How to Prepare Potatoes for Planting


When the time and temperature are right for planting potatoes in your area, the preparations are minimal and simple. Typically potatoes can be planted in early spring when sustained temperatures remain above 45 degrees F. As long as the soil isn't wet or waterlogged, you can dive right in and get your crop going. Potatoes can even be planted as late as mid-June for a harvest to store over the winter.

Step 1

Use a clean sharp knife to cut the potato into small 1-inch cubes. Each cube should have at least one "eye" on it. These little buds will each sprout several stems.

Step 2

Split pieces that have more than 2 or 3 eyes on them. These will sprout too many stems in a small amount of growing space. The plants will overcrowd each other as they grow quickly and compete for food and other resources.

Step 3

Set the potato pieces on some newspapers or paper toweling on the kitchen counter. Allow them to air dry for about 24 hours. This will allow for calluses to form over the cut areas and help prevent rotting once the potato pieces are planted.

Step 4

Pour a small amount of sulfur powder into a plastic bag and add the potato pieces. Close the bag and shake gently, coating all surfaces of the potatoes. This will discourage fungus from forming. Your potatoes are ready to plant.

Things You'll Need

  • Clean sharp knife
  • Potatoes
  • Newspapers or paper towels
  • Sulfur power
  • Plastic bag


  • Garden Gate Magazine: Hot Potatoes -- Planting Potatoes
  • Do It Yourself: How to Prepare Seed Potatoes to Plant
  • The Garden Helper: How to Grow Potatoes in Your Garden
Keywords: potatoes, plant potatoes, how to prepare potatoes for planting

About this Author

Axl J. Amistaadt began as a part-time amateur freelance writer in 1985, turned professional in 2005, and became a full-time writer in 2007. Amistaadt’s major focus is publishing material for GardenGuides. Areas of expertise include home gardening, horticulture, alternative and home remedies, pets, wildlife, handcrafts, cooking, and juvenile science experiments.