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HOW to GROW POTATOES | How to Grow Series

Adirondack Red Potatoes from Garden
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Potatoes are easy to grow and easy to store plus, they are a super versatile food. Find out more on how to grow the best potatoes ever.

Potatoes are a long-standing staple food for many cultures. 

This versatile root crop grows in a wide variety of locations. Potatoes are easy to grow and can be stored long term in a root cellar or cool, dark environment.

They make wonderful potato salads plus they are super versatile and be baked or fried plus they work well in Au Gratin or Scalloped Potato side dishes.

How to Grow Potatoes

Potatoes are not only delicious but also provide necessary vitamins and minerals.

Benefits of Potatoes:  Packed With Nutrients! 

Complete How to Grow Series!

WE WILL COVER:

  1. Soils
  2. Sunlight
  3. Temperature
  4. Chitting Seed Potatoes
  5. Planting instructions
  6. Cold Hardiness
  7. Days to Germinate
  8. Thinning
  9. Varieties
  10. Days to Maturity
  11. Harvesting
  12. How to Store Potatoes
  13. Plus, a few Potato Recipes!
  14. Container Gardening
  15. Printable Growing Handout
Adirondack Red Potatoes from Garden

Find Your Zone:

FREE USDA Hardiness Zone Planting Guide

1. SOILS:

  • Potatoes need well-drained soil with a pH between 6.0 and 7.5 (adjust to higher pH with wood ash or garden limestone)
  • Moist soils but not waterlogged
  • Gardens, Garden Beds, Containers or Pots all work well
  • Just make sure to have deep soil in your containers 
  • Apply Organic All-Purpose Fertilizer
  • Fish Emulsion

Depending on your geographic location, soils vary tremendously and need different soil amendments. Make sure to enrich your garden soil each year!

And, start your own compost pile!

It is easy to find out how to test your soil with this inexpensive soil tester from Amazon.

2. SUNLIGHT:

Potatoes love full sun but they can tolerate a little bit of shade; 6 Hours of full sun should be enough for a healthy crop.

How to Grow Series

3. TEMPERATURE:

Potatoes prefer warmer temperatures but will withstand a very light frost.

4. CHITTING SEED POTATOES:

Chitting is a method of forcing the eyes on the potatoes to begin growing before planting. This can give your spuds a jump start.

To chit, simply place your seed potatoes in a box or egg cartons and set them in a warm, dark location.

In about a week, they start to sprout. Once they have sprouted, move the seed potatoes to a cool location where they can get some sun but will not freeze.

The sprouts will begin to turn green. This is what you want!

5. PLANTING:

Plant your potatoes approximately 2 to 3 weeks before the last scheduled frosts for your area.

Specifics on Planting Potatoes:

Before planting you will need to cut your seed potatoes so each piece has at least 1 eye. I like to leave at least 2 eyes to insure one will sprout.

These cut pieces should be about 2″ in diameter to give the plants a good start.

The eyes of the potatoes grow into the new plants. The potato plant grows up out of the eyes and the roots will grow down.

An entire potato plant will develop from each eye on a potato……simply amazing!!!

  • Make your rows approximately 36″ apart
  • Plant 2 seed potato pieces together about 12″ to 15″ apart when planting in rows
  • Make your hills approximately 24″ apart – individual hills give you plenty of dirt to hill up each plant
  • Plant 3 to 4 potato pieces together when planting in hills – depending on number of eyes on each piece. If you have more eyes on each piece, then plant less pieces
  • All potato pieces need to be at least 3 inches deep
  • Cover with 3″ to 4″ of dirt and tap firm
  • Hand Weed + add a little Mulch to suppress weeds
  • Carefully hill up dirt over potato sprouts as they appear above the soil surface
  • Continue mounding dirt to make a hill over potatoes
Potatoes Growing in Summer
Potatoes Planted in Individual Hills

Make sure to keep developing potatoes covered with dirt as the direct sun and light will cause them to turn green and bitter.

Also, keep the soil moist but not soggy. Mulch really helps suppress weeds as well as retain soil moisture.

 French Watering Cans are especially useful when watering the potato plants in pots and containers.

♦Please Note: add this information to your Gardening Journal.

6. COLD HARDINESS:

Potato plants are not cold hardy. The leaves can handle cool temperatures but they are sensitive to frost.

If the leaves do freeze as the potatoes are sprouting, they will turn brown and die back. But, new growth will soon appear as the days warm.

7. DAYS to SPROUT: approximately 18 days

Potatoes will typically start showing sprouts above the ground in approximately 18 to 21 days depending on the temperature.

8. THINNING: 

Potatoes plants will not need to be thinned if you plan on proper spacing when setting them out.

red, white and purple potatoes
Colorful Freshly Dug New Potatoes

9. VARIETIES: Seed Potatoes

10. DAYS to MATURITY:  50 to 65 days

Dates vary but young new potatoes will mature in approximately 7 to 8 weeks

Potatoes mature at different rates but depending on the variety they generally can start to be harvested in approximately 50 to 60 days.

Huge Adirondack Red Potato

11. HOW to HARVEST: 

  • When your potato plants start to bloom, you can gently dig under each plant for small new potatoes
  • For main crop harvest, wait until the plants die back, then dig your potatoes
  • After digging, air dry potatoes for 2 days in a dry, ventilated area (this cures the skins so they keep longer in storage)

Do not leave the potatoes in the direct sun as they will begin to turn green and bitter.

12. HOW TO STORE POTATOES: 

The debate is to wash or not wash your potatoes prior to storing.

If your potatoes are super muddy and covered in heavy mud, it is advised to spray them off prior to storing.

Make sure to air dry them thoroughly before storing.

  • Best when stored in Cool, Dark Room
  • Store in burlap bags, bins or boxes
  • Store in Root Cellar

Ball Canning and Freezing Resource Book

13. RECIPE IDEAS for Potatoes:

Yukon Gold Potato Salad

Roasted Potatoes & Carrots with Sausage

Twice Baked Potatoes

Scalloped Potatoes

14. HOW to GROW POTATOES in Containers:

Potatoes can be grown in tall pots or growing bags.

  • Fill the bottom of the growing bag with 8″ of potting soil or garden dirt. Place your seed potato pieces evenly on top of the dirt. Cover with 4″ to 6″ of dirt. Water & wait for sprouts to appear.
  • When you see the potato sprouts, cover them with 4″ more inches of soil.
  • Continue covering the sprouts until the growing bag is filled. 
  • The potato plants will leaf out and grow while forming new potatoes underground in the growing bag.
  • You may dig out a few new potatoes when the potato plants begin to flower.
  • Enjoy fresh new potatoes: rinse off any dirt, gently boiled until tender. Serve with a little creamy homemade butter spread and salt. Enjoy!

15. PRINTABLE GUIDE:

Yield: Harvest will depend on number of potatoes planted,

HOW to GROW POTATOES | How to Grow Series

Adirondack Red Potatoes in Garden

Planting Instructions for Potatoes

Active Time 2 months 4 days 4 hours
Total Time 2 months 4 days 4 hours
Difficulty Easy

Materials

  • Seed Potatoes - Cut into small pieces with at least one eye on each piece
  • Fertile Garden Soil
  • Or: Garden Pots or Containers
  • Garden Soil or Growing Medium

Tools

  • Gloves
  • Shovel
  • Rack and Hoe
  • Watering Can or Sprinkler

Instructions

Plant your potatoes approximately 2 to 3 weeks before the last scheduled frosts for your area.

 

Specifics on Planting Potatoes:

Before planting you will need to cut your cut your seed potatoes so each piece has at least 1 eye. I like to leave at least 2 eyes to insure one will sprout. These cut pieces should be about 2" in diameter to give the plants a good start.

The eyes of the potatoes grow into the new plants. The potato plant grows up out of the eyes and the roots will grow down. An entire potato plant will develop from the each eye on a potato......simply amazing!!!

  1. Plant the seed potato pieces in rows 3 feet apart
  2. Seed Potatoes pieces need to be 3 inches deep
  3. Cover with 3" to 4" of dirt and tap firm
  4. Seed potato pieces should be planted 12" to 15" apart in rows
  5. Rows should be 36" apart
  6. Hand Weed or Mulch to suppress weeds
  7. Hill dirt over potato sprouts as they appear above soil surface
  8. Continue mounding dirt to make a hill over potatoes

 

Colorful Garden Potatoes in Garden Wagon
Garden Potato Harvest
Potato Recipes
HOW to GROW POTATOES | How to Grow Series promo image

How to GroPotatoes is part of the How to Grow Series and first appeared on OriginalHomesteading.com

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2 Comments

  • Savannah
    February 24, 2020 at 3:16 pm

    I just found your blog and am so excited! THANK YOU for having a printer friendly version – it is so helpful!

    Reply
    • Original Homesteading
      March 4, 2020 at 2:50 am

      I am so glad that you are finding some helpful information……..Thanks for your note!

      Reply

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