Grow Your Own Potatoes

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I went to take a bag of russet potatoes out of the pantry a couple of weeks ago and noticed they had started to sprout, so instead of cooking them I planted them.

It is quite easy to grow your own potatoes. Potatoes are actually tubers that grow from the stem part of the potato plant that is underground. I cut my potatoes into 2- to 3-inch diameter pieces making sure each piece have several eyes from which to sprout. I then store the pieces in a cool dry location until the seed pieces sprouted and appear slightly shriveled. The key to growing your own potatoes is to ensure that the potato has sprouted before planting. This is called chitting.

Once the seed potatoes have sprouted, I dug a trench about 6 inches deep and dropped the seed pieces into the bottom of the hole making sure that the sprouts are pointed up. I spaced them about 8 inches apart and covered them with about 3 inches of soil.

As the plant grows I will keep adding or hilling up soil on the stem of the potato plant making sure not to cover the leaves of the plants with soil. Another key to success for growing your own potatoes is to keep the soil evenly moist, so that they do not dry out. Potatoes will be ready to harvest when the potato plant leaves start to yellow and die.

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