Potatoes

 

 

 

 

Potatoes

Potato plants are herbaceous perennials that grow about 60 cm (24 in) high, depending on variety, the culms dying back after flowering. 

They bear white, pink, red, blue, or purple flowers with yellow stamens. In general, the tubers of varieties with white flowers have white skins, while those of varieties with colored flowers tend to have pinkish skins.
Potatoes are cross-pollinated mostly by insects, including bumblebees, which carry pollen from other potato plants, but a substantial amount of self-fertilizing occurs as well.

Tubers form in response to decreasing day length, although this tendency has been minimized in commercial varieties.

 After potato plants flower, some varieties produce small green fruits that resemble green cherry tomatoes, each containing up to 300 trueseeds.Potato fruit contains large amounts of the toxic alkaloid solanine and is therefore unsuitable for consumption. All new potato varieties are grown from seeds, also called “true seed” or “botanical seed” to distinguish it from seed tubers.

  

 By finely chopping the fruit and soaking it in water, the seeds separate from the flesh by sinking to the bottom after about a day (the remnants of the fruit float). Any potato variety can also be propagated vegetatively by planting tubers, pieces of tubers, cut to include at least one or two eyes, or also by cuttings, a practice used in greenhouses for the production of healthy seed tubers. Some commercial potato varieties do not produce seeds at all (they bear imperfect flowers) and are propagated only from tuber pieces. Confusingly, these tubers or tuber pieces are called “seed potatoes,” because the potato itself functions as “seed”.

  

 

Oranges

 

 

 

 

Oranges

It is possible to grow orange trees directly from seeds, but they may be infertile or produce fruit that may be different from its parent. For the seed of a commercial orange to grow, it must be kept moist at all times. One approach is placing the seeds between two sheets of damp paper towel until they germinate and then planting them, although many cultivators just set the seeds straight into the soil. Commercially grown orange trees are propagated asexually by grafting a mature cultivar onto a suitable seedling rootstock to ensure the same yield, identical fruit characteristics, and resistance to diseases throughout the years.

    

Propagation involves two stages: first, a rootstock is grown from seed. Then, when it is approximately one year old, the leafy top is cut off and a bud taken from a specific scion variety, is grafted into its bark. The scion is what determines the variety of orange, while the rootstock makes the tree resistant to pests and diseases and adaptable to specific soil and climatic conditions. Thus, rootstocks influence the rate of growth and have an effect on fruit yield and quality.

Rootstocks must be compatible with the variety inserted into them because otherwise, the tree may decline, be less productive, and even die.

Among the several advantages to grafting are that trees mature uniformly and begin to bear fruit earlier than those reproduced by seeds (3 to 4 years in contrast with 6 to 7 years), and that it makes it possible to combine the best attributes of a scion with those of a rootstock.

Onions

 

 

 

 

Onions

The onion (Allium cepa) (Latin ‘cepa’ = onion), also known as the bulb onion or common onion, is used as a vegetable and is the most widely cultivated species of the genus Allium.

This genus also contains several other species variously referred to as onions and cultivated for food, such as the Japanese bunching onion (A. fistulosum), the Egyptian onion (A. ×proliferum), and the Canada onion(A. canadense).
The name “wild onion” is applied to a number of Allium species but A. cepa is exclusively known from cultivation and its wild original form is not known. 

The onion is most frequently a biennial or a perennial plant, but is usually treated as an annual and harvested in its first growing season.

 

The onion plant has a fan of hollow, bluish-green leaves and the bulb at the base of the plant begins to swell when a certain day-length is reached. In the autumn the foliage dies down and the outer layers of the bulb become dry and brittle.
The crop is harvested and dried and the onions are ready for use or storage. The crop is prone to attack by a number of pests and diseases, particularly the onion fly, theonion eelworm and various fungi that cause rotting.

  

 

Grapes

 

 

 

 

Grapes

Grapes are a type of fruit that grow in clusters of 15 to 300, and can be crimson,black, dark blue, yellow, green, orange and pink. “White” grapes are actually green in color, and are evolutionarily derived from the purple grape.

Mutations in two regulatory genes of white grapes turn off production of anthocyanins, which are responsible for the color of purple grapes. Anthocyanins and otherpigment chemicals of the larger family of polyphenols in purple grapes are responsible for the varying shades of purple in red wines. Grapes are typically an ellipsoid shape resembling a prolate spheroid.

   

Garlics

 

 

 

 

Garlics

Garlic is easy to grow and can be grown year-round in mild climates.

While sexual propagation of garlic is indeed possible, nearly all of the garlic in cultivation is propagated asexually, by planting individual cloves in the ground. In cold climates, cloves are planted in the autumn, about six weeks before the soil freezes, and harvested in late spring. The cloves must be planted at sufficient depth to prevent freeze/thaw which causes mold or white rot. Garlic plants are usually very hardy, and are not attacked by many pests or diseases. 

Garlic plants are said to repel rabbits and moles. Two of the major pathogens that attack garlic are nematodes and white rot disease, which remain in the soil indefinitely after the ground has become infected. Garlic also can suffer from pink root, a typically nonfatal disease that stunts the roots and turns them pink or red. Garlic plants can be grown closely together, leaving enough space for the bulbs to mature, and are easily grown in containers of sufficient depth. 

Garlic does well in loose, dry, well drained soils in sunny locations, and is hardy throughout USDA climate zones 4–9. When selecting garlic for planting, it is important to pick large bulbs from which to separate cloves. Large cloves, along with proper spacing in the planting bed, will also improve bulb size. Garlic plants prefer to grow in a soil with a high organic material content, but are capable of growing in a wide range of soil conditions and pH levels.

There are different types or subspecies of garlic, most notably hardneck garlic and softneck garlic. The latitude where the garlic is grown affects the choice of type as garlic can be day-length sensitive.Hardneck garlic is generally grown in cooler climates. Softneck garlic is generally grown closer to the equator. Garlic scapes are removed to focus all the garlic’s energy into bulb growth. The scapes can be eaten raw or cooked.

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