Potatoes: How To Plant, Grow, & Harvest Potatoes

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One thing my mother taught me was the fact that if you can grow and harvest potatoes, you will never starve. She was so right! The bonus is that you can replant and have continuous crops forever. Of course, you must buy good potato seeds and have great soil. If you buy the best seeds the first time, such as certified Organic and non-GMO, the seeds will keep on giving for years, if not forever.

My first crop of the year is planted around the end of March for my Memorial Day picking. My grandkids sometimes come that time of year and they love to “dig” for potatoes. They giggle as they dig and find more and more potatoes. There is nothing better than freshly picked potatoes that you bake, mash, or fry with butter.

Please keep in mind the seeds sell out fast, you may not be able to get any right now. Just giving you the heads up. Typically you need to order them in the early spring. This is why it is critical we save potato seeds to use year after year.

Potato Seed Varieties

Early Season

  1. All Red
  2. Dark Red Noland
  3. Purple Viking

Mid-Season

  1. Amarosa Fingerling
  2. Katahdin
  3. Reba
  4. Red Chieftan
  5. Yukon Gem
  6. Yukon Gold

Late-Season

  1. Burbank Russet
  2. German Butterball
  3. Rose Finn Apple
  4. Russian Banana

Soil Amendments/Planting Tips

  1. Organic Compost
  2. Miracle Grow Potting Soil
  3. Azomite
  4. Worm Casings
  5. I prep my soil in the spring and in the fall
  6. I never fertilize once they are planted
  7. No bug spray is required if you purchase good seeds and use good soil
  8. Please plant in the sunshine
  9. The temperature must be 45 degrees for the seeds and plants to thrive
  10. They are cool weather plants
  11. Soil must have a pH5.8 to 6.5
  12. Dig the holes at least 4-6 inches deep to plant the seeds with the eyes facing upwards
  13. Cover with soil and continue to build up the soil
  14. Potatoes will become green if exposed to sunshine
  15. The soil must be wet, but not waterlogged
  16. Choose Organic, nonGMO seeds
  17. When the little plants reach 8 inches tall, start building up the soil around them
  18. Rotate where you plant them every three years
  19. You can start digging about 2-3 weeks after the flowers bloom
  20. It’s easier to dig for potatoes in dry soil if you have rain delay digging
  21. Don’t wash your plants if you are going to store them
  22. In order to “cure” potatoes for the winter, store them in a humid room at 55 degrees for two weeks
  23. If planting in the ground, plant about 2-3 feet apart
  24. You can plant them with a little soil then cover with straw (easy to dig for potatoes)
  25. Let the cut fleshy section of the potato with the “eye” dry before planting

Where I buy my seeds: Organic Non-GMO Seeds

Where You Can Grow Them

  1. Raised garden beds with good soil
  2. 18-inch deep pots with good soil
  3. In the ground, if the soil is loamy, you will trench at least 12-inches deep to look for rocks or debris
  4. Heavy-duty bags filled with amended soil
  5. Black garbage bags are not good to use
  6. You can build a wooden box without a top about 18-inches tall and 18-inches in diameter (easy for harvesting)
  7. Square-foot gardening is great for planting these

Planting The Best Potatoes

As stated above, dig the holes at least 4-6 inches deep to plant the seeds with the eyes facing upwards. Cover with soil and water the soil, but do not over water.

Planting Potatoes

Potato Plants

You can see these how these have started to flower below.

Potatoes

Harvest Potatoes

Wait until the leaves have withered and died back before you harvest your mature potatoes. You can use your hands with gloves or a small pitchfork, but be careful as to not puncture the skins. You can still eat the damaged ones, but they will not be good for storing through the winter.

Digging Potatoes

I hope you can harvest potatoes that you can grow and then save the seeds for next summer. There is nothing more exciting than seeing those plants peek through the soil. Please be prepared for the unexpected. May God Bless you and your family.

My Favorite Soil Amendments:

Azomite Micronized Bag, 44 lb

FibreDust Coco Coir Block

Unco Industries Wiggle Worm Soil Builder Earthworm Castings Organic Fertilizer, 15-Pound

Miracle-Gro Nature’s Care Organic Bone Meal, 3 lb.

Espoma VM8 8-Quart Organic Vermiculite

Copyright pictures:

Rows of potatoes: AdobeStock_42370722 by Digitalpress

Planting seeds: AdobeStock_152938221 by Fotoduets

Mature plants: AdobeStock_60611786 by Ruud Morijn

Harvesting: AdobeStock_43713997 by Imaginatino

Harvested: AdobeStock_70962287 by Pixavrl

Growth Chart: AdobeStock_113417338 by KazaKova Maryla

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4 thoughts on “Potatoes: How To Plant, Grow, & Harvest Potatoes

  • October 1, 2018 at 5:58 pm
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    Great article especially the sentence about “if you grow potatoes you will never starve” It is so important to be self sufficent & not have to depend on someone else for you next meal. Read the book 1 minute after… that will convince everyone to be on their own….so important

    Reply
    • October 1, 2018 at 7:14 pm
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      Hi, Tom, thank you for your kind words. I wish everyone would read that book, One Second After, the prescriptions and the cars not working makes you really think. Also, people change when they get hungry and not in a good way. My other favorite book is Lights Out by Ted Koppel. Our government is so unprepared for a grid down. Good grief!! May God bless this world. Thanks again, Linda

      Reply
  • October 2, 2018 at 8:29 pm
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    Do you cut the potato eye’s into individual sections? We have done this for several generations. Be sure to allow the cut fleshy side to dry a little bit before planting. You can get a lot more seedlings that way which results in more potato’s.

    Reply
    • October 2, 2018 at 8:34 pm
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      Hi Emm, thanks for reminding me about letting the potato pieces dry, I cut them and then let them dry on the counter before planting. I’m going to add that to the list. I have never cut the eyes into sections, do you do that? I just make sure I have one eye per hole. Thanks for commenting, Linda

      Reply

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