1 Ryan placed all the potatoes in trays, so they're ready for planting in the vegetable garden. The potato is a starchy, tuberous crop from the perennial nightshade Solanum tuberosum.
2 Some of the bigger varieties - bigger than the average sized chicken egg - were cut into pieces a couple of days ahead. Each piece should have at least two eyes.
3 Each cut side of a potato was coated with Douglas fir bark dust.
4 Douglas fir bark dust helps to heal the sliced area, so it doesn't shrink or curl. The slightly acidic bark is also a natural fungicide and moisture buildup barrier.
5 Ryan made sure every potato was coated. Many of the potatoes came from Irish Eyes Garden Seeds in Ellensburg, Washington. http://irisheyesgardenseeds.com
6 The German Butterball potato is very popular. It has smooth, thick, golden, and butter yellow flesh. It's great for hash browns, fries, steaming or baking, and it stores well.
7 This potato with deep yellow flesh is wonderful for boiling to roasting, to grilling and mashing.
8 The Krone is an all-around beauty inside and out. It grows very well under most conditions in any soil type, and is great for long term storage.
9 The Red Pontiac is a large round potato with thin, dark red skin, deep eyes, and crisp white flesh. It is excellent for mashing and boiling.
10 The red skinned yellow fleshed Romera is great for mashing, baking and for adding to salads.
11 The Jelly potato is a smooth skinned, long oval variety with rich yellow flesh. Jelly makes attractive golden roast potatoes or chips.
12 Cal White is a long white fleshed potato with brilliant white skin. It makes a delicious baked potato.
13 Blue Belle seed potatoes are a great looking variety. Blue Belle potatoes have a waxy consistency and are great for baking, and boiling.
14 Bellinda is another popular choice because of its excellent flavor.
15 Elfe potatoes have a smooth oval shape, creamy skin and bright yellow flesh that has a creamy texture and delicious sweet, buttery taste - it's perfect for boiling, baking, and mashing.
16 Smiling Rose has light red skin with yellow around the eyes and a deep yellow flesh. It produces well and quickly.
17 Jester potatoes have purple skin with yellow around the eyes and variegated purple and yellow flesh. Because of their interesting appearance, they are fun for home gardeners to grow, and they are good for salads, or roasting.
18 King Harry is a popular early season potato. It has white flesh and a moist, waxy texture.
19 Wilmer prepared the beds in the vegetable garden. One way to plant them is to dig shallow trenches using a garden hoe. Adding organic matter is a good way to amend the soil before planting, but don't use matter too high in nitrogen, as too much can encourage the growth of lush foliage at the expense of tuber development.
20 Be sure trenches are also at least a foot apart to give the potato plants ample room to develop.
22 Place the seed potato pieces in the trench with its eyes faced up. When selecting seed potatoes, avoid planting those from supermarkets in case they were treated by sprout inhibitors.
23 If the eyes are not planted faced up, it's not the end of the world - the potatoes will find their way, but it may take a little longer for them to develop and grow.
24 Potatoes can be planted in cooler soils at least 40-degrees Fahrenheit. They do best as rotation crops, and should be placed away from where potatoes, tomatoes or peppers were grown in the last two-years.
25 Each trench should be about four-inches deep. Potatoes perform best in soil with pH levels 4.8 to 5.5. Potatoes are easy to grow as long as they have access to full sun and moderate temperatures.
26 Once the potatoes have been properly spaced, remember to place a marker at the end of the trench identifying what was planted where.
27 Potatoes contain 18-percent starch, two-percent protein, and small amounts of vitamin-B6, iron, niacin, magnesium, thiamin, folic acid and potassium. They are also a good source of vitamin-C, low in sodium and easy to digest.
28 Replace the soil in the trench, fully covering the potatoes at least four-inches. Do you know... the average American eats approximately 142-pounds of potatoes each year?
29 Potatoes do best in well-drained, loose soil, and consistent moisture.
30 Potatoes need at least one-inch of water per week. Potatoes require less water to grow compared to other staple foods such as wheat, rice and corn.
31 I cannot wait until harvest time for all the delicious vegetables we planted in the garden this year. A first modest harvest of potatoes should be ready about 65-days after planting.