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How to Plant Potatoes in Raised Beds

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How to Plant Potatoes in Raised Beds

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Overview

People frequently use raised garden beds in place of traditional, in-ground gardens when soil conditions are poor. Clay soil is often the culprit, as it is very dense and has poor drainage abilities. A well-draining, light soil is especially important when growing potatoes. Potatoes grown in overly wet soils are at risk of disease, and heavy soils often result in misshapen potatoes. To provide a fertile growing environment, fill your raised garden with a good-quality topsoil and a 1 to 2-inch layer of a multipurpose vegetable fertilizer, mixed in well with the soil.

Step 1

Create ridged rows of soil in the raised garden with a shovel or garden hoe. The ridges should be 4 to 6 inches in height and rows spaced 24 to 36 inches apart.

Step 2

Grab a handful of the soil in the raised garden and squeeze it. If it sticks together in a ball, the soil is too wet for planting. Wait until the soil is dry and crumbly before planting.

Step 3

Cut potatoes into 1 1/2 to 2 oz. pieces, ensuring there is an "eye" on each piece. These seed pieces are what you will plant.

Step 4

Dig a 2-inch deep hole in the center of the ridge. Plant the seed piece in the hole and cover with soil.

Step 5

Water the seed pieces immediately after planting. Continue to water the potato seeds to a depth of 4 to 6 inches regularly.

Step 6

Lay mulch around the base of the newly emerged potato plants to retain moisture and keep the soil cool.

Step 7

Build up and maintain the ridged rows your potatoes are planted in regularly. Use a shovel or hoe to mound the soil to a continual height of 4 to 6 inches to ensure the growing potatoes are kept cool.

Step 8

Dig up the potatoes, with a shovel or pitch fork, when the plant has completely died off. Carefully loosen the soil around the plant and remove it from the garden. Use your hands to feel for potatoes in the soil.

Tips and Warnings

  • Potato tubers do not form properly in temperatures over 80 degrees Fahrenheit. Plant potatoes in the early spring or fall if you live in a warm climate.

Things You'll Need

  • Shovel or garden hoe
  • Potatoes
  • Mulch
  • Water
  • Pitch fork (optional)

References

  • University of Vermont Extension: Planting the Garden
  • University of Illinois: Potato

Who Can Help

  • Identifying Potato Varieties
Keywords: raised garden beds, raised vegetable gardens, planting potatoes

About this Author

Sophia Darby is a former professional hairstylist who has spent the last six years writing hair-related articles for both online and print publications. Her work has appeared in Celebrity Hairstyles Magazine, as well as multiple websites.