Care for a Healthy Potato Plant


Potatoes are edible tubers and are a favorite cool season vegetable among many home gardeners. They are planted in the spring and are usually harvested during the fall and winter months, but "new" potatoes can be harvested earlier during the summer months, if desired. If your potatoes have begun to grow and it appears you have healthy potato plants on your hands, you're in luck--half the battle has passed. With a couple care techniques, you should soon reap a plentiful, long and healthy potato harvest.

Step 1

Apply organic mulch, such as bark mulch, after the healthy potato plants have begun to grow. An inch or 2 around the base of your plants will suffice to keep weeds at bay and help retain soil moisture. It will also keep soil temperatures cooler, which is ideal for growing potatoes.

Step 2

Rake soil over top of the potatoes to form a ridge or hill as they grow. Start a couple feet away from your potato tubers and rake or hoe the soil toward where the potatoes are planted. This will also keep weeds away and will prevent the potatoes from getting sun exposure, which cause green spots on your potatoes. Do this every week or so and by summer, your ridge where the potatoes are growing will be 4 to 6 inches high.

Step 3

Water your potatoes weekly when rain has been scarce and the soil feels dry about an inch deep. Water slowly with about an inch of water when necessary.

Things You'll Need

  • Mulch
  • Garden rake or hoe
  • Water


  • University of Illinios Extension: Potato
  • Clemson University Extension: Potato
Keywords: care potato plant, growing potatoes, home grown potatoes

About this Author

Melissa Lewis has been a professional writer since 2005. Her work has appeared in various online publications. A former elementary classroom teacher and media specialist, Lewis is also a script writer, with a movie script, "Homecoming," she co-wrote currently in production. She holds a Bachelor of Arts in psychology.