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Expert gardener has the perfect way to deal with forgotten potatoes sprouting in the pantry: 'I needed this … so badly'

"This is so helpful! Thank you for sharing!"

"This is so helpful! Thank you for sharing!"

Photo Credit: iStock

Have you ever come across a lone potato deep in your pantry that you forgot about? It's always a bummer to have to throw away (or even compost) what was once a perfectly good potato. But Niya Brown Matthews (@niyabrownmatthews) recently broke down exactly how to replant that potato and turn it into an abundant potato plant. 

The scoop

Niya knows that this is a problem we've all encountered before. But she's here to fix it. 

"I'm out here in the garden and guess what I'm throwing in the ground? Some potatoes, child." she begins. "Listen, they've been sitting in that pantry too long, and it's time to take them out. And I know y'all got some of the same that look like this in the pantry."

To grow a strong and healthy potato plant, Niya breaks it down into pretty simple steps. 

First, plant the potatoes six inches deep in a spot that has full sun. If your potato is sprouting on both sides, she even mentions that you can cut it in half and plant it cut side down for two potato plants. Water once or twice a week as needed. 

"I fertilize with organic liquid fertilizer 2-2-2 NPK after the plants are about 3-4 inches tall," she explains in the caption. 

Finally, when the potatoes are ready to harvest, the stems will start turning brown. If the plant had enough room, you can get about five or six potatoes off each plant. 

"Don't even overthink it," she says. "Go get you some potatoes. I know you got some in the pantry. Enjoy you some potatoes for Thanksgiving!"

How it's helping

Growing your own food is a great way to save on your grocery bill, but it also has many environmental benefits. 

Growing your own food, especially from leftovers you already have, is a great way to cut down on food waste. Instead of throwing away that sprouting potato, you can now throw it in the ground. Your plants can also be harvested as needed, so fewer potatoes have the chance of going bad in the pantry. 

This is a big deal because food waste is a big problem. Food waste is the single largest component of U.S. landfills, making up 22% of trash. That's equal to 119 billion pounds thrown away yearly. 

What everyone's saying

Instagrammers were excited to make use of their sprouted spuds. 

"I needed this … so badly," one person commented. 

"I've got some potatoes and potato bags collecting dust," another wrote. "Let me go grab some soil and plant them!!!"

A third person said, "This is so helpful! Thank you for sharing!"

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