Welcome All! I'm a dreamer, I hope you are too! A Posse ad Esse, or From possibility to reality, is a general state of mind. I hope you'll share your possibilities with me as I will with you. Namaste~

July 1, 2009

June 21st - 30th (Update III)

While I was pulling taters tonight I thought it would be fun to show a couple of the fun parts of potatoes that a lot of folks don't know about.

If you've grown potatoes, or even looked into it, you've probably heard of "seed potatoes". These tomato looking things are actually "potato seeds". You can see how being a part of the nightshade family like tomatoes are, that they are related very closely. From everything I've read, growing potatoes from seed is not very easy, not does it produce true to type potatoes. Stick to reliable seed potatoes!
Here's a really good picture of the structure of how potatoes grow. Notice the seed potato in the middle, the plant on top, roots going down and the tubers growing from the stalk.
Here's a closer one. This really makes the way potatoes grow very easy to see. It is generally assumed that they grow off the roots. Not true. You can see here, that the roots grow down into the soil, but the tubers grow off the stem. They will actually throw root like stems off into the soil too and grow new potatoes from those, but they still come from the stem above the seed potato.
That's the reason for the consistent suggestion to mound up dirt or mulch around the plants, because that's where the potatoes grow.

Maybe you already knew this, maybe you didn't. I hope it's crystal clear for you now though!!

All the best to you all till next time I can catch up. Hope Summer finds you well


ChicagoMike said...

Hey Paul,

I did NOT know that my potatoes would grow from the stem above the seed potato. Wish I had and I would have put the seed potatoes at the maximum recommended depth, not the minimum.


Also, I have the flowers for the seeds forming, glad to see whats coming down the pike.

How will you know when its time to harvest the potatoes?

Magpie said...

I've always mounded up my potatoes, now I have an understanding of why :) Thanks!

Irma said...

What a great post, thanks. This is the first time I have grown potatoes; I only have four as I just grabbed a few seed potatoes from a friend who plants tons of them. Not one of my gardening books has ever explained what you just showed us, so thanks again for this post.

(me peas are in flower, can't wait....)

FrugalMaman said...

Your post was fascinating and I now understand why when you grow 'garbage pail' potatoes, you keep adding more and more dirt on top of the plant until it reaches the top of the pail. Before your post I thought that was rather strange and had assumed that they grew down like carrots.

Barb J. said...

Very interesting, I learned a lot! Potatoes are one thing we haven't tried to grow yet.

Dets said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Dets said...

- How large of a pail do you need for the potatoes and how long do you let them grow before harvesting?

Lily Girl said...

Thank you for finally explaining the reason for mounding! Very helpful.

Rosengeranium said...

Like the others said; thanks for the explanation! I'm now pretty glad I choose such a deed barrel for my indoor potatoes.

Anonymous said...

First of all I would like to say I love your site.I thiink I could learn a few things and possibly share some info as well. Like...
Some folks may be interested to know that the mounding of the dirt around the potatoes also helps keep them from getting sun burned. A sun burned potatoe will have a green color and can cause you to get sick if eatin. I had this happen after deep frying a potatoe with the skin on that was green. Also the term seed potatoe refers to a potatoe that has started to sprout.I planted my first batch of potatoes last year from potatoes that I had purchased from the grocery store and didn't use before they started to sprout.The potatoes I planted this year came from last year old unused potatoes that had also started to sprout. Got so many potatoes this year that I decided to can some of the smaller ones.Got 17 quarts put up last night and probably still have more large potatoes than I will be able to use through the winter, which is ok because I can use them for next years crop. Michelle