Segment: Planting Potatoes
Presenter: Trevor Cochrane
TX Date: 25th April 2020
There is nothing easier than growing your own potatoes, and in most parts of Australia this is the perfect time to get to work.
- When potatoes are explored to light, they begin producing chlorophyll, the green pigment that gives many plants and algae their colour. This causes light-skinned potatoes to change from yellow or light brown to green.
- Chlorophyll is not harmful, but is an indicator that there’s another potential problem – a toxin produced as a by-product called solanine, which you do not want to be eating. These are the potatoes you should be planting.
- Older potatoes generally have ‘eyes’ – spots where shoots will grow. Cut these potatoes up into 2 or 3 pieces and let them dry for a while before planting them out.
- You can easily grow potatoes in garden beds – simply hoe a trench and when it has been laid out, pop your potato pieces in with 20-30cm spaces. Gently pull some dirt over them, making sure not to deeply bury them.
- As the potatoes start shooting growth, add some more soil to form a mound around the plant. The long growth stem under the soil produces side shoots which potatoes grow off.
- One potato plant can deliver 5kgs or so of fresh potatoes – you don’t have to harvest them all once, as they can be left in the ground and dug up when you need your next lot of spuds.