Planting things that are easy is my specialty, which is why potatoes and sweet potatoes are one of my favorite things to plant! If you are a novice gardener and feel like you always kill everything, I highly recommend trying your hand at potatoes. This is also a great thing to grow if you have kids: it’s fun to dig around in the soil to find the potatoes once they are ready for harvest–what kid doesn’t like a treasure hunt?
You’ll want to plant them in February/early March so that you can harvest in early fall.
So, where do you begin??
- Seed Potatoes
- These just look like tiny little potatoes, and will need to have “eyes” already sprouting on them before you plant. If they don’t, set them in a warm place for 3-4 days and they’ll start to grow. You can also cut up larger potatoes into golf-ball sized pieces that have 2-3 eyes each, and let them dry out a few days before planting.
- Dusting Sulfur
- Organic Herb and Veggie Food (or some form of fertilizer)
- Pine Straw
How to Plant
- A week in advance, put compost on the top of your soil so that the nutrients have time to soak into the soil prior to planting. You can also add in your fertilizer at this point.
- Dig a trench that is 6-8″ deep and 4″ wide in your soil. If you’re planting potatoes in a container instead of a bed, fill the container 1/3 full with soil.
- Dust seed potatoes (with eyes already sprouting on them!) with dusting sulfur. This will help prevent them from rotting.
- Plant seed potatoes 12″ apart in the soil.
- Cover the seed potatoes with your existing soil, while mixing in pine straw. This will help the soil to be loose and aerated around the seed potatoes. You DO NOT want the soil to be hard packed around the potatoes or they can’t sprout new potatoes.
- You will see green sprouts emerge on top of the soil in about 2-3 weeks.
- Once the stems get 8″ tall, create a hill around them with soil/pine straw mix. Continue doing this every 2-3 weeks, adding 1-2″ of soil/pine straw each time. If you’re using a container, you’ll still do this same process.
- Keep the potatoes well watered, you don’t want the soil to dry out.
- When the stems start flowering, your plants are making new potatoes!!!
- If you want small, baby potatoes, harvest 2-3 weeks after the flowering begins. If you want larger potatoes, harvest in late summer. I usually harvest whenever I’m ready to plant the next season in the beds (which for me, is usually early summer when I plant my sweet potatoes), so that my potatoes get as large as possible!