Fortunately potatoes are very adaptable and will almost always produce a respectable crop, even when the soil conditions and growing seasons are less than perfect.Potatoes may be planted as soon as the ground can be worked in the early spring, but keep soil temperatures in mind.A week or two before your planting date, set your seed potatoes in an area where they will be exposed to light and temperatures between 60-70 degrees F. This will begin the sprouting process.A day or two before planting, use a sharp, clean knife to slice the larger seed potatoes into smaller pieces.A good rule of thumb is to plant potatoes whole if they are smaller in size than a golf ball.Plant each piece of potato (cut side down, with the eyes pointing up) every 12-15 inches, with the rows spaced 3 feet apart.During this flowering period the plants are creating their tubers and a steady water supply is crucial to good crop outcome.When the foliage turns yellow and begins to die back, discontinue watering.Gently dig around the plants to remove potatoes for fresh eating, being careful not to be too intrusive.If the weather during harvest is wet and rainy, allow the potatoes to cure in a dry protected area like a garage or covered porch.If you are looking for maximum yields it is best to start with fresh, USDA Certified Seed Stock every year.

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How to Grow Potatoes

Botanical Name Solanum tuberosum Common Name Potato, Irish potato Plant Type Annual tuberous vegetable Size 1 1/2 to 3 ft. tall; similar spread Sun Exposure Full sun Soil Type Loamy Soil pH Acidic (5.0 to 6.0) Hardiness Zones Annual vegetable grown in zones 3-10 Native Area Andes regions of South America Toxicity Leaves are toxic.It's fairly easy to grow potatoes successfully if you follow some basic guidelines:.You plant these at the same time, but the late-season variety is harvested several weeks after you've already dug the main season potatoes.Attempting to plant potatoes purchased from the grocery store is a gamble.Besides the disease problem, potatoes are often treated with a growth inhibitor to keep them from sprouting.These are in the same nightshade family as potatoes and can attract similar pests and problems.Add soil to the hill whenever the plants reach about 4 to 6 inches in height.Scatter method: Some gardeners prefer to simply lay the seed potatoes right on the soil and then cover them with a few inches of mulch.They can handle part shade, but it's the lush top growth that feeds the tubers underground.Hilling is done to prevent this, which is simply mounding soil up near the stem of the plant as it grows.If you have a good amount of organic matter in the soil and the pH is neutral to acidic, the potatoes should be happy.If you have soil that is heavy in clay, you will need to prepare it down to the depth where the potato tubers will grow.They are sensitive to drought conditions, especially when they flower, as that is the peak time for forming the potato tubers.Summer crops do best in areas where the summers are cool, as the potato tubers grow best when the soil temperature is 60 to 70 degrees Fahrenheit, and stop growing when the soil hits 80 degrees Fahrenheit.Mulching around the plant, such as with a thick layer of straw, can keep the soil as much as 10 degrees Fahrenheit cooler.Areas with hot summers often plant potatoes as a winter crop.Every couple of weeks, give them a feeding with diluted liquid fertilizer or fish emulsion.There are more than 100 varieties of potatoes commonly sold, generally divided into three categories:.‘Mountain Rose’ has red skin and pink flesh; it is known to be resistant to some viruses.A member of the nightshade family of plants, potatoes contain alkaloid compounds in the leaves and other green parts, which can cause cell disruption leading to digestive symptoms including vomiting, abdominal pain, and diarrhea.Even the edible roots have very small amounts of these compounds, though cooking generally destroys most of the toxins.But potatoes with green skins or black spoiled areas should be thrown away.And the eyes, which contain larger concentrations of the toxic alkaloids, should be cut out and thrown away.Pets, people, or grazing animals that eat copious amounts of potato foliage and stems may get seriously ill, or even die.Because potatoes can rot if the soil is too cool or wet, many gardeners prefer to allow the cut pieces to callus over by leaving them exposed overnight.Expect to wait two to four months (up to 120 days) for potatoes to reach their full size.The tubers can branch out, and digging in with a fork is a sure-fire way of stabbing a potato or two.Scab is a common potato disease that looks like raised, corky areas on the skin or sunken holes on the surface.is a common potato disease that looks like raised, corky areas on the skin or sunken holes on the surface.Late blight (the cause of the Irish potato famine) turns the foliage black, then moldy.It can be done in a tall container, such as a clean garbage can, whiskey barrel, or a 5-gallon pail; or in a planting bag designed for this purpose.Put about 6 inches of soil in the bottom first, then spread out your seed potatoes.Peat is lighter to work with and the acidic pH prevents potato scab disease. .

Do Potatoes Need Light to Grow?

