Planting Potatoes

Potatoes will grow in a lot of soil types as long as the soil has been well prepared. Potatoes like a slightly acidic soil with a pH of 5.8 to 6.5.

Preparation is important for growing potatoes. In the fall, November to December mix in large amount of compost or bonemeal into the soil and allow it to break down over the winter.

It is important for the compost to decompose. Compost can cause the potatoes to be scabby if the potatoes are maturing in decomposing compost. You want the potatoes to grow in nice loamy soil and allow the roots to feed off of the compost.

Make sure your growing your potatoes in full sun. Rotate your crops don’t allow all of the potatoes to grow in the same area of your garden two years in a row. Also make sure they don’t follow tomatoes. Tomatoes are of the same family and disease can be transmitted from one crop to another.

One week before you’re ready to start planting set your seed potatoes in a well lit area with the temperature between 60 to 70°. This will encourage the seed to start sprouting. It’s the sprouts are white they’re not getting enough light.

The day before you plant cut your seed potatoes with a sharp clean knife into 1 1/2″ to 2″ chunks. Make sure that you have one to two eyes on each piece. If the seed potatoes are small you can use the whole potato.

By allowing the seed to set overnight before planting the wounds will callous over, this help prevent them from rotting in the soil.

The average planting time in the United States is mid-March. This can vary depending on where you’re located. In some areas you can start planting as early as the first of February. The main thing is protect your early plants from frost damage.

Tips for planting potatoes earlier in the season is to lay black plastic on an area you’re going to plant. Cut a crisscross in the plastic and plant the seed six to 8 inches below the surface. This can allow you to harvest up to two weeks earlier.

Potatoes can be planted in a container as long as they have a foot to foot and a half of soil below the plant. You can use potting soil and grow them in a container on your patio.

You can start digging new potatoes at about 60 to 65 days after planting. The mature crop will be ready at approximately 100 days. Use any starter damaged potatoes first, they won’t keep. Allow your potatoes to dry before you put them in storage. Damp potatoes will rot.

I didn’t even get to talk about growing potatoes in straw.

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