What Part of this Plant Is the Potato?
Potatoes are some of the planet’s most important food crops. Two big classes of them are familiar to most Americans, Irish (Solanum tuberosum) and sweet (Ipomoea batatas). Irish potatoes take their title from the renowned potato famine that occurred in 19th century Ireland. The edible parts of the plants are specialized roots called tubers, that develop underground. Potatoes and other plants use these tubers to store apples, known as carbohydrates, as nourishment and energy sources they need to copy. These antioxidants and antioxidants are beneficial to the human diet as well.
Irish potatoes are cool season plants, typically grown in early spring. Sweet potatoes favor warm, summer temperatures. Each kind develops green, leafy foliage that grows above ground and may be vine-like in appearance. Simultaneously, they develop or “set” their tubers underground. Irish potatoes may develop blossoms when they are older, signaling that they a ready for harvest. Sweet potatoes are harvested when their adult foliage begins to turn slightly yellow.
Garden Vegetable Types
Common vegetables you may grow in a home garden include several types of edible plants, based on which portion of this plant is generally eaten. Foliage is the food source of leafy greens such as spinach and kale and “head” crops such as lettuce and honey. We typically eat the fruits of flowering garden vegetables such as tomatoes and squash and also the seed pods of vegetables such as beans. Broccoli and cauliflower are technical, creamy flowers. These sorts grow above ground. Lastly, we eat the roots and tubers of vegetables such as radishes, turnips and potatoes. These generally grow beneath the soil.
Irish potatoes, also known as white potatoes, favor growing in moderately acidic, fertile soil that drains well. Dry, sandy soil or deep clay can impede tuber development. Considered cool weather plants, they favor the milder temperatures of early spring to make the best crop of tubers. They are vulnerable to infection and will fail to set tubers if increased during hot summers or tropical climates. In Mediterranean climates, Irish potatoes can also be increased in the cool weather of autumn and winter. They require 90 to 110 days to create a complete crop of tubers.
Sweet potatoes are native to Central and South America. Thus, they prefer growing in warmer climate conditions and therefore are a bit more tolerant of different kinds of soil, preferring sandy loam or silt loam. Although they could be known as yams, they’re actually a distinctly different species from accurate, tropical yams. They also require about 100 days to make tubers before harvest.