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potatoes, gardening, growing potatoes, soil building

Growing Potatoes - Calgary

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Potatoes

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Grow potatoes as a popular food crop and improve your garden soil at the same time.  Potatoes are nitrogen fixing and a great crop to grow in new residential yards.

 

Growing Potatoes
Potatoes can be grown in a wide variety of soils, but prefer deep, well drained loam. Plant in full sun and keep moist throughout the growing season.SeedPotatoBoxes3in.jpg

  1. Sow seed potatoes as soon as the soil is thawed enough to dig. Seed potatoes may be divided, but each piece must contain 2 or 3 eyes. Plant with the cut side down (eyes pointing up), 8-12cm deep and 30-40cm apart.  Rows should be 60cm apart.
  2. Cover the plants with a hill of soil in mid-July to protect the tubers from direct sunlight which causes them to turn green.
  3. Dig the potatoes up as soon as they are large enough to use.  They must be harvested when the tops turn yellow and die down.
  4. Allow potatoes to dry on the ground but shaded from sunlight, for 2-3 hours after harvesting to harden the skin before storage.  Potatoes need a cool, dark storage place with a temperature ideally between 3-5oC (35-40oF)

Potato Safety
The Potato (Solanum tuberosum) belongs to the same genus as Nightshades, which includes tomato, eggplant, bell peppers and tobacco. The stems, leaves and green berries have the poisonous properties of the nightshades. Never eat anything green from a potato. Store in a dark, cool and dry place as light will cause solanine to form on the skin.  Green skinned potatoes can have a disagreeable taste and may cause temporary digestive discomfort.