Tino Carnevale:

On how to grow a real mash hit

Sunday Tasmanian - Tassie Living - - COVER STORY -

We Tas­ma­ni­ans take our spuds pretty se­ri­ously, maybe be­cause we have the cli­mate and the soils to grow some of the world’s best.

For me the hum­ble potato is like the Swiss Army knife of the veg­gie patch, there is just so much that can be done with them. Any veg­etable that tastes great fried, baked, boiled and roasted or that can be mashed, chipped, filled or can be used to make al­co­hol, fuel and even elec­tric­ity, earns a place of hon­our in my gar­den.

They are so easy to grow even a piece of peel will shoot in the com­post as long as it has an eye. In fact they can some­times feel a bit weedy in your gar­den as it can be tricky to find all the tu­bers when har­vest­ing. The su­pe­rior taste is the main rea­son I grow my own spuds, there is noth­ing quite as good as freshly dug pink eyes (pic­tured above).

There are many su­perb va­ri­eties of pota­toes that are not avail­able to buy so grow­ing your own is the only way to en­joy them. They are also very high in car­bo­hy­drates which makes them a great source of en­ergy. Sim­ply throw­ing a potato at the ground and cov­er­ing with a bit of straw will usu­ally re­sult in an ed­i­ble crop but with a bit of ex­tra work the qual­ity and quan­tity of your crop will be greatly im­proved.

As with all crops, ev­ery gar­dener has their favoured grow­ing tech­nique and mine was learnt from my grand­fa­ther. Firstly the seed pota­toes should be chit­ted up, which is lay­ing them out on a bench in in­di­rect sun­light and al­low­ing them to form shoots.

Select the strongest of the shoots and knock the rest off, this will mean the plant will form a sin­gle growth point out of the ground. All the pota­toes you har­vest will grow up the main growth

They are so easy to grow even a piece of peel will shoot in the com­post as long as it has an eye

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