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Uploaded:2018-03-20
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Potatoes are amazing! You can make them into french fries, baked potatoes, hash browns, potato chips, and tons of other tasty foods! And best of all, they're super easy to grow! Join Jessi and Squeaks to learn how!
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SOURCES:
https://sciencing.com/grow-potato-water-science-project-6239373.html
http://www.bhg.com/gardening/vegetable/vegetables/is-it-true-that-you-can-grow-a-potato-plant-from-a-regular-potato/
http://homeguides.sfgate.com/potato-grow-eyes-67480.html
https://www.almanac.com/plant/potatoes
♪.

Let me introduce you to one of my favorite foods: It’s the wonderful, delicious, potato! I love potatoes because they can be turned into so many different kinds of food.

You can make mashed potatoes, or potato soup, or even hash browns! [Squeaks squeaks]. Oh, and potato chips are super tasty, too. Squeaks and I love potatoes so much, we’re going to grow our own.

We’re starting by sprouting our own potatoes, and you can, too! To try this experiment, you’ll need a potato, a clear cup of water, and toothpicks. First, let’s take a look at our starter potato.

Most of the time when you’re growing plants, you start out with a seed. But potato plants start a bit differently. They start as a sprout on another potato.

Like most potatoes, our starter potato is covered in small spots on the outside called eyes. [Squeaks squeaks]. Don't worry, they're not real eyeballs! They're just called eyes because sometimes they can look like someone drew a tiny eye on the potato.

When a potato is ready to grow into more potatoes, those eyes sprout, and new bits of potato, called tubers, grow out of them. We’re going to get this potato ready to sprout by soaking it in water. This will let the potato know that there’s lots of water around to help it grow, so it'll start sprouting new tubers from its eyes.

The first thing to do is wash your potato with some water, scrubbing it to get any dirt or chemicals off. Then, have a grown-up help you carefully stick the toothpicks into the top of the potato. You’ll want to put the toothpicks in so they're a little bit diagonal instead of straight up.

Once the toothpicks are stuck in really well, you can lower the potato into the clear cup with the toothpick side on top. That way, most of the potato will be in the water, but there will still be some space out of the water where the leafy part can start to grow. You can always take the potato back out and rearrange the toothpicks if you need to. [Squeaks squeaks].

Oh! Squeaks thinks our potato is too far in the water and I agree! You'll want it arranged so that just enough of the water covers the bottom of the potato, including some of the eyes, but not the whole thing.

There. Now these toothpicks look just right. Ok, now that that's set up, it’s time to find a good place for the potato to start sprouting — somewhere that will feel a lot like being underground.

Where do you think we should put it, Squeaks? [Squeaks squeaks]. Oh, I don't know if putting it under your blanket would work. And it would be kind of hard to sleep, wouldn't it?

But you're right that it should be dark. Plants eventually need light to keep growing, but for the first parts of their lives they're underground where it's dark. The temperature is also a little cool underground, so we're looking for somewhere dark and a little less warm than the rest of the Fort.

How about a cabinet? [Squeaks squeaks]. OK, let's put it in and let the potato get to work. We’ll check back every day to change the water if it gets cloudy and add more if we need to.

Hi again! It's been a couple of weeks, and our potato has started to sprout! See the roots on the bottom?

Now it’s time for my favorite part of this experiment. [Squeaks squeaks]. No, silly, not eating the potatoes. It’s time to let our potatoes grow big and strong.

You can either place the cup with your sprouted potato in a nice, sunny windowsill, or you can plant it in a pot with soil. Now that the plant has sunlight, the tubers will slowly start to grow. It'll need some water to drink, and to be kept nice and warm.

So if you’re planting them in soil, it’s better to do this in the spring. After a week or so, you might start to more shoots starting to grow out of your potato! Over time, the potato plant will grow bigger and taller, with more leaves.

If you keep it in water, the new tubers won’t get big enough to eat, but the stems and leaves on top will keep growing, and you might even see some flowers! If you planted your potato in soil, the tubers will eventually grow into new potatoes that you can eat. After they've been growing for a few months, you can harvest the potatoes … and eat them!

You’ll know they’re ready after the stems and leaves above the ground wither and turn completely brown. That means the above-ground part of the plant is dead, but the potatoes below ground are ready to eat! There are lots of things you can do to help your potatoes grow better.

If you want, you can take a book out of the library or have a grown-up help you find a good website to help you take the best care of them. It can take up to five months for your potatoes to be ready, so you’ll need a lot of patience for this experiment! [Squeaks squeaks]. I know, buddy!

I can't wait till ours are ready, either. But we have plenty of fun things to do in the meantime! Do you have a favorite food made out of potatoes, like french fries or mashed potatoes?

What other kinds of plants would you like to grow? Have a grown-up help you leave a comment below, or send us an email at kids@scishow.com We’ll see you next time, here at the fort! ♪.