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.
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.
Spread the cut red potato chunks on a flat surface to dry for two days.
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.
Mix the excavated soil with an equal amount of compost.
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.
Cover the potatoes with enough soil to form a slight ridge along the trench.
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.