Having been born on the Farm, spent a lot of time in Idaho, and growing up plowing potatoes as a young kid, I have been around all sorts of potatoes my whole life. What better way to get a blog out there than do one on how to grow some great potatoes! They really are not hard to master, and once you do, you will be happy you did! There is probably nothing more american than meat and potatoes. Let’s cover how to take care of the last part of that statement!
Potatoes are typically best grown in a long growing season, that does not get overly hot. The best timing on growing potatoes is to start basically as soon as the ground is not frozen. If you can help, use potatoes from you last crop, or from a certified seed potato source. This will yield the best results, and keep your potatoes from getting diseases, You basically just need to cut them into pieces, with one eye in each piece of potato. Don’t let them sit around, just plant them as soon as you cut them up.
Your spacing on your potato plants will be varied, but I would recommend for each row doing a minimum of 10 inches between plants. Any less than that, and you will not get the growth you need. If you are farther apart than about 12 inches, though, the soil will not get shade from the potato plant above the ground, and the soil can be too high for good potatoes to grow. If you live in a very high heat area, then frequent water and mulch can help the temperature of the soil.
Potato bugs can cause some problems, so I would recommend spraying the tops of the potato plants every two weeks to take care of this problem. The only downside to this, however, is that you don’t want to save your own seed when you spray them like that. If you do this, go ahead and leave some out that you do not spray, and if they turn a good crop, go ahead and keep the seed there.
The best time to harvest the potatoes is before the vines are dead, but not too early. Storing them, you want temperatures to be just above freezing. If they still are sprouting, you can always use a sprout inhibitor, but if you keep them cold, you should be just fine.
One comment on “Tips for Growing Awesome Potatoes”
Should I be concerned with red composting wigglers eating my planted seed potatoes? Is this a good or bad idea? I’m a beginner Gardener and was delighted with the red composting worms we purchased from Uncle Jim’s Worm Farm. We built and started 4 worm towers in our raised garden beds last year. To my amazement they did terrific even over winter with some snow and temps into low 20s a few in the upper teens possibly. We harvested about 2 1/2 gallons of the mostly processed worm casting after separating the worms and some eggs. In keeping with crop rotation, I was planning on planting potatoes in one of those beds which previously only had above ground crops.