Potatoes Solanum tuberosum

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Potatoes Solanum tuberosum © Ita McCobb

Potatoes Vegetable type

Root & tuberous vegetable

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Potatoes Description

Potatoes are rather amorphous-shaped root vegetables that come in a variety of colours, flavours and sizes. Potatoes love acidic soil – not surprising since the average potato is fairly acidic. A fun and quick-growing vegetable, potatoes are ideal crops for children to grow, cook and eat – from chips to fries, baked to boiled and mashed potatoes.

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Potatoes food value

Potatoes are an excellent source of vitamins C and B6 and contain more potassium than a banana.

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Potatoes Planting

Potatoes should be planted as seed potatoes (small potato tubers) – although you can also plant from bits of potato that have “eyes” or sprouted sections in them. Plant them in trenches 30 cm wide that are lined with manure or compost. Place the seed potatoes 30 cm apart and cover the trench, creating a long mound. Plant potatoes from March onward for harvesting mid-June onward – harvest as needed.

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Potatoes Varieties

Typical varieties are the good old standard Maris piper, ideal when cooked as new potatoes, or boiled, chipped, mashed, steamed, sautéed, baked or roasted when mature; the red-skinned Red Duke of York, ideal new, boiled, chipped, mashed, steamed, baked or roasted; the traditional favourite King Edward, ideal boiled, chipped, mashed, steamed, sautéed, baked or roasted. If you’re looking for something a little more exotic try the entirely purple, Purple majesty, ideal chipped, mashed, micro-waved, baked or roasted.

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Potatoes Planting conditions

  • Fertile soil
  • Tolerates neutral to acid soil
  • Tolerates shade

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When to plant/harvest

See Caring for vegetables

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