Potatoes are a popular item on the dinner table, especially in the United States. They can be used at every meal and satisfy the hunger of your entire family. If you are looking for a fun activity to share with the entire family, you can grow your own potatoes in your garden or in the comfort of your home. (If you choose to grow them inside choose a very large pot to place them in.
The first step is to go to your nearby nursery and purchase a seed tuber or whole seed tuber. (You may want to avoid planting potatoes from the supermarket; they may contain diseases) You can also purchase certified seed potatoes from a vendor to assure optimum quality. Seed potatoes should be roughly the size of an egg. Cut these into pieces, which weight approximately an ounce and then plant?
If you are unable to plant potatoes immediately store the potatoes in a paper sack in the refrigerator. This will keep them healthy for about a week until you are ready to plant them.
Plan ahead. If you are going to grow potatoes in your garden plan at least 4 to 6 weeks before the last frost or when the temperature is around 45 to 55 degrees Fahrenheit. Apply fertilizer to the soil before planting.
Plant potatoes into an area that is well-drained. Some people find that their best results are when they plant potatoes by piling dirt on the potatoes (otherwise known as hilling) rather than planting them directly into the ground. If you are growing them in a large pot, make sure that it is properly drained also. If placed in an area that has too much water it will result in rot. They should be watered lightly every 3 to 5 days once the foliage begins to grow.
Potatoes also should be planted at least eight to sixteen inches apart: Allowing them to properly grow.
To avoid diseases, make sure water is properly drained and don’t water too much or too often. Don’t over fertilize your plants: follow the directions on the package or use compost instead of commercial fertilizer. You may find it help to apply a pesticide if you have trouble with insects in your garden.
Now that you have planted your potatoes, you should see your first potato in around fifty days. There is no particular size they should be. Look for desired size then remove. If you decide to plant potatoes in your garden next year, plant them in a different place. It is best to remove potatoes in cooler temperatures. It would also be helpful to remove when the soil is dry.
Do not store potatoes in the refrigerator, freezer or can them. You will not obtain good results. You can store potatoes in an area with humidity and 50 to 65 degrees. The area should also have good circulation to prevent rotting. It should also be in a dark area.
Potatoes are a healthy item you can enjoy. They are a source of every vitamin except Vitamin A. They are also a good source of fiber. Fiber has a role in regulating GI functioning and will help lower your cholesterol.
When preparing your potatoes for a meal. You can peel them (If you do, you may lose a lot of nutrients and fiber) and cut them. Place in water with a small amount of lemon or citric acid to prevent discoloration. You may then cook them as you please. Fry them. Cook them. Boil them. Depending on the variety some potatoes are better for certain types of cooking.
Here is what you should look for.
First, pick up the potato. Check the weight (Is it heavy). Are there any bruises, scrapes, or any other blemish on the potatoes?
What do you want the potato for? Do you want baked potatoes? Then look for potatoes that are large and oblong in shape. They should also be fluffy after cooked. Look for potatoes such as russet potatoes.
In addition, a variety of small and round red potatoes that is good when you are making a stew or anything is boiled. They tend to hold together after boiled. These also work well if you are making scalloped potatoes.