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  • Writer's pictureStronger Roots

Growing Potatoes

Updated: May 10, 2022


— A starchy tuber of the plant Solanum tuberosum (Starch is a carbohydrate commonly found in nature and one of the primary sources of food energy for human beings, after they are eaten, they are broken down into glucose, which is the body's main fuel, especially for our brain and muscles. — Starchy foods provide important nutrients to the diet including B vitamins, iron, calcium, and folate.

-able to grow during fall months

- and the plant itself is a perennial in the nightshade family( tomatoes, eggplants, bell peppers, and other varieties)


— “Eyes" on potatoes are the buds OR growing points on tubers

— Cut larger tubers into segments hosting two or three "eyes"

❗️Many eyes on a large potato will create a crowded, multi-stemmed plant, with each stem competing for food and moisture, in the end, bearing only small potatoes.

— Sit the cut segments out to allow callousing. This will help prevent rot

— When planting, place cut sides down and "eyes" up; 4-6inch(ideal) deep hole or trench

— 12 inches apart on all sides

— Plant 3 to 4 weeks Prior to the last frost

— Ph 5.8-6.5 pH

— Add fertilizer or composted manure; heavy feeders

— Well-drained soil so that the plant has plenty of room to stretch out

— If growing every year you want to rotate your potatoes - you don't want to grow them in the same spot in fact you wanna wait 3-4 years if your utilizing in-ground or garden beds to grow them in that same spot

— In areas that have long and cold winters

— Want to plant in early or mid-spring for a midsummer harvest.

— In areas with a more mild winter- an additional late spring or midsummer crop can be planted, but an early harvest variety should be selected if planting in the summer.

— In areas that have very hot summers you could get away with three crops: one planted in late winter for an early spring harvest,

a second fast-maturing crop in mid-spring, and a later summer crop for a fall harvest.


1.) TRENCHES/ MOUNDS = dig a trench about 6” wide by about 8” deep. Taper it so that bottom is about 3” wide. If you’re planting multiple rows they should be about 3’ apart.

*Add a small layer of compost to the bottom of the trench(an inch)

2.) CONTAINER = A good rule of thumb is to plant one plant per 2.5 gallons of container space.

*before you plant and fertilizer or compost. When the plants reach a height of about 8”, add more soil and

bury about half of the growing stem. Continue the same 2-3 week cycle

3.)Straw Mulch= Place seed potatoes on the surface of good soil and cover them with 3 to 4 inches of loose, seed-free straw. Mound more straw around the stems as they

grow, eventually creating a layer of one foot or more in depth. The benefit here is that the thick mulch conserves soil moisture and smothers weeds. Harvest is effortless

with no digging. However, this produced a smaller yield than the hilled row.

4.)Raised beds= Loosen the soil in the bottom of a half-filled raised bed. Space seed potatoes about 12 inches apart in all directions and bury them 3 inches deep.

As the potatoes grow, add more soil until the bed is filled.

5.)Wood Boxes= Build or buy a bottomless square box and plant the same as for a raised bed. The box is designed so you can add additional slats and soil as the plants

grow. In theory, you can temporarily remove the bottom slat for harvesting, or just tip it over.

7.) Grow Bags= Commercial growing bags are made with heavy, dense polypropylene. Put a few inches of a soil-compost mixture in the bottom of a bag, then plant

three or four seed potato pieces and cover with 3 inches of soil. Continue adding soil as the plants grow until the bag is full. To harvest, turn the bag on its side and

dump out the contents. Grow bags can go where garden soil lacks nutrients. Their dark color captures solar heat to speed early growth.


— Because new potatoes/tubers form on lateral stems aka "stolons" above the seed potato, it’s necessary to "hill" or cover the vines: When the green sprouts achieve 8 inches in height, bury all but their top 4 inches with soil. "Hill" again when potato plants grow another 8 inches. The more you hill, the more prolific your harvest is likely to be. Stop hilling when the vines flower./ hilling will also prevent exposure of the sun to the tubers thus rendering them inedible if they become

green and bitter

— During the flowering period is when the plants are creating their tubers and a steady water supply is crucial to good crop outcome.

— Potato tubers, need to live in darkness.

❗️They will turn green if exposed to light. And a green potato can cause sickness if consumed. essential to keep the tubers

covered with soil or mulch.

— 1" to 2"of water a week for optimal growth

— Full sunlight for optimal growth

❗️Spuds tend to stop growing when soil temperatures reach about 80 degrees fahrenheit.


(Early Season - Mid Season - Late Season)

— ALL potato varieties can be planted in march or april regardless of early mid or late season.

❗️Dont plant too early to avoid rotting in over dampened soil AND planting in march

be careful as you run risk to gettign caught by a late frost

— EARLY SEASON 75-90Days

*Red Pontiac



*dark red norlands ( resistant to scab so you dont really have to worry about diseass with this one)

*yukon gold ( natural buttery taste

— MID SEASON 95-110Days

*purple Peruvian

*ida rose

*gold rush

*kerrs pink (heirloom)


— LATE SEASON 120-135




*King Harry

*German Butterball

*Green Mountain


— When the foliage turns yellow and begins to die back, discontinue watering. This will help start curing the potatoes for harvest time.

— Dead vines signal that the tubers have reached maturity

❗️Harvest them before it gets too hot out; for the softest spuds harvest them about 2-3 weeks after the plants bloom.


— After digging the tubers, let them sit on top of the soil/raised beds for a few hours to dry to toughen the skin; curing, prepping them for storage. essential for good storing

— Potatoes that are going to be kept for storage should not be dug until 2-3 weeks after the foliage dies back

❗️You may notice upon harvesting raised white bumps on your spuds. These are engorged LENTICELS and indicate that the plant is sitting in soil that is too wet.

The fruiting body develops these pores to aid in water exchange; they aren’t unsafe to consume

— find a storage area that is well ventilated, dark, and cool. The ideal temperature is between 35 and 40 degrees F. Keep in mind that some varieties are better keepers

than others.

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