Planting potatoes

From America to our table: the potato

Who knows why the potato did not arouse the interest of Christopher Columbus, so much so that it only reached Europe between 1550 and 1558 thanks to the French traveler Charles de Lecluse; its tubers were first used for feeding livestock and the plant was appreciated for the beauty of its flowers. It was only in 1700 that potatoes began to be planted to consume as food. It was in these years that Parmentier succeeded in making potatoes appreciated from an edible point of view, even imposing them on the royal table. From royal canteens to our tables today, potatoes are a staple of the daily diet of millions of people around the world. Fried, roasted, heated, with pasta or in salads, the potatoes that everyone likes young and old. Planting them in the garden is not difficult.

Planting potatoes: horticultural varieties

Potato crops are more oriented towards yellow-fleshed tubers such as: elongated tubers; round oval tubers; reniform tubers; round tubers. The best products are obtained from the seed, that is, from the varieties grown in the mountains where the product is immune to any virosis. Planting potatoes is not complicated because the potato is the only species belonging to the genus Solanum that is tuberous. The green parts of the potato, including the leaves, but especially the small fruits, are poisonous; while the underground tubers, well known and widely used everywhere in the kitchen, are edible. Potatoes reproduce by means of selected tubers, buried in spring for the summer harvest or, in very mild climates, in mid-winter for the spring harvest.

Planting potatoes: topsoil, watering, fertilizing

To plant potatoes and obtain a good harvest, the soil must be well drained, of medium texture, of an acidic and fertile nature. Clay soils are also perfect. Fertilize well before planting with nitrogen fertilizers. When planting potatoes it is well to keep in mind that the plants, once planted, should not be abandoned but observed and cared for with dedication throughout the period. Before the appearance of vegetation, the potato plants should be given phospho-potassium products. Weeds must be removed from the parts around the plants with frequent weeding. Once the potatoes have been planted, they must be watered without ever exceeding. The flowers of the potatoes are hermaphroditic and produce small berry fruits each containing 100-200 seeds of no value in the horticultural technique.

From the garden to the table: planting potatoes

Planting potatoes to take them from the garden to the table is simple as well as stimulating for those who want to try their hand at cooking one of the most popular vegetables in the world, once they have stopped working as a farmer. The basic rules for planting potatoes and obtaining a lush harvest consist first of all in growing the plant in full sun and in the open field. Forget therefore to grow potatoes on the terrace of the house, except for ornamental plants. Potato plants are very hardy but can be attacked by some pests. The enemies of the potato plants are the dorifera, the downy mildew, the scabies: they must be fought with suitable products. With small precautions, the garden will be able to give a good harvest and what has been taken care of from May to September can be brought to the table and consumed throughout the year. In the kitchen, tips and recipes are wasted on how to cook this tuber. Every housewife in Italy, it can be said, has a special recipe based on potatoes, both in the field of sweets and in the savory one.

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