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How to Make a Potato Plant

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How to Make a Potato Plant

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Overview

While you might see tiny sprouts poking hopefully out of potatoes in your vegetable bin, those will not help you make potato plants. Most potatoes sold in supermarkets are sprayed with chemicals that impede growth. Plants that grow from these potatoes will likely not be very vigorous or healthy, and may have problems with disease. In order to make potato plants, you need to obtain certified disease-free seed potatoes from a reputable garden supplier. Properly planted and tended, you should be able to grow many delicious potatoes from the potatoes you plant.

Step 1

Decide which type of potato you would like to grow. This decision may be aided by thinking about when you would like to harvest your potatoes: early, mid-season, or late. Different varieties are available for each harvesting range.

Step 2

Cut your seed potatoes into pieces, making sure each has an eye. Place each seed potato piece on top of the soil you have just cultivated, with the eye facing up. They should be between 10 and 12 inches apart from one another.

Step 3

Cover the potatoes with straw and water them. The straw should cover the potatoes by at least 4 to 6 inches. You should also place straw in between the potato seed pieces.

Step 4

Replace any straw that begins to break down naturally over the course of the season. Pull any weeds that may form, although the straw will act as an effective weed deterrent.

Step 5

Harvest your potato plants carefully by moving some of the straw away from their bases and plucking the potatoes from the roots of the plant. Potatoes are tubers, which are where the potato plant stores its energy. With this planting method, you will find them growing underneath the straw but above the ground. This results in more nicely shaped tubers and easier harvesting for you as you grow them.

Tips and Warnings

  • The University of Illinois Extension recommends against saving potatoes from your crops to use as seed potatoes. They also recommend against using potatoes from your supermarket as seed potatoes. The reason for this is that none of these potatoes will have been certified disease free, and potato plants are particularly vulnerable to disease.

Things You'll Need

  • Certified disease-free seed potatoes
  • Straw
  • Paring knife
  • Ruler

References

  • University of Illinois Extension: Potato
Keywords: plant potatoes, growing potato plants, making potato plants

About this Author

Amrita Chuasiriporn is a professional cook, baker, and writer. In addition to cooking and baking for a living, Chuasiriporn has written for several online publications. These include Chef's Blade, CraftyCrafty, and others. Additionally, Chuasiriporn is a regular contributor to online automotive enthusiast publication CarEnvy.ca. Chuasiriporn holds an A.A.S. in culinary arts, as well as a B.A. in Spanish language and literature.