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How to plant potatoes

Planting potatoes signals the beginning of the gardening season… and that’s my favorite time of year! Potatoes are super easy to grow and produce a high yield compared to what you pay to plant them (or buy them) They last a long time if stored in a cool, dark, dry environment. They’re a great plant for beginning gardeners… so let’s see how we do it.

how to plant potatoes

Prepare your seed potatoes.

You do this by cutting the potato into planting pieces each of which contains one or more eye. The eyes are the indentations from which sprouts will grow. You will probably find your seed potatoes have already sprouted a little. (ours always are).

Allow each piece to dry and the cuts to callous over for a few days before planting. Again, we aren’t always as patient as we should be… we’ll probably leave these for 24 hours before we plant them.

Planting Potatoes

Dig out a trench or furrow to plant your seeds in.  Sow seed pieces 18 inches apart and 3 to 4 inches deep with the eyes facing up, in rows spaces 2 and a half feet apart. When plants are 5 to 6 inches tall fill the trenches in and cover the plants with soil to prevent exposure to the light that will turn the potatoes green and inedible.

Add a generous layer of straw 10-12 inches deep to insulate the soil and keep the potatoes cook and moist. Keep them well watered and weed free. Monitor for insects and disease problems.

Harvesting and Storage of Potatoes

For highest yields and best storage, potatoes should not be dug up until two weeks after the vines are dead. This allows the skins to set and reduces peeling, bruising and rot in storage. When harvesting at temperatures above 80 degrees potatoes should be picked up immediately and put in a cool dark place.

How many potatoes will you get?

A good yield for 3 pounds of seed potatoes will be 30 to 40 pounds of usable potatoes from a 50 foot row.

A good yield for 5 pound of seed potatoes will be 50 to 75 pounds of usable potatoes from  50 feet of row.

So there you have it… how to plant potatoes. 

I’d love to hear how it goes for you… feel free to leave a comment and tell me your potato story!

jackie lee

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