Nothing beats the flavor of a homegrown potato. Try them once and you'll want them in your garden every year.
Step 1: Buy certified seed potatoes from a nursery. These are disease-resistant potatoes sold especially for planting.
Step 2: Get seed potatoes Dig one or more trenches about a foot deep and 2 to 3 feet apart. Fill the bottoms with loose soil mixed with fertilizer.
TIP: Don't fertilize with fresh manure and lime, which can cause fungus infections in potatoes.
Step 3: Cut and temporarily store seed potatoes Cut the seed potatoes into two to four pieces, leaving at least one eye on each piece. Store the pieces in a paper bag for a day or two, until calluses form over the cuts.
Step 4: Plant Plant the pieces in the prepared soil, about an inch deep.
Step 5: Water regularly Water thoroughly once a week, no more or less.
TIP: Overwatering can cause black or hollow centers. Irregular watering can yield odd-shaped, knobby potatoes.
Step 6: "Hill up" the growing vines "Hill up" the growing vines by piling dirt on the plants when they reach 6 to 12 inches. Leave an inch sticking out at the top. Potatoes will grow in the piled-up dirt. Repeat once or twice during the season.
TIP: For a cleaner, easier-to-harvest crop, use straw instead of dirt for hilling up.
Step 7: Harvest Check your potatoes one month after the plants flower. Dig gently into a hill. If the potatoes look large enough, harvest and enjoy.
Step 8: Store Store extra potatoes in a cool, dry place. They will keep for several months.
FACT: Did you know? Potatoes were first cultivated by the Incas in Peru more than 2,000 years ago.