Potatoes

Norkotah Russet potatoesIt's easy to grow red- and white-skinned Irish potatoes and brown-skinned russet potatoes. Good Irish potatoes for Florida include 'Yukon Gold' and 'Red Pontiac'. A good russet is 'Norkotah'.

Look for "seed potatoes" at a feed store or online. Avoid grocery store potatoes, since they’re treated to prevent sprouting. Cut your seed potatoes, leaving at least one eye per section, and let them dry for a few days.

Plant potatoes in January, February, or March in North and Central Florida. In South Florida, plant them from September to January. Plant the sections in a six-inch deep trench in a spot that receives full sun.

Water and fertilize on a regular basis, and mound soil around the stems as the plants grow. In about three months, you’ll be able to enjoy delicious homegrown potatoes.

Growing Potatoes in Perlite

You don't have to plant your potatoes in the ground. Perlite is a common part of potting mix, but did you know you can use it to grow potatoes and other vegetables hydroponically?

Start with a sturdy container that's at least ten inches deep. Drill drainage holes in the sides, two inches from the bottom, and fill it almost to the top with perlite. Then add water until the perlite is saturated and water comes out the holes.

Plant your "seed potatoes" (starter parts) cut side down in the perlite, about an inch below the surface.

Water every few days to keep the perlite from drying out. Once the plants sprout, feed them on a regular basis with a soluble fertilizer. In a few months, you should be ready to harvest.

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