Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Potato Eyes

On Monday, I planted a couple of potatoes. Usually, I don't plant them until March or April, but these potatoes were already developing eyes. I put each one of them in a 5-gallon bucket filled with dirt from the garden, then I sifted through the soil, took out all the large rocks, and put them in the bottom of the buckets to aid with drainage. The important thing about planting potatoes is the make sure each of the planted section has an eye. When I plant potatoes in the spring I cut them into halves or thirds depending on the number of eyes, but on Monday I planted the whole potatoes. I have heard that you shouldn't cut potatoes when planting them because it raises the chance of infection from a disease or parasites, but I have never had any problems with planting cut potatoes.

Today, I learned something interesting about potatoes from my botany class about local plants. The professor defined a tuber which I always thought was a root, but a tuber is really a modified stem.

My class notes: "tuber - underground stem much like a rhizome but more round and less horizontal. Eye is a leaf scar."

When my potatoes have grown new potatoes, in a few months, I will be able to dig up the modified stem and eat fried potatoes with onions. When I am enjoying their potatoey goodness I will think to myself how wonderful modified stems taste.

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