George Washington Papers

[Diary entry: 30 April 1767]

30. Planted Irish Potatoes behind Do.

Solanum tuberosum, Irish potato. GW’s plantings included red potatoes and white, with small and large varieties of each, grown both as a table product and a field crop. He instructed Anthony Whitting 4 Nov. 1792 to plant them early so they could be harvested before the planting of wheat on the same ground. More commonly he planted potatoes with corn. Thomas Jefferson described GW’s method in this way: “He puts them in alternate drills, 4 f. apart, so that the rows of corn are 8 f. apart, & a single stalk every 18 i. or 2 f. in the row” (Jefferson to Thomas Mann Randolph, 11 Aug. 1793, DLC: Jefferson Papers).

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