How to Grow Potatoes

Whether you are a novice gardener or a regular green thumb you should consider planting potatoes in your garden. These staples are great in all sorts of recipes, they store well and they’re relatively easy to grow. The following will teach you everything you need to know to grow potatoes.

Where should I plant my potatoes?

Potatoes like to grow in full sun so make sure you pick a sunny part of your yard to plant them. They also do best in fertile soil, so you’ll get best results if you put down a layer of compost or some organic fertilizer before planting.

When should I plant my potatoes?

Depending on where you live you’ll want to plant your potatoes at different times of the year. If you live somewhere warm, plant them in the fall so they grow during the winter. If you live somewhere temperate, plant them in the late winter so they grow over the course of the spring. If you live somewhere cold, plant them in mid-spring so they grow over the course of the summer.

What should I plant?

Potatoes, dummy! Well this actually isn’t as simple an answer as the question might suggest. You can go two routes when planting potatoes. Either you plant them from a seed or you plant potatoes that have begun to sprout. Planting them from a seed is more time consuming and difficult so we’re going to recommend that you go with the latter. You can find “seed potatoes” at your local garden center or you can make your own by saving some of your crop from the year before.

How should I plant my potatoes?

Take these seed potatoes and cut them into golf-ball sized chunks that have at least two “eyes” on them. Dig a trench about three inches deep where you want to plant your potatoes and plant your seed potatoes about one foot apart. Two or three weeks after planting, close the trench and push the loose dirt up against the potatoes so that only the top few inches of the potatoes still show. This process is called “hilling” and it keeps your potatoes from turning green.

How do I keep my potatoes healthy?

The best way to have healthy potatoes is to have healthy soil, this keeps diseases like blight away. Another danger to watch for are potato beetles. These round beetles will attach themselves to your potato leaves and munch through them. The best way to take care of these is simply to pick them off. You should also watch for their eggs on the underside of the leaves, clear those out too.

How do I harvest my potatoes?

You can gently root around for a few early potatoes within a couple months of planting them. These first potatoes will be small and tender. The real harvest, however, happens when the foliage of your plants starts to die. At that point, take a pitchfork and gently loosen the soil underneath your potato plants and pull up the whole plant. There will still be potatoes underneath the earth so dig around for those.

How do I store my potatoes?

Leave any potatoes you’re not consuming immediately on the soil until the soil on them dries. Then brush them off and store them out of the light in a cool area. Basements and root cellars work best.

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