By Cindi Sullivan
(LOUISVILLE, March 17th, 2004, 4 p.m.) -- Just in time for Saint Patrick's Day -- WAVE 3's Garden Talk expert Cindi Sullivan has some tips on growing one of Ireland's most popular vegetables.
The potato is the most popular vegetable plant in America. Potato planting time starts now. It's important to have a good, well-drained soil for potatoes and you'll get a bigger harvest if you mix in a good dose of fertilizer as you plant.
I like to choose small seed potatoes that are about egg size for planting. Use only certified disease free seed potatoes for planting.
You have lots of choices these days for potatoes, red skinned varieties and Buttery flavored Yukon Gold; you'll also find blue or purple potatoes from gourmet seed companies.
You can grow potatoes in containers if you don't have much garden space. Put a 4-6 inch layer of soil in a large container, plant a layer of potatoes and cover with another 4-6 inch layer of soil.
When the foliage begins to grow -- within 2-3 weeks-- you can continue to fill the container with soil, as the underground stems lengthens, more potatoes are produced, so you can really increase your yields-and of course this eliminates the need for deep digging because you simply lift up the container after the tops have died back and the potatoes will tumble out.
When you are growing your potatoes in containers, watering regularly is very important.
If you have a gardening question for Cindi, email her at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Online Reporter: Cindi Sullivan