How To Grow Potatoes

Potatoes

I got away with growing very fine potatoes this year, and here’s an update on how to do it.

Soil

Potatoes like full sun and I dug up part of my front lawn for these babies. They like light, loose and well-drained soil with a pH of 5.8 to 6.5. I turned over the soil to a depth of about 30 cm (12 inch). A potato bed needs a 2 year break to prevent diseases building up. In this break you must grow something else than potatoes.

Planting

Always use disease free seed potatoes for planting. I got mine in a supermarket. Three different kinds this year. Let the seed potatoes sprout for 1 to 2 weeks before planting. They will do that with lots of light at 15 to 20 deg. C (60 to 70 deg. F) and let them put out 1 cm (1/2 inch) sprouts. Plant the seed potatoes with sprouts in the early spring when the soil temperature is above 7 deg. C (45 deg. F). I put mine in rows. They will break out of the soil about 2 weeks later.

Growing

It’s a good idea to earth up the small green potato plants as they grow, to increase the number of new potatoes under the surface. The new potatoes should not be exposed to sunlight as they grow, since that will make them green and toxic. As the plants grow they need water throughout the summer, but make sure to water in the morning to avoid disease, so that the plants have a chance to dry up during the day. When the leaves turns yellow and die it’s time to stop watering.

Harvest

New potatoes can be harvested as early as 2 to 3 weeks after flowering. That’s the taste we’re all longing for, but for the main crop for storage wait until 2 to 3 weeks after the leaves have died. The potatoes can be dried unwashed for 2 to 3 days on the ground in dry weather or inside a dry garage. Store the potatoes well-ventilated in a dark and cool place at about 4 deg. C (40 deg. F). It should be possible to store them for 3 to 6 months.

2 comments on “How To Grow Potatoes

  1. -

    This is a great article! Since we live in Idaho, USA, potatoes are dirt cheap (ever heard of Idaho potatoes?) and I don’t plan on growing any…but if I ever change my mind, I know where to go for good advice! 🙂

  2. -

    @Beth: Hey thanks! It seems like you grow 30 % of all the potatoes grown in the USA on 2 % of the land? That’s a lot of Russet Burbank’s 😉

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