To successfully grow potatoes, you need to provide them with the right site, soil and water for proper growth.Mulching helps soil retain moisture and shields the potatoes from the sunlight that can turn them green.Potato tubers that receive too much sun turn green because of a substance known as solanine, reports Texas A&M University Aggie Horticulture.They can also turn green from being exposed to artificial lights, like those in the grocery store, for a prolonged period of time. .

Planting Potatoes the How To Guide – West Coast Seeds

When these sprout below the soil, they grow vertically upward, and once they reach the surface they become the stem and leafy upper portion of the plant.The potato grower needs to maximize the amount of contact between the stolons and the soil, and there are a few different ways to make this happen.The traditional farming method of planting potatoes is to dig a series of trenches about 6” deep.If you were to place a seed potato right on the bare ground and cover it with a 6” high pile of soil, it will sprout just fine.Typically, you can count on harvesting ten times more potatoes by weight than you plant.With some conscientious hilling up, and in nicely fertile soil, you can expect as much as 15 times the weight planted.Consider using straw as your hilling up material, because it will keep the soil cooler and moister as the plants develop, and it makes a great addition to the compost heap at the end of the season.For storage potatoes, wait until the plants wither and turn brown, and then leave them in the soil for a further 3 weeks as their skins firm up.You can brush soil off your harvested spuds, but don’t wash them – the extra moisture is not good for storage.Check your stored potatoes frequently throughout winter, and remove any that are turning soft or looking mouldy. .

Growing Potatoes: How to Plant & Harvest Potatoes

How to Grow Potatoes 7 steps for planting, harvesting and storing potatoes at home By Kevin Lee Jacobs FREE WEEKLY NEWSLETTER: Plants, Design Ideas, Gardening Solutions & More!But in my experience, containers like these require constant attention to watering, and yield smaller harvests than growing in a raised bed.I achieve an enormous harvest—enough to feed two for nearly a year—by planting potatoes in two 4'-x-8' raised beds.The tubers are wildly productive in the well-draining, rock-free soil the beds provide, and the vines require deep watering only once each week.Of all the root vegetables I grow, it is the potatoes that give me the biggest thrill at harvest time.I love to stick my hands in the soil and retrieve the buried bounty, with a yield of eight to ten potatoes for every one that I plant.Step 2: Separate the Eyes Only small, golf ball-sized potatoes should be planted whole.I cut mine so that each segment has two or three "eyes" (the little bumps from which sprouts emerge, as shown in the photo).Either set them out in the sun, or place them on a table or counter in a warm (about 70°F), moderately lit room for three to five days.Gardeners in warm climates often plant around Valentine’s Day, while those in cooler areas may get them into the ground near Easter, or early spring.A good rule of thumb is to aim for 3-4 weeks prior to your last frost date.The closet in my mudroom doesn’t cool off until the outside temperatures plunges to 45° at night.After digging the tubers, I let them sit on top of the raised beds for a few hours to dry, as illustrated.Then I gently brush off any loose soil from the tubers, and place them in double thicknesses of paper bags.If you don’t want to bother with hilling, plant your potatoes 8-9 inches deep.To reduce the chance of infection, never plant potatoes (or tomatoes and other members of the nightshade family, such as eggplants or chili peppers) in the same patch of land without leaving an interval of at least three years.The disease overwinters in tubers left behind during the previous year’s harvest. .

How to Plant Seed Potatoes in the Ground, in Pots, & in Straw

Plus, with the long storage life of potatoes and the myriad of ways you can prepare them, they are a must-grow crop for many gardeners.Most often, they are saved from last year’s harvest and stored over the winter under exacting conditions to keep them firm and disease free.Rather than saving some of your own harvest for replanting the next year, I recommend purchasing new certified disease-free seed potatoes at the start of each growing season.Purchasing and planting certified seed potatoes is the only way to ensure a “clean” crop.You can force a seed potato to sprout prior to cutting it up by putting it in a well-lit place at room temperature for a few days (just not in direct sunlight).Using a clean knife, cut the seed potatoes into pieces two to three days before you plan to plant them.Whether or not they have sprouted, let the seed potatoes sit at room temperature in a single layer so their cut tissue can callus over.At the very least, it makes harvesting very difficult at the end of the growing season because the potatoes are buried so deeply.Basically, every three to four weeks, use a shovel or hoe to pile nearby soil up against the stems, covering the plants so just a few leaves stick out the top.Don’t worry about burying them too deeply; as long as some of the plant is visible, it will keep growing (plus, it keeps the weeds down).Plus, the developing tubers are kept in the dark, which keeps them from turning into green potatoes (and potentially making you sick with the solanine they contain.It’s easy to do, and though the yields are often slightly smaller than growing seed potatoes in the ground, it’s the perfect option for anyone who is looking to save labor, too.That means if you use a container around the size of a 5-gallon utility bucket, you can plant 2 seed potato pieces inside.Be sure the container has drainage holes in it and use a high quality potting soil with a fertilizer mixed 50/50 with compost.When thinking about how to plant seed potatoes in containers, you should also consider using fabric grow bags for the job.These lightweight containers drain easily, are inexpensive, and keep plant roots from circling inside the pots.Some brands even have designs with flaps that open on the side of the grow bag to make potato harvesting a snap.In this video, Tara shows you how to plant potatoes in a unique container growing system.As they sprout and grow, gradually add more soil mix to the container every week or two until the pot is filled to within an inch of the upper rim.Growing seed potatoes in straw is an excellent and easy way to get lots of spuds with minimal work.Some gardeners who plant seed potatoes in straw don’t even bury them at all; they simply toss the pieces on top of the soil.And check out this article for information on a unique small-space potato-growing method that uses a wire cylinder lined with newspaper to grow a bumper crop of spuds. .

