Planting Instructions for Potatoes

Overview

There's nothing quite like the taste of freshly cooked new potatoes on the grill in the middle of summer, and the best way to get that delicate taste is by growing your own potato plants. Many home gardeners will shy away from growing potatoes, thinking that the process is too difficult, but potatoes are one of the easiest vegetables to grow. Dedicate some short rows in your garden to potatoes and you'll be harvesting baskets full of them next autumn.

Step 1

Dig your garden rows in the spring after the frost has gone. Check with your local extension service or Farmers' Almanac if you are not familiar with the frost patterns in your area. Make sure that the soil is dry and has begun to warm before you start to dig.

Step 2

Dig down 12 inches in rows 24 inches apart. Mix in a generous amount of compost with the soil. Compost will help with draining the soil, as well as loosening any clay soil to give the developing tubers space to grow.

Step 3

Place one piece of seed potato every 10 to 12 inches in a row. If your seed potatoes are large with many eyes, you can cut them into multiple pieces to grow even more plants. Make sure that there are at least one or two good eyes in each piece that you plant. Cover each seed potato with 2 inches of soil.

Step 4

Water the potato rows thoroughly until the soil is saturated. Growing potatoes need a steady source of moisture, so make sure that the plants get at least 1 inch of water per week.

Step 5

Build up the soil around the plants as they grow. Pull a bit more soil around the stem each week, building up a layer up to about 6 inches. This will help to keep the developing tubers underground and prevent them from turning green in the sunlight.

Things You'll Need

  • Shovel
  • Compost
  • Seed potatoes

References

  • University of Illinois Extension: Potato

Who Can Help

  • Farmers' Almanac: Average Frost Dates
Keywords: plant potatoes, potato gardening, plant potato eyes, grow potatoes

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.