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 Potato Grows

As the potato plant grows, its compound leaves manufacture starch that is transferred to the ends of its underground stems (or stolons). .

How to Grow Potatoes — Seed Savers Exchange Blog

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.


How to Plant, Grow, and Harvest Potatoes

Grow potatoes in fall, winter, and spring in hot summer southern regions.Plant potatoes as early as 4 to 6 weeks before the average last frost in spring or any time after the soil temperature warms to 40°F (4.4°C).Potatoes need 75 to 135 or more cool, frost-free days to reach harvest depending on the variety.Harvest late winter or spring-planted potatoes before daily temperatures average 80°F (27°C).Loosen the soil to 18 inches (45cm) deep or grow potatoes in raised or mounded beds.Do not grow potatoes where the soil is compacted, heavy with clay, or constantly wet.Potatoes need 75 to 135 or more cool, frost-free days to reach harvest depending on the variety.Potato varieties are classified according to the number of days they require to come to harvest.Grow a variety that can come to harvest in cool to mild, not hot, weather.Early potatoes are the best choice for southern regions where summers become very warm or hot.“Midseason” varieties require 90 to 135 cool days to reach harvest.“Late-season” (also called long season) varieties require 135 to 160 cool days to reach harvest.Late-season potatoes are a good choice for northern regions where the weather stays mild all summer.In mild summer regions, you can plant early, mid-season, and late-maturing cultivars in spring for an extended harvest season.If you live where winters are mild and summers are hot, plant late-season potatoes in winter for harvest in mid to late spring before the weather turns hot, or plant early-season potatoes in late summer for a fall crop.In tropical and subtropical regions potatoes can be grown all year round, although they are best planted in summer and autumn for harvest before the rainy season.Potatoes are highly productive and can yield 6 to 8 pounds (3-4kg) of tubers per square yard (meter).Potatoes need 75 to 135 or more cool, frost-free days to reach harvest depending on the variety.You can plant seed potatoes whole, or cut them to about the size of a medium egg, with two or three buds apiece.Two or three weeks before planting, set seed potatoes in a bright, 65° to 70°F (18-21°C) place to encourage sprouting.When seedlings (developing sprouts) emerge, add the remaining 2 inches (5cm) of soil to the hole or trench.Potatoes also can be planted on top of the ground if they are covered with a 12-inch (30cm) thick mulch of straw or hay.Don’t grow potatoes where any of these vegetables have grown in the past four years.When plants grow from 8 to 10 inches (20-5cm)all, add enough soil to cover all but the top 2 or 3 sets of leaves.Continue this process until the maturity date for the variety you are growing then harvest.Avoid planting potatoes near cucumbers, pumpkins, squash, sunflowers, tomatoes, or raspberries.Keep potatoes evenly moist but not wet; water before the soil dries out.Protect the tubers from light by “hilling up” soil when the green shoots or stems are about 4 to 5 inches (10.12.5cm) tall.Surface-planted potatoes can be filled by piling mulch deeply around the plant; you can use straw or composted leaves rather than soil.Handpick both adults and larvae Colorado potato beetles and destroy them.Potato stems and leaves turn brown and flowers fade as tubers below ground mature.Lift potatoes gently to avoid bruising or damaging the skins.To harvest mature tubers, wait until the tops of the plants die back.Leave the tubers in the ground for a few weeks after the tops die back; this will allow the skins to toughen and the potatoes will store better.Use damaged potatoes immediately and store the rest in a dark, dry place, with good air circulation.Set tubers in a single layer in a dark place at 50° to 60°F (10-15°C) for two weeks to cure.Potatoes will also store well in the ground as long as the weather is not too wet or warm.Potato flesh may be white or match the skin color: red, yellow, or blue.Dry potatoes are good for baking and mashing (varieties include ‘Russet Burbank’ and ‘Butte’).Moist potatoes fall apart when cooked; they are a good choice for soups.‘Red Norland’: early season; use boiled, steamed, mashed, or in salads. .

growing potatoes organically: when and how to plant, hill and

A FRIEND I BUY seed potatoes with and I were scratching our heads as we filled out the order form, blanking on the line where it said “preferred ship date.” How early do we want them to arrive, we asked ourselves as we do every year.Many companies ship extra-early, based on rough frost-date estimates for each area that may not be exactly what’s going on at your place, but is that really when I want the starts to arrive?I asked for advice from Alley Swiss of Filaree Garlic Farm, a longtime certified-organic farmer in Okanogan, Washington, whose main crops—garlic, shallots and potatoes—are favorites in my garden, too.(You might recall the popular garlic-growing Q&A Alley and I did together, and our later garlic-growing piece in my column in “The New York Times.” I’ve learned a lot from our ongoing conversations–including that it’s OK to wait a little while for the seed potatoes to arrive.).When is the right time to plant—is there a cue in nature to remind us, or a soil temperature or calendar date we’re looking for?If your potatoes do get a heavy frost after they emerge, they will put up new shoots, but every time they die back they will produce a smaller and later harvest.I like to wait for the soil to warm up a little at which point they emerge quickly and grow steadily without stress.Late March to early May is a good time to plant potatoes in the northern states.In the warmer areas of the South they can be planted in late fall or early winter.Where I farm the local point of reference is to plant your potatoes when the snow is almost melted off the mountain.Whether it’s the first dandelions blooming or a particular bug emerging; if you talk to gardeners where you live they will probably have a local reference, too.Use a clean, sharp knife to cut the potato into several large pieces shortly before planting.Leaving the cut pieces in a cool and humid space overnight will give them enough time to callus before planting.The ideal soil for growing potatoes is a loose and deep loam that holds moisture and also drains well.Fresh manure can activate the pathogen “scab,” which makes for unsightly, yet still edible, potatoes.Too much Nitrogen will delay root production and you may end up with huge plants with little potatoes.Make sure not to cultivate too closely to the young plants as to not disturb the new roots systems. .

Master Gardener: When are potatoes ready to harvest? – Press

A: I guess this could puzzle a gardener at first, since the potatoes are a root crop and grow beneath the soil surface.About two months or so after planting, they are topped by clusters of small white flowers with yellow centers.Experienced gardeners sometimes judge the progress of the crop by watching for a distinctive bulging of the soil around the stem of the plant.Late in the season, when the potatoes are large, I usually will dig the entire plant to harvest its crop.Like other Zoysias, its main disadvantage is that it has a winter dormant period when its bright green color may turn to light brown. .

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 in the grocery store.These vegetables 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 four to six inches in height.Add soil to the hill whenever the plants reach about four to six 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 the process of mounding soil up around plant stem 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.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 they 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.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.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 entire crop is ready to harvest once the tops of the plants die off.Growing potatoes in a container avoids the complications of hilling and takes up less space.You can grow potatoes in a tall container such as a clean garbage can, whiskey barrel, a five-gallon pail, or in a planting bag designed for this purpose.The basic process is to add six inches of fast-draining high-quality potting soil to the bottom of the container and mix in an organic, slow-release fertilizer Then, spread out your seed potatoes and cover them with a few inches of soil.Place the container in a location that receives six to eight hours of sun per day, and keep the soil moist but not soggy.Keep adding potting soil to the container as the plants begin to grow.Container-grown potatoes need plenty of water, Plants that are grown in containers generally require more feeding than they do when growing in the ground.


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