Solanum tuberosum

Botanical Name: Solanum tuberosum

Common Name(s): Potatoes

Categories:

Description:

Potatoes can be grown in most soils, other than heavy clay. Dig in well-rotted compost and/or manure during winter if possible. Do not plant in soil where other members of the Solanum family (such as tomatoes, brinjals and sweet peppers) have recently been grown. Potatotes are warmseason plants and will be damaged by frost.

Family: Solanaceae

Botanical Pronunciation: so-LAY-num too-bur-OH-sum;

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Deciduous
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Semi Frost Hardy
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Non Indigenous
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Full Sun
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Moderate Watering
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Pruning Required

Common Pests and Diseases

Cutworms, leaf beetles, tuber moth, snails, slugs. Early and late blight in warm, humid weather conditions.

Flowers

Foliage

Harvest

Tubers are ready when the plants begin to die and the skins of the tubers do not come off readily. Push a garden fork into the ground vertically, some distance away from the plant, lift the entire plant, then drop it back onto the ground and remove the tubers. After clearing the ground of tubers, dig it over again for any tubers you might have missed. Do not leave the tubers lying in the sun as they quickly become green and should not then be eaten. New or baby potatoes are simply harvested early, while they are still small.

Interesting Info

It is best to buy certified seed potatoes which should be free of nematodes (eelworm), late blight, viral diseases and tuber moth. Potatoes are warm season plants and will be damaged by frost.

Maintenance

Shoots should start to emerge after three to four weeks. As the tops grow, earth them up by drawing soil up around them so that by the time they are harvested, the plants are growing out of quite a mound of soil. Water regularly until the tops start to turn yellow, indicating that the tubers are maturing, then gradually reduce the amount of water given. Dig in well-rotted compost and/or manure during winter if possible.

Origin

Bolivia, Peru

Planting Instructions

Do not plant in soil where other members of the Solanum family (such as tomatoes, brinjals and sweet peppers) have recently been grown. The soil should be just moist when the tubers are planted. Plant tubers with the shoots, or eyes, pointing upwards; space them 300mm apart in rows 600mm apart, and cover with 75mm soil.

Soil Conditions

Do not plant in soil where other members of the Solanum family (such as tomatoes, brinjals and sweet peppers) have recently been grown. Potatoes can be grown in most soils, other than heavy clay.

Storage Organ

Potato

Yield

Thirty plants should be enough to feed a family of four.

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