How to Plant Potato Seeds


Potato seeds are also known as "seed potatoes," as they are pieces of potato that have eye growth, which will develop into a potato plant. If you cut your own potato seeds from a potato, make sure the pieces contain one to two good eyes (sprouts). If you purchase your seed potatoes, you must examine them to make sure that they, also, have at least one to two good eye sprouts. Whether you cut your own seeds, or purchase them, allow the pieces to sit in a dry, sunny location for 48 hours before planting. Putting your seed potatoes in the ground is easily done by following a few simple steps.

Step 1

Choose a suitable location for your seed potatoes to be planted. Potatoes like cool temperatures and soil with good drainage.

Step 2

Dig a row for your potatoes with a hoe or a shovel. Dig the row 4 to 5 inches deep. The length of the row depends upon how many potato plants you wish to have, as there should be a 12-inch space between each plant. If you intend to plant several rows of potatoes, space the rows 24 inches apart.

Step 3

Place the seed potato 2 to 3 inches into the soil, with the eye facing upward.

Step 4

Cover with soil, and mound the soil upward so that it is in a "heap" over the potato seed. The University of Illinois Extension recommends that as the potato plant grows upward, you continue pulling more soil up into a heap around the plant to protect the young potatoes from heat damage as they grow beneath. You can add mulch, such as straw or hay, to the heaped soil around the potato plant if you wish.

Tips and Warnings

  • Do not plant the seed potatoes in soil that is wet, as it can cause the potatoes to rot before they can sprout, especially if there is still a chance of frost in your area.

Things You'll Need

  • Hoe or shovel
  • Hay or straw (optional)


  • University of Illinois Extension: Watch Your Garden Grow: Potatoes
  • Garden Gate Magazine: Planting Potatoes
Keywords: planting potato seeds, planting seed potatoes, plant potatoes

About this Author

A freelance writer for over 12 years, Traci Vandermark has written extensively on health and fitness topics. She is a student of health, fitness and nutrition at the International Institute Of Holistic Healing, certified by the American Association of Nutritional Consultants. Her articles have appeared in Catskill Country Magazine, The Lookout Magazine, Capper's, Birds and Blooms and Country Discoveries, to name a few.