Sweet Potatoes: Planting, Growing, and Harvesting Sweet Potatoes

Though traditionally more of a Southern crop, there are many short-season varieties of sweet potato today which will grow in the North (even parts of Canada!).Just a few plants can produce a generous harvest of this orange-fleshed vegetable, which can be stored even longer than winter squash.Technically, they are NOT a true yam which is a giant dry tuber from Africa, sometimes found in specialty shops. .

Growing Potatoes in North Texas

Give the humble potato (Solanum tuberosum) a place in your vegetable garden.“A nutritional mother lode, potatoes are easy to grow as long as they have full sun, moderate temperatures, and light, rich, acidic, well-drained soil.Try varieties with colors, shapes and flavors you won’t find in the supermarket.” (Cornell University Vegetable Growing guide).A bit of powdered sulfur (antifungal) mixed with moist peat moss or saw dust, can be used for longer term storage of the cut potatoes if needed.Small seed potatoes can be left whole or cut once depending on the eyes and weight.Cuttings that weigh approximately two ounces are considered best because smaller potato seeds may not have enough energy reserve to support growth.Note: Approximately 3 pounds of seed potatoes are needed for two – fifteen foot rows.Potatoes can be grown in a raised bed home garden, in field rows and in containers.Photosynthesis for sugar to form potatoes needs mildly cool to warm temperatures to grow well.As daytime temperatures reach or exceed 90 degrees Fahrenheit (F) each day (around the first of June in North Texas), most sugar storage stops in potato plants.In the Dallas – Fort Worth and Denton areas, the average date for the last frost is the 20th – 25th of March.The 15-5-10 will move down into the soil with watering and rain as the potato grows and is better for stem and leaf production.Too much water enlarges the pores on the tubers and makes them rot easily in storage (Joseph Masabni, Assistant Professor and Extension Horticulturist, The Texas A&M University System “Easy Gardening Potatoes“).Prepare a field that is well drained and do not plant potatoes in low places where water will stand.Laying by: As potato plants reach 6 to 8 inches above the soil, side dressing can be done with 15-5-10 fertilizer and about 2 more inches of dirt can be pulled up to the growing vines while pulling the fertilizer (side dressing) to the row using a row former.Harvest: Using a row splitter, run about 10 inches deep to turnout and expose the potatoes.Irish potatoes should be air dried at a temperature of 75 to 85 degrees F. in a dark area with good humidity 75% or greater.To allow proper curing, potatoes need air circulation but no long term exposure to light.Home & Garden Information Center, HGIC 1317 Potato, Clemson Cooperative Extension.Guest contributor: Nat Mills Ph.D., is a Professor in the Department of Biology at Texas Woman’s University.He grew up on a farm in South Central Kentucky where the family raised several garden vegetables each year. .

How to Grow Potatoes That Will Thrive in a Sunny Spot in Your Yard

Each product we feature has been independently selected and reviewed by our editorial team.Whether you want to plant a big crop of spuds or just a few in a container, these tips and tricks will help you raise a healthy potato harvest.So it should come as no surprise that it's just as easy to skip the produce section and start growing potatoes in your own yard.Take your pick from russet, Yukon, fingerling, and more varieties, and get your potato patch started so you can enjoy all their starchy goodness fresh from your garden.If the foliage turns yellow and begins to die back, stop watering to prepare for harvest time.This is called "earthing up" or "hilling," and it helps produce a bigger potato crop.However, if you have some potatoes that are beginning to sprout (the "eyes" have swollen, whitish shoots beginning to develop), simply plant a piece of the sprouting potato in the ground or in a roomy pot ($3, Lowe's) covered with 3 inches of soil.Large baking potato plants take much longer to mature and often produce poorly in areas with hot summer weather. .

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