FARM ACTIVITIES #2: PLANTING POTATOES


FARM ACTIVITIES #2: PLANTING POTATOES

One of the farm activities you’ll be able to experience (provided it’s the right weather and time of the year) is planting potatoes!

Potato likes cool weather so the best time to plant it is within two weeks of last spring frost. This is important because frost can decrease your potato yield, leaving you with less homemade french fries! It is, however, possible to plant potatoes until June, depending on your climate and type of potato you’re planting.

The best way to plant potatoes is in a row about 20cm deep with 25-50cm spaces in between, as potatoes need quite some space to grow. Best potatoes for planting are potatoes that have already developed the so-called eyes. Larger potatoes can be cut into smaller pieces, but make sure you leave at least two eyes on each piece so that potato will be able to sprout, and do not cut them into pieces smaller than a golf ball as they will not have enough nutrients to properly grow. If you have potatoes that you need to cut it is best to do it a day before seeding, as that will help the “seed” to create a protective layer and better keep the moisture inside.

Potatoes will sprout in 2-3 weeks. You will be able to see small sprouts peeking from the soil. When you do, you will cover the sprout with more soil and leave only a small part of sprout exposed. This part of the process is important, as it keeps potatoes covered and in the ground. If you leave potatoes exposed to sunlight, they can get sunburst and develop a bitter and even toxic chemical called solanine. The potatoes will turn green instead of their usual pink or yellow colour.

 

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