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How to Grow Potatoes

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.

You Will Need

  • Certified seed potatoes
  • 5-10-10 or 10-20-20 fertilizer
  • Straw (optional)

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