Growing Potatoes

Potatoes are easy to grow, highly nutritious and kids of all ages love to grow them! 
Read along with this handy ‘How to Grow Potatoes Guide’.


  • choose a sunny spot with well-drained soil and amended with lots of organic matter
  • grows best planted in cool climates 2-4 weeks before the last frost date
  • cut large seed potatoes into pieces, each with one or two eyes and some fleshy tuber attached
  • dry the pieces overnight before planting to help protect them from rot
  • plant the pieces eyes up in trenches dug 4″ deep in heavy soil and 6″ deep in light soil
  • space them 12-15″ apart in rows 20-24″ apart depending on the mature size of the cultivar and cover with 2-4″ of soil
    – or one plant per square foot if you are following the square foot gardening method


  • keep the soil consistently moist but not waterlogged until the plants emerge
  • potatoes are heavy feeders; provide plant food higher in phosphorus and potassium than nitrogen
  • begin hilling soil around the bottoms of the stems when the plants are 6-8″ tall and repeat frequently as they grow taller (usually July), hilling builds up the area where the tubers will develop
  • when the plants reach full height, add mulch on top of the hills to conserve moisture and keep the weeds down
  • cover any tubers that poke through the surface with more mulch
  • work around and harvest potatoes when the plants and soil are dry


  • new potatoes:  are best from early varieties, which can be harvested as soon as they reach usable size, check them about a week after the plants flower to see if they are ready
  • carefully loosen the soil with a digging fork and reach in by hand to pull those you want away from the parent plant
  • continue harvesting until the plant tops have died back, then pull up the entire plants with a garden fork to get those that remain
  • pest or disease-damaged potatoes are still edible once the bad spots are removed but won’t store well
  • potatoes that have frozen in the ground are inedible
  • brush any loose dirt off harvested potatoes and cure them unwashed in a dark, humid spot for about 2 weeks
  • then move them to a cool, dark, humid garage, shed or cellar for storage for up to 9 months
  • potatoes bruise easily; handle with care