Potatoes are good for cleaning up the ground due to the cultivation carried out. At the same time, planting, ridging, and harvesting them dig out trenches where they are to be grown and backfill with a reasonable amount of well-rotted manure and cover with top soil. Here’s everything you need to know about potatoes.
The family of potato is Solanaceae, which means a nightshade plant. It is a flowering plant’s family that is a great source of medicine, food, and spice.
How to Grow Potatoes
Potatoes are also known as tubers, which are grown underground in the spring season.
Preparation of seedbed: Spuds will grow in just about any soil although they respond well to a good dressing of manure or compost, however roughly dug in. Buy the seed (or tubers) in late Feb. Lay them out in a light frost-free place to let them produce shoots. Occasionally check and remove the weakest shoots until you have two strong shoots per tuber.
The cultivation of the potato
To grow potatoes in the vegetable garden, the precautions to be taken are relatively few. Once the tubers are planted in a well-worked and well-fertilized soil, the crop requires irrigation only when needed and control from adversity and insects. The most important job during cultivation is the hilling, which also allows you to eliminate most of the weeds.
Tuck in the potatoes
First hilling: After 15 - 20 days from sowing the first two true leaves will emerge, the shoots will be damaged in case of freezing, so it is better to bury the two leaves with a light tamping, to be carried out when at least half of the plants have issued the leaves. The advantage is also that of eliminating the first weeds and forcing the plant to lengthen the stem, thus increasing the production of stolons and, therefore, of potatoes.
Second hilling: Further tamping will be carried out after a month, distributing fertilization before the tamping operation. In this way, a heap of about 30 centimeters is created on the plant, which protects the tubers from the sun. Direct light causes the production of solanine, which is a poisonous substance; the potatoes with the sun's rays turn green and are not edible.
Generally, two types of irrigation are used for the potato, sliding, or rain, the best time is early in the morning, the time of day with cooler temperatures. Attention to temperatures is important to prevent diseases of the plant: at 18 ° C downy mildew already begins to act, so as not to encourage it better to irrigate early.
The potato is a demanding vegetable and requires excellent bottom fertilization, but it can also be fertilized during the sowing phase and then throughout the first growth period.
Season: In April
Make a row of holes 12 inches apart, 5 inches deep and big enough to put the seed into without breaking off any shoots. The rows should be 2 feet apart. Now, gently fill the holes with fine soil.
Protect emerging plants from any late frost with a covering of earth, hay, or straw. When the plants are 6 inches, high pull some earth from between the rows and form a ridge a few inches high along the base of the new plants. This is done to keep out the light from any newly forming potatoes growing near the surface of the soil. Potatoes are shallow-rooted (that's why we put the seed in a hole), and if young tubers are exposed to sunlight, they turn green and potentially poisonous. Carry out a little more earthing up about every three weeks.
This also controls weeds. Give water well in dry periods of weather. Try digging a few tubers up, just as the tops begin to flower. Judge their size, and if they are too small, wait for one week and try again. Remove plant tops to your compost heap as you dig along the row.
Definitely at their best when they are young (golf ball size). No need to peel. Just scrub, steam and serve with loads of fresh mint and melted butter.
Potatoes: Nutritional Values
Many Fibers and Few Fats
“Potatoes have a high content of water (around 78.5 grams per 100 grams of food) and fiber. Proteins are not very abundant, but are of high biological quality, approximately like those of eggs. The fats are almost absent, and it is, however, a polyunsaturated, so good, but, as with all plant foods, there is no cholesterol. "The carbohydrate content (especially starch) is high, which is why potatoes are often considered on a par with foods with a higher content of complex sugars, namely cereals.
A Mix of Vitamins and Minerals
As for micronutrients, these tubers are very rich in vitamins (C, A, B3, B1, B2, B6) and minerals (potassium, phosphorus, calcium, magnesium, zinc, copper, iron). Furthermore, "among their nutritional values, potatoes have numerous phytocompounds, with known antioxidant properties, such as lutein, zeaxanthin, beta-carotene, chlorogenic acid." Finally, despite the widespread belief that potatoes have high calories, in reality, the value is average (86 per 100 grams of food).
What is the taste of Potato?
From inside, like radish, it has a pulpy texture. Potato contains 79% of the water that makes it juicy. Once the water is released, the taste of the potato becomes slightly bitter.
How is it eaten?
Potatoes are very popular in all over the world. They are used as mashed potatoes, or boiled and roasted, they are usually consumed without the peel. In Switzerland, they are now almost a national dish; they are grated and then cooked. Potatoes are also the main ingredient of many soups here.
In Ireland, the "side plate" (lateral saucer always present in the laid tables) has precisely the function of accommodating one, two, or more potatoes always accompanying any second dish. If with the first (usually a soup) bread was present on the table, it is taken away because meat and fish are accompanied by mixed vegetables but always with boiled potatoes.
Crushed potatoes are an important ingredient of many English dishes, such as shepherd's pie. New potatoes are considered to be delicious in Northern Europe (Denmark, Sweden, and Finland): served boiled and flavored with dill, they serve as a side dish.
In Ireland, they are starchy and, therefore, able to retain the salted butter that is used to season them. "Ball of flour" is the best "compliment" for a potato in Ireland. Many (but not all) eat it with the peel. Even in Chinese restaurants in Ireland, any dish includes, in addition to the classic types of rice, the accompaniment of fried potatoes.