Last year, GMO potatoes were approved! This is one more good reason why you should grow your own at home! We will help you learn how to do it.
It looks like there is a new Mr. Potato in town. The U.S. Department of Agriculture has approved a few new genetically modified potato varieties for farmers to grow commercially, last year. New York Times reported that there are genetically modified versions of the popular Russet potato and the Atlantic potato. This is scary, almost every week, there is another GMO fruit or vegetable that is being approved! This is why we are looking for the best ways to grow our own.
When it comes to word about potatoes, they are fairly low to maintenance, can be grown in a pot or in the ground, last a fairly long time if stored properly, and can be very nutritious (high in potassium and vitamin C). But what is more interesting is that according to this article, you can grow 100 pounds of potatoes in 4 sq. feet. According to this article that we found in Seattle Times, potatoes planted inside a box with this method can grow up to 100 pounds in just 4 square feet. All that you will need is:
- Seed potatoes
- Careful attention to watering
Here’s the Times’ guide for building a potato growing box yields up to a 100 lbs of potatoes in a mere 4 square feet:
The earliest time you can plant your potatoes is April, and the latest, August. You can harvest after three months. Here are some pointers from the article:
- Cut apart larger seed potatoes, making sure there are at least two eyes in each piece you plant.
- Dust the cut pieces with fir dust, which seals the open ends from bacteria.
- Fertilize with 10-20-20 fertilizer at planting and a couple of times during the season.
- Water so that the plants are kept at an even level of moisture.
- Don’t plant in the same area in consecutive years or use the same soil to fill your potato box, as potatoes can attract various diseases.
A great idea recommended by Lutovsky, in order to save space, is to build a box and to plant inside of it, and to add sides to the box as the plant grows and fills the new space with mulch or soil. When the plant blossoms, you will know that it has started to set potatoes in the soil, so you will need to start removing the bottom boards from the box and take out the new potatoes.
Here’s the nutrition content of potatoes: