How to Plant Potato Sprouts

Overview

Finding potatoes covered in sprouts may be bad news for a cook, but it's a stroke of good luck for the home gardener. These potatoes, covered in pale roots, can be planted in the garden and turned into an entire crop of potatoes in the fall. Potatoes like cooler weather when the tubers are forming, so summer is the right time to get your sprouted potatoes in the ground. Your potato crop will be ready to dig up in cooler weather after the plants have died back.

Step 1

Dig your garden soil down 8 inches deep. Remove any rocks or large roots that you may find. Mix in a 4-inch layer of compost to help fertilize the plants and make the soil easier for the tubers to grow in.

Step 2

Cut the potatoes into smaller pieces if they are large and covered with sprouts. Make sure that each piece has at least one healthy sprout. Plant smaller potatoes whole if they only show one or two sprouts.

Step 3

Plant the potatoes in a row, 12 inches apart. Cover each potato piece with 2 inches of soil. Place each row 24 inches from the next if you are planting more than one row.

Step 4

Water the soil thoroughly until the ground is saturated. Keep the soil moist while the potatoes are growing, making sure that they get at least 1 inch of water per week.

Step 5

Add soil to the top of the garden around the base of the plant when the plant is 18 inches tall. More potatoes will grow from the stem of the plant in the new soil, increasing the size of your potato harvest.

Step 6

Dig around the base of your plants after the plant has turned brown and died back. You will feel lumps of potato tubers of various sizes. Pull up a small potato and rub the surface. If the skin rubs off easily, leave the potatoes in the ground a few more days. If the skin is difficult to rub off, dig the potatoes and store them in a cool, dry place, without washing them.

Things You'll Need

  • Shovel
  • Compost
  • Sprouted potatoes

References

  • University of Illinois Extension: Potato--Watch Your Garden Grow
Keywords: plant potato sprouts, potato gardening, plant potato eyes

About this Author

Anne Baley is a writer and photographer living in Southeast Michigan. She has written dozens of articles about places she has discovered while traveling throughout the United States. Baley's work has appeared in a variety of online outlets, including EndlessSunday, GardenGuides and Travels.