Planting potatoes in Zone 8.
In our East Texas Zone 8 area, potatoes, red potatoes preferably for my sandy soil, should be planted between February 14 and the end of the month.
How do you plant a potato? To a novice gardener, this may be a mystery. To hear talk of potato seed may bring a vision of a package of dry seed. But that ain't the case with potato seed.
Actually, we should say seed potatoes.
Okay. Here is a big dirty red potato with what looks like little pocks on it, usually full of more dirt. What now? Well, after you prepare a row with a furrow furrow /fur·row/ (fur´o) a groove or sulcus.
atrioventricular furrow the transverse groove marking off the atria of the heart from the ventricles. about four inches deep, take a knife and cut the potato into pieces so that each piece has several of the pocks called eyes; at least two or three. Occasionally you may get seed potatoes already beginning to sprout, but don't worry if they aren't.
Drop these pieces about eight to nine inches apart in the furrow and cover well. The eyes become sprouts sprout
v. sprout·ed, sprout·ing, sprouts
1. To begin to grow; give off shoots or buds.
2. To emerge and develop rapidly.
v.tr. . They can be dropped any way, and will find their way up. As the sprouts reach the surface and begin to grow, the dirt needs to be mounded up on either side.
If a frost nips the sprouts after they emerge, don't worry. They will be burned down but the first warm sunny day will start them growing back and will not stop the developing roots.
Don't ever put manure on your potato rows when planting. It will cause scabby scab·by
1. Having, consisting of, or covered with scabs.
2. Affected with scab or scabies. spots and sometimes rot. If you have access to manure, be sure to put it on the ground in the fall and till in to winter over before planting time. I usually sprinkle 12-12-12 on top of the covered furrow at planting time.
The new potatoes will grow just below the surface from the thick stem. As they grow, they will sometimes push to the surface, so the dirt needs to be mounded pretty high, because if the potato reaches the surface light, the exposed part will turn green. This green contains a toxic compound called solanine solanine
a toxic glycoalkaloid in plants of solanum. Solanine is metabolized to the sugar solanose.
the plants in Solanum spp. which contain solanine. Includes, e.g. S. dulcamara, S. nigrum, S. and should not be eaten.
The potato is a member of the nightshade family nightshade family
Family Solanaceae, composed of at least 2,400 species of flowering plants in about 95 genera. Though found worldwide, the nightshades are most abundant in tropical Latin America. Many are economically important as food or medicinal plants. , a group of very poisonous plants This is a list of plants containing poisonous parts that pose a serious risk of illness, injury, or death to humans. Poisonous food plants
As the potatoes begin to grow, little cracks will appear in the dirt, and then oh joy! Scrabble Scrabble
Game in which two to four players compete in forming words with lettered wooden tiles on a 225-square board. Words spelled out by letters on the tiles interlock like words in a crossword puzzle. Words are scored by adding up the point values of their letters. some out to cook in that first pot of fresh green beans green beans
long narrow green beans that are cooked and eaten as a vegetable along about the first of May!
In my area potatoes usually are finished making and need to be dug about the first of June. The plants will turn yellow and fall over. Plan on a potato digging just when school is out so all the kids can help pick them up!