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How to Plant Red Potatoes

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How to Plant Red Potatoes

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Overview

Red potatoes are a delicious potato variety with a number of culinary uses. So many in fact, that it may be tempting to plant a few tubers from this week's grocery run and start your own crop. But while growing red potatoes can be a great idea, you should only use certified seed potatoes to plant in your garden. Grocery-store potatoes may harbor disease, and most are treated with a growth retardant to keep them from sprouting. Once you find a quality seed red potato, plant it two to four weeks before the last frost date for your area or when the soil temperature has risen to at least 40 degrees Fahrenheit.

Step 1

Cut your red potatoes into chunks that have one or more eyes per chunk. The fewer cuts you make, the better. Your chunks should not be much smaller than a small egg.

Step 2

Spread the cut red potato chunks on a flat surface to dry for two days.

Step 3

Dig a trench that is 8 inches deep and 8 inches wide. Spread a 2-inch layer of compost on the floor of the trench.

Step 4

Mix the excavated soil with an equal amount of compost.

Step 5

Lay the red potato pieces in the trench so that their eyes are facing upward. Each piece should be 8 inches away from its neighbor. Subsequent trenches should be dug at least 2 feet apart.

Step 6

Cover the potatoes with enough soil to form a slight ridge along the trench.

Step 7

Water the ridge thoroughly, but do not soak the soil. Water growing potatoes enough to provide them with 1 inch of water per week. Do not allow the soil to dry out.

Tips and Warnings

  • Do not plant red potatoes where you have grown potatoes, tomatoes, peppers or eggplant in the past two years.

Things You'll Need

  • Compost
  • Thermometer

References

  • Cornell University: Potato Growing Guide
  • University of Florida: Growing Potatoes
Keywords: plant red potatoes, soil red potatoes, grow red potatoes

About this Author

Emma Gin is a freelance writer who specializes in green, healthy and smart living. She is currently working on developing a weight-loss website that focuses on community and re-education. Gin is also working on a collection of short stories, because she knows what they say about idle hands.