How to Grow Potato Plants

Overview

Potato plants are an easy-to-grow plant, adaptable to many different soil types. Potato plants do prefer a soil with a pH between 5.2 to 5.5, as this prevents potato scab, according to the University of New Hampshire Cooperative Extension. Potatoes are planted early in the year, between March and early April. Mid-season varieties are planted as late as the first of July.

Step 1

Purchase seed potatoes from your local garden center and place them in a cool place until two weeks before planting recommends UNH Extension. Put the potatoes out in normal light, high humidity and at room temperature to "green sprout" them, turning the seed every four to five days to develop even sprouts.

Step 2

Cut tubers from the potatoes that are 1 1/2 to 2 inches in diameter. Cut the tuber so that it has at least one sprout, or "eye".

Step 3

Till your seed bed to a depth of 8 to 10 inches recommends Ohio State University to ensure proper growth. Fertilize the soil with a 10-10-10 (nitrogen-phosphorus-potassium) fertilizer at 3 pounds per 100 square feet, and work it into the soil.

Step 4

Plant the tubers 10 to 12 inches apart between 1 and 3 inches deep recommends the Illinois Cooperative Extension. Space the rows 24 to 36 inches apart. Add a layer of mulch on top of the covered potatoes to ensure warmth is kept in the soil.

Step 5

Mound soil around sprouting potato plants by hoeing the soil towards the plants according to Illinois Cooperative Extension. Soil may be piled between 4 to 6 inches by the summer to prevent sun-scorched tubers.

Things You'll Need

  • Seed potatoes
  • Knife
  • Shovel
  • Hoe
  • Tiller

References

  • University of Illinois: Watch Your Garden Grow - Potatoes
  • University of New Hampshire Cooperative Extension: Growing Potatoes
  • Ohio State University Extension: Growing Potatoes in the Home Garden
Keywords: grow potato plants, growing potatoes, potato garden

About this Author

Cleveland Van Cecil is a freelancer writer specializing in technology. He has been a freelance writer for three years and has published extensively on eHow.com, writing articles on subjects as diverse as boat motors and hydroponic gardening. Van Cecil has a Bachelor of Arts in liberal arts from Baldwin-Wallace College.