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How to Plant Potatoes in Georgia

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Georgia's climate is well-suited to growing most varieties of potatoes; you can start as early as February in the southern third of the state. Midwinter is about the earliest you can plant potatoes in most of Georgia. The farther north in the state you live, however, the later you will need to plant your crops. Gardeners in the middle of the state should plant in March, and northern Georgia gardeners should plant in early April.

Buy certified seed potatoes from your local garden center, nursery or farmer's market. You can also buy organic potatoes to use as seed potatoes. Commercial potatoes usually are treated with growth inhibitors, so they are not good for planting.

Place the seed potatoes in a single layer in a warm, sunny spot for about two to three weeks. This process is called "greening" and gives your potatoes a head start, similar to germinating seeds before planting them in your garden. Do this around mid-January so you can plant by early February.

Prepare your planting area. Work the soil with a garden fork or tiller to a depth of about 10 inches. This aerates the soil and makes it easier for the potatoes to grow and produce crops. Spread a 6-inch layer of compost over the bed, and blend it in to the soil.

Cut the potatoes so that there are two to three sprouts on each piece. Dig planting holes that are 6 inches deep, and space them about 10 inches apart. Place a single potato piece in each hole, and mound the soil over it to create 5-inch-tall hills. Water the area thoroughly so that the soil is moist.

Water the potato plants regularly, about twice a week or so, to keep the soil from drying out. Check the height of the plants after about two or three weeks. Once they get about 10 inches tall, bury all but the top 4 inches of the plant. Repeat this process every time the plants reach this height.

Use a 10-20-10 formula fertilizer to feed the potatoes once a month. Apply the fertilizer using the instructions on the packaging. You can harvest the potatoes by June or July.

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