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How to Start Seed Potatoes

By Lauren Wise ; Updated September 21, 2017
Seed potatoes are an ideal way to grow your own crop of spuds.
seed potatoes image by hazel proudlove from Fotolia.com

Potatoes have a long history in many cultures as being a staple food, not only in times of need and famine but also as gourmet staples. Most seed potatoes are cool season varieties, but depending on your planting time and region, you can grow potatoes from USDA zone 3 all the way south. Seed potatoes are the key to growing potatoes as these are what you start with. The key is to prepare the soil correctly and choose the ideal planting time for your potato seed variety.

Pick a planting site that receives full sun with loose, well-drained soil. The ideal soil is a combination of high potassium and phosphorus and low nitrogen.

Dig holes for each potato piece that is 8 inches deep and about 1 inch apart. Remove and discard of any debris you encounter such as rocks and broken roots. Work in a generous amount of compost. In zone 6 and colder, plant seed potatoes right before the last expected frost. Zones 7 and 9 plant seed potatoes from February to March. In the southern regions, plant seed potatoes in September.

Cut seed potatoes larger than 2 inches wide in half. Plant them cut-side down so the stems will grow up to the surface, forming potatoes along the way.

Backfill the seed potato holes with the excess soil, keeping it light and loose on top. Water thoroughly after planting.


Things You Will Need

  • Trowel
  • Compost
  • Knife