Grow a Crop of Potatoes

Grow potatoes in an open, sunny site in well-drained soil. Plant early varieties one month before the last frosts are predicted, and main-crop types in late spring.

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Growing Potatoes DK - How to Grow Practically Everything © 2010 Dorling Kindersley Limited

When to Start: Late winter to spring, depending on variety
At Their Best: Summer
Time to Complete: 3 hours over a few months

Materials Needed:

  • seed potatoes
  • egg crates
  • well-composted organic matter
  • string
  • shovel
  • straw or other dry mulch

Chit Seed Potatoes

In late winter, buy your seed potatoes and place them in egg crates in a cool, light, frost-free place to "chit" or sprout. They'll start growing while it's still too cold to plant them out.

buy seed potatoes and place in egg crates to chitEnlarge Photo+Shrink Photo-DK - How to Grow Practically Everything © 2010 Dorling Kindersley Limited

Planting Depth and Distance

Dig a trench to a shovel's depth, and fill the bottom with loose soil or compost. Plant early varieties 12 inches apart, in rows 20 inches apart, and main-crop varieties 16 inches apart, in rows 30 inches apart. Cover them