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Are you growing potatoes in a bag this summer? Here's more on everyone's favorite starchy tuber from our garden specialist Amy Pennington:
Potatoes grow underground and are considered a "tuber" -- a plant that is enlarged to store nutrients and has the ability to make a new plant. Potatoes, yams and even dahlias are considered tubers. So why do you need to know what at tuber is?
Here is some great info for all your science nerds to help shed light on the growth pattern of potatoes. Ultimately, this information is meant to help you -- if you’re going to build a potato-loving system that is highly productive, you've got to think like the plant!
You care about what a tuber is because tubers produce plants from a stolon (a sub-soil, sprout-like, horizontal root). The stolon is formed from the axils of the plant -- the place where the stem and leaves connect. I bet you thought potatoes form and grow off of a piece of cut potato? Well instead, potatoes actually grow between the original seed piece you plant, and the above-ground leaves. They're the stem of the plant, not the root.
Potatoes are a member of the Nightshade family (alongside tomatoes, eggplant, and of course, the deadly nightshade), some of which are toxic plants. Nightshades are prone to soil disease and must be rotated around the garden year after year in order to minimize problems with the soil. For a home gardener working in beds, this means diligent planning or designating an area outside your beds for potatoes. (Good news! If you grow in bags on your patio, you don't have to worry about this!)
Lastly, here's an alternative to using soil to mound your potato plant: you can also layer the stem in straw. That's right — just straw. It acts as a growing medium for the potatoes — a clean, unmessy growing medium. No cleaning off soil when you harvest, as potatoes will grow directly into the straw. Even better, in warm climates (down south, for instance), the straw layers help moderate temperatures and insulate the bag, which is perfect for potatoes that don't do well in the heat.
What are your tips for growing potatoes?Read More »
This is the eleventh in our biweekly series from Amy Pennington – urban farmer, founder of GoGo Green Garden, and author of Urban Pantry and Apartment Gardening – on how to start growing your own food, no matter how tiny your garden-to-be is.
Today: Growing potatoes couldn't be easier -- as Amy explains, it's all in the bag. Literally.Read More »
Get to know your oils inside and out with a crash course on some of our favorites.Read More »
Here's what you encounter when you visit the website for Michael Natkin's new book, Herbivoracious: A Flavor Revolution with 150 Vibrant and Original Vegetarian Recipes, based on his blog of the same name: "I Don’t Care if you are a Vegetarian, Omnivore, Carnivore, Vegan, Pescetarian, or Flexitarian!"
And it's true! Whether you're a lifelong vegetarian or just looking to work more meatless meals into your diet, Natkin's refreshing and beautiful recipes are a wonderful place to get started. We spoke with him about how he came to food blogging after a years-long career in computer graphics, what it was like transforming a blog into a book idea, and more. Be sure to check out Herbivoracious (the blog), and find out more about Herbivoracious (the cookbook)!Read More »
This weekend marks the start of a few notable things: the beginning of summer, the point at which people begin sneaking out early from their Friday workdays, and perhaps most importantly, the dusting off of backyard grills.
We may not be able to help make your weekend longer, but we can help when it comes to cooking over an open flame. If you’re tired of conventional, familiar Memorial Day fare, (pasta salads, chicken, pasta salads with chicken), here are five new dishes you never thought would work well with smoke. This Memorial Day, go rogue: grill what no one else is grilling.Read More »
Food52's Editorial Assistant Brette is curating her very own first kitchen -- and she needs your help.Read More »
7 easy shrimp dinners, some dressed-up, some dressed-down, all sigh-worthy.
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Asparagus season is short, and young garlic's is even shorter. So double up!Read More »