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The Whitehurst Diaries: Potatoes and Seed Balls
A Willis the Cat the Garden Supervisor episode. The potatoes with little green tomatoes
Click on headline for diary entry with photo(s)
By Sharon Whitehurst
Jim requested potatoes for supper and when informed that we had used the last of the 'store-bought' supply, he headed for the garden with grandson Devin Gould and Willis the Cat in tow.
Seconds later Devin burst into the kitchen commanding, "Meme, you have to see this--the potato plants have grown little green tomatoes!"
We pondered this, never having seen such an occur3nce in many years of gardening. I was vaguely aware that both potatoes and tomatoes belong to the nightshade family of plants [solanaceae] and that because of this relationship tomatoes, once called 'love-apples,' were formerly considered unfit for humans to eat.
An internet search gave us the information that potatoes sometimes set these 'seed-balls' or 'seed-berries' when long days [think June]coincide with a spell of cooler weather.
Yukon Gold potatoes, our favorite, are particularly prone to this seeding process. Interestingly, although some of the seed stems were bare I found no green 'berries' rolling about in the potato rows. None of the other potato varieties are making seed balls.
What seemed like a casual garden errand provided a learning moment as well as some nearly perfect Yukon Golds for the evening meal.
As well, Willis the Cat found opportunity for garden supervision--he takes all discoveries in stride.
For more on potato seed balls, go here
This story was posted on 2012-06-17 06:26:49
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