plant them with the eyes up, 2 to 3 inches deep and 10 to 12 inches apart in rows spaced 2 feet apart. The tops of developing tubers should not be exposed to sunlight, or they will turn green. When the plants are about 5 to 6 inches tall, begin to heap soil around the base of the stems, or surround the plants with a thick layer of mulch. Potatoes need regular watering throughout the season.
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PLANT HISTORY


The potato is one of the most important staple foods in our diet. It is rich in vitamins B and C, potassium, protein, complex carbohydrates, and fiber. Potatoes can be prepared so many ways that you can eat them for a year and not grow tired of them.
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HARVEST TIPS

For "new" potatoes harvest about 10 weeks after planting. When potato blossoms appear, it is a sign that the first new potatoes are ready for harvest, simply feel around in the soil with your fingers for the small tubers. Try not to damage the roots of the plants or you may reduce the main harvest.
Harvest mature potatoes after the tops die back and before the first frost. Dig carefully to avoid damaging the tubers. After harvesting store them in a dark, dry place for a week at 65-70 degrees F. Then store them at 35-40 degrees at fairly high humidity.
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RECIPES & STORAGE


The uses of potatoes are unlimited only by your imagination. They can be boiled, baked, roasted, deep-fried, grilled, sautéed, stir-fried, braised, glazed, mashed, creamed, or scalloped. They can be made into soups, stews, and casseroles, as well as potato chips, potato pancakes, and hash browns.
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Gardening Tip of the Day

  • How can you tell when it is time to harvest the backyard apple, peach, pear and cherry trees? Time the picking to coincide with the fruit being fully ripe to yield its peak of flavor and nutrition. Here’s what to look for:
    - The fruit will look ripe. Its skin will be flush with color rather than the green shade it had while developing all summer.
    - The fruit will feel ripe. It will yield to a gentle squeeze indicating the flesh has softened somewhat.
    - It will also smell ripe becoming pleasantly fragrant, especially when the sun has warmed it.
    - The best indication that fruit is ready for picking is that it picks easily. Truly ripe fruit virtually falls into your hand when grasped. But harvest before it drops onto the ground and attracts bees.