What’s Growing On: Potatoes are easy to grow during the wintertime

TV20's Nicolette Zangara talks to an expert on the proper ways to grow a potato.
Published: Feb. 10, 2022 at 6:17 PM EST
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GAINESVILLE, Fla. (WCJB) -Winter is a great season to plant potatoes as this cool-season crop thrives in temperatures between 60-65°F.

Colin Burrows, a Master Gardener of Alachua County, said low rainfall amounts are also a must.

“They don’t like a lot of water, you mustn’t let them stand in water but they need some moisture. Just keep the soil moist,” explained Burrows.

The traditional way of growing potatoes is making a valley of soil and planting the seeds with the ‘eyes’ facing up about eight inches apart.

Related Story: What’s Growing On: Broccoli is an easy winter crop for new gardeners

The most important part is covering the potatoes with ample soil to prevent as much sun as possible.

If you’ve ever heard the expression ‘don’t eat green tomatoes’, it’s because of the growing conditions potatoes need to be edible.

Too much sunlight can turn potatoes green which means it’s too toxic for consumption.

If you don’t have the space to spread this crop out, Burrows recommends growing this crop vertically in a tower-like structure.

“The tower is simple. It’s a structure of wire, banana leaves in this case, and compost. What I’ve done is planted these in layers, and as I went up I put a little fertilizer in, and then we will plant the potato seeds with the eyes pointing out, about three to a layer,” said Burrows.

After that, it takes about 80-100 days for a seed to turn into a mature potato.

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