Grow Potatoes: At Home in Pots + Ground

Growing Potatoes - Facts

Grown Potatoes
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  • Plant
  • Harvest
  • Temperature to plant
  • Planting depth
  • Spacing
  • Sunlight
  • Direction
  • Drainage
  • Ph level
  • Companion plants
  • Health benefits

March, April or May 

10 weeks after planting 

40 F +

6-8 inches deep  

8-12 inches apart  

6 hours of daily sunlight 

North to south  

Standard drainage  

4.8 to 5.5 pH 

Carrot, onion, asparagus, fennel, turnip 

High in Vitamin C, potassium, fiber, magnesium

Vitamin B6; low in fat, sodium and cholesterol  

Seven Steps to Growing Potatoes


Potatoes are such a widely celebrated vegetable – and for a good reason! They have such a wide range of uses and are a staple in almost every diet. 

Potatoes are also a very low-maintenance vegetable, and nothing takes quite as good as a fresh, home-grown, baked potato. But you’ll have to find out for yourself!

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one

Soil type

soil type

The great thing about potatoes is that they are highly adaptable and can grow in almost any soil, as long as it is not damp or acidic. Ensure your potatoes are planted in soil that is fertile, well-drained and rich in organic matter. 

Alkaline soil enriches the crop size, but also may cause a skin condition called scab. In general, it is best to keep the pH level of your soil at 4.8 to 5.5.  

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two

Seeding

seeding

It is quite difficult to grow potatoes from seeds, as the genetics of the seed are unpredictable and thus can be difficult to manage. If you choose to grow your potatoes from seeds, you should start indoors and in seedling trays. 

Place one seed on top of a soil-filled cell try and cover with water. Ensure that you do not cover the seed as potatoes require light to germinate.

Germination

The best soil temperature to induce germination is 65-80 F, and the seeds will germinate within 6-10 days. During germination, ensure the soil is moist but still drained. Water early in the day, so the cells are not wet overnight. 

As a general rule of thumb, potato seedlings need about 12 hours of light per day. Your seeds should be ready to transfer within 4 to 6 weeks after seeding.

Transplanting

To transplant potatoes, the soil first needs to be hardened. This should take place about a week before you transplant. To do so, place the potato outside for at first, one hour, then gradually increase the time until they are ready to plant. 

If you want to transplant your potatoes to a pot, ensure you do so about 3 weeks before harvest.

three

Planting

planting

The first step when planting potatoes is to prepare the spot where you want them to grow. The location should receive a large amount of sunlight. 

Ensure the soil is ready to plant with a bit of compost mixed in, and that there are no obstructions. Don’t forget to rake in some fertilizer two weeks before planting your potatoes. 

Create holes

Next, you will need to create holes in the ground around 6 inches wide and 8 inches deep. Ensure you space out the potatoes out enough, about 8-12 inches apart. Make sure you evenly dampen the soil before planting.  

To transplant the potatoes, cut the soil around the plant with a garden shovel. Ensure you are careful not to damage the potato itself.

Use your hands to gently pull the plant up, ensuring it is packed in as much soil as possible. Quickly then place it in the hole you have prepared. 

If your potatoes were not grown from seedlings but instead in a container, you can transplant by upturning the container and tapping out the bottom, while keeping a firm hand on the top of the soil.

In the ground

Once your potatoes are in the ground, gently smooth down the soil around it. Water thoroughly.  If you plan to grow your potatoes in a pot or containers, you first need to prepare. Fill your container with 4 to 6 inches of soil. 

Ensure the soil is firmly packed. The bottom of the pot should not be visible after this process is complete.  

Next, place your potatoes in the soil with the eye facing upwards. Ensure the potatoes are spaced evenly apart. Once positioned, press into the soil. Then, cover your tubers with another 6 inches of soil, completely covering the potatoes. Lastly, water the pot until it begins to drain.  

Germination

The best soil temperature to induce germination is 65-80 F, and the seeds will germinate within 6-10 days. During germination, ensure the soil is moist but still drained. Water early in the day, so the cells are not wet overnight. 

As a general rule of thumb, potato seedlings need about 12 hours of light per day. Your seeds should be ready to transfer within 4 to 6 weeks after seeding.

Transplanting

To transplant potatoes, the soil first needs to be hardened. This should take place about a week before you transplant. To do so, place the potato outside for at first, one hour, then gradually increase the time until they are ready to plant. 

If you want to transplant your potatoes to a pot, ensure you do so about 3 weeks before harvest.

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four

Watering

watering

For potatoes in the ground, it is advised to keep the soil damp but not totally wet. This usually looks like around 2 inches per week. When the plant is young, you can water every 4-5 days, but as it ages increase this to once every 2 days. 

If the plant begins to turn yellow, you know you are overwatering.  

Hand touch

For potted potatoes, you should water when the top 2 inches of the soil dry out. You can determine this with your hand. You need only add enough water until it starts to drain. When it is warmer, you may need to increase the frequency of watering.

 

five

Care

care

Potatoes are a very hardy vegetable to grow, and as long as you keep them healthy by watering consistently and allowing for plenty of sunlight, they should be happy. However, they are susceptible to a variety of diseases/pests which need to be taken care of quickly if under attack. 

Blight

Aphids, potato blight, the Colorado potato beetle and bacterial rot are all threat to the potato. You will most likely be able to tell by the leaves of the potato that they are under attack. You can pick off the insects manually, or use a pest control of your choice.  

However, as previously stated, potatoes are relatively resilient, and as long as you use a good fertilizer regularly and keep an eye on them, you shouldn’t have to worry too much about them being under threat. 

Hand touch

For potted potatoes, you should water when the top 2 inches of the soil dry out. You can determine this with your hand. You need only add enough water until it starts to drain. When it is warmer, you may need to increase the frequency of watering.  

six

Harvesting

harvest

If you want to harvest new potatoes, then they will be ready 2 to 3 weeks after the plant has ceased flowering. If you’re going to harvest mature potatoes, you should wait for 2 to 3 weeks after the flowers have perished. 

Cut the dead foliage away and wait out the 2-3 weeks to allow the potato skin to harden.  Ensure you choose a dry day to begin harvesting.

From the ground

Using a garden trowel, prise the potatoes up carefully and take care not to damage the tubers. If you find the soil to be too wet, allow the potatoes to dry before storing.

Once harvested, allow the potatoes to sit in a dry, cool place for no more than 2 weeks. This enables their skins to cure and thus lengthens their shelf life.

seven

Storing

storing

Once cured, brush off any excess soil and store in a cool, dark place at a temperature of around 40 F. It is important to remember not to store your potatoes with apples, as it will make them spoil faster.

Don’t wash

Another good tip is to ensure you don’t wash your potatoes until right before you use them, as this shorten their storage life.

Potatoes should not be stored in the refrigerator, and it also advised against freezing them as due to their high-water content they will lose their firmness and flavor.

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Planting potatoes
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Easy way to grow potatoes
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