The Way Of The Potato

It’s potato planting day on the Hart Homestead, and I learned a lot about planting this vegetable. As I posted my potato planting images on Instagram, I was shocked to see how many people reached out to ask for tips – so here I am to pass on everything I know.

When choosing where to plant your potatoes here are a few things to keep in mind. Potatoes grow best in full sun, no need to find an area that shades them. Potatoes root aggressively, and will produce the most crops in loose, well drained soil. You can plant your crop in spring when you can easily work the soil, but always keep in mind your ground temperature. While they can stand a light frost, the soil should remain at no lower than 45 degrees. This is why we are planting a late crop here on the homestead, as frosts (and even late season snow) can last all the way until the end of May.

A week or two before the date you plan to plant, set your seed potatoes in a sunny area where your potatoes will get lots of light and warmth. This starts the sprouting process. These gorgeous blue potatoes sat on the kitchen window sill for two weeks, and just look at those eyes!

Using a clean, sharp knife, begin the process of cutting each potato. Try to make each piece roughly two inches, and they must contain at least one or two eyes or buds. To be on the safe side we went with two or three. You can plant small seed potatoes (about the size of golf ball) whole.

Potatoes are best grown in rows.

Dig trenches that are four to six inches deep deep, planting each piece of potato (cut side down, with the eyes pointing up) every twelve inches, with the rows spaced three feet apart. If your space is limited or if you would like to grow only baby potatoes, you can decrease the spacing between plants, such as we did in our boxes. Then mound dirt on top of the potatoes about four inches deep. As they start to grow continue to mound soil around the potatoes.

Happy potato planting, and I’ll be back when it’s time to harvest!

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