About ten days ago, my daughter was helping me peel potatoes for dinner. She noticed eyes growing on a few of them and asked me what they were. I told her that if you buried a potato, roots would grow out of the eyes and become a new potato plant.
So what did she do? She took a potato with eyes, placed it in a small container, covered it with potting soil, and watered it. Within a week, we had a plant growing that was about 4 inches tall!
Knowing this plant would soon outgrow its little pot, I called the U. Washington Master Gardeners' Program to ask them what to do with it. The woman I spoke with assured me that the hardy potato plant can definitely be transfered outdoors at this time of year. (She was delighted by my story, btw, and said she will have her granddaughter try the same thing!)
My daughter and I replanted the potato plant in a large pot on our balcony, and added additional soil around it (something the Master Gardener recommended we continue to do, because that helps potatoes grow). Last summer, we were only able to successfully grow basil and mint on our shrouded-by-large-trees (hence no sunlight) balcony. But the potato's magic happens underground. So let's see what we grow this summer! (And thank you, little one, for trying something new!)