How Do You Plant Seed Potatoes for an Amazing, Bountiful Harvest

The new year has begun and thoughts of a garden are turning in your head, but you think you’ve got time to plan. But, wait! What can I grow early? How do you plant seed potatoes for an easy crop, save money, and have the joy of a harvest?

joyful girl sitting outside with a basket tipped over with potatoes from the harvest

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Where do you get seed potatoes?

There are local areas that carry seed potatoes and you can purchase them online. I have purchased locally and online.

What month do I plant seed potatoes?

When planting seed potatoes will depend on where you live. Planting about 2-4 weeks before the last frost is a good time. Potatoes are a cool-season crop and they do well in cool weather. Check out The Old Farmer’s Almanac for your frost dates and find your planting zone.

How do you prepare seed potatoes for planting?

A couple of days before planting you can cut the bigger seed potatoes into smaller ones with at least 1-2 eye buds. You can also do what’s called chitting. This is setting the potatoes in a warm place and allowing the eyes to sprout long shoots. Or on planting day get the seed potatoes in the ground without doing anything!

Do you need to cut seed potatoes before planting?

It isn’t necessary to cut seed potatoes before planting. Putting the whole seed potato into the ground is quick and easy. We have grown potatoes both ways.

Cutting them in half with at least 1-2 eyes can double your harvest!

Can I grow potatoes from the store-bought potatoes?

Regular potatoes have sprout inhibitors which prevent them from sprouting eyes. Organic won’t have the sprout inhibitor, but you want to ensure a disease-free potato.

Purchase organic potatoes from the store and put them in the fridge and store them for at least one month so they will be dormant. Remove them about 6-8 weeks before your last frost date. Set the potatoes in a warm light area and let the eyes sprout. Then, plant 2-4 weeks before your last frost date.

Can I just put a potato in the ground?

A potato that has eyes sprouted is needed for growth, and seed potatoes have been dormant for a few months, are disease-free, they are ready for planting. If you do get sprouts, plant them in a pot, or somewhere you don’t want other plants affected as they may cause disease for other plants.

Once you grow your potatoes, save some to make seed potatoes the next year.

How many seed potatoes should I plant?

It would depend on how much you eat. The yield for each seed potato you plant will be about 1-2lbs. 8-12 potatoes.

How do you plant seed potatoes
close view of a hundred potatoes laid out on a table. How do you plant seed potatoes?

How long do seed potatoes take to grow?

When the leaves of the plant start to die in about 80-100 days to harvest. Harvesting a few potatoes at a time or pull up the whole plant which is about 8-12 potatoes.

How do you plant seed potatoes?

  1. Lightly till and section out the rows. 4×16 ft bed or as long as you want. (in a raised bed or directly in the ground)
  2. Make rows 6-7 inches apart across your 4ft bed
  3. Dig 4 inches deep,
  4. 4 potatoes will fit across a 4ft bed, cover back with the 4 inches then add 2 inches over the potatoes. They are a heavy feeder. add compost, and rabbit manure, Make sure the potato stays covered. Additional hilling may be necessary.
green potato plant with mulch close to harvest

Potatoes are a heavy feeder

Amend your soil to a ph of…. 4.8-6.0. Add fertilizer and compost to your potatoes. We make our compost and we use rabbit manure on the potatoes. Growing a cover crop during the winter over the whole garden will add nutrients to the soil. When the potato plants start to emerge, add mulch or straw to control weeds…or weed them by pulling them out.

What kind of potatoes do I plant?

  • Red Pontiac
  • Yukon Gold
  • Kennebec

Shop locally and online stores have great selections. Tractor Supply and our feed store have potatoes. Also, Wood Prairie Family Farm has a great selection of seed potatoes.

What kind of pest control do I use?

Colorado potato beetles are a pest in my area. I use neem oil and also Monterey Garden Insect Spray. You can also try cayenne pepper. Planting marigolds throughout your potato crop will also help control pests.

How do you cure potatoes?

  • Brush off minimal dirt so you do not damage the skin. Do not wash them!
  • Separate different varieties
  • For two weeks store them in a dark cool place 45-60 degrees Fahrenheit with 85-95 percent humidity.

How do you store potatoes?

Store potatoes at 45-50 degrees in a ventilated, cool, dark, and dry place. A basement or garage away from onions. Potatoes store for about three months. Storing them in the fridge can change the flavor because the starch will convert to sugar.

I plan to cure a little differently this year. It’s hard to cure in my climate so I am considering after harvest reburying them with 5-6 inches of soil and covering them. It’s been difficult curing them in my house during the summer. Potatoes seem to last about three months so I am hoping to try for a longer storage.

harvesting potatoes
baked potato sitting on a white plate with butter

Potatoes are an easy crop to grow, I hope you plant them and enjoy the harvest. The flavor is so much better than store-bought. And you’ll have a jump start on the spring growing season and look forward to that wonderful harvest and buttery potato.

planting seed potatoes

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