Planting Potatoes

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A Simple Start to
 Learning How to Grow Potatoes
is Learning How to Plant Potatoes

Planting Potatoes

Planting potatoes can be done as soon as the ground can be worked in the spring. Potato planting time will vary according to your location, however when the soil temperature is at, or above 45 degrees F. it is safe to plant. Potatoes grow best in cool, well-drained soil.

Plant potatoes in loose, fertile, slightly acid soils. Adding some compost or a little peat moss is beneficial.

Don't incorporate large amounts of organic matter, such as manure, into the soil where potatoes are to be grown.

Too much organic matter can increase the risk of potato scab. Some 5-10-10 or 10-20-20 fertilizer is beneficial. 

Mix the fertilizer into the planting soil, prior to planting. Till or spade the soil to a depth of ten or twelve inches. 

The Complete Book of Potatoes: What Every Grower and Gardener Needs to Know


There are many ways to grow potatoes. Here are some traditional, and not so traditional, ways and places that potatoes can be planted:


Traditional garden planting: If you have a large garden plot, you can plant your potatoes in rows or furrows.

  • Set seed potatoes pieces, and small whole seed potatoes, cut side down in a 4 inch deep furrow. Cover with soil.
  • The seed potatoes should be about 12 inches apart.
  • The rows/furrows should be spaced 2 or 3 feet apart.

Mound planting: Hilling or mounding is another method of growing potatoes. Three or four seed potatoes are planted in a mound of soil. Continue to mound soil around the potato plants as they develop. “Hilling up” the soil around plants helps to keep the soil cool, provides more nutrients for the growing potato plants, and protects the developing tubers from sunlight.

Straw or mulch planting: In Scandinavian countries, potatoes have long been grown in stacks of straw or other mulching material. The seed potatoes are planted above ground in the straw. As the vines begin to grow, more straw or mulch is mounded around the base of the plants. The result is a yield of very clean potatoes. New potatoes can be harvested easily even before the potato vines mature completely.

Planting potatoes under black plastic:

Cut holes in a sheet of plastic spacing them about 12 inches apart.

Dig into the soil under the hole.

Mix some fertilizer with the dirt in the hole.

Plant a seed potato in the hole

Cover with soil

Water.

Planting potatoes in containers:

They can be grown in a variety of containers in your back yard or patio, or even on a deck or apartment balcony.

Here are some ideas for container planting:

Some advantages of all types of container planting include saving space and isolating your potato plants from pests & disease.

Something to be aware of however is that potato plants tend to dry out more rapidly when grown in containers, so additional watering will be needed.



Planting Potatoes

Do You Grow Potatoes?

Tell your potato gardening story. Whether you grow potatoes for fun, to help the family food budget, or to sell them commercially, give us your best tips. Share some photos of your garden or your potato harvest as well if you have them.

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A little Maine potato patch 
I have grown potatoes for the past 18 years in a 22' x 16' plot in my front yard using this method: Seeds are planted at least 6" deep, 12" apart, …

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How to Grow Potatoes

Reasons for Growing Potatoes

Types of Potatoes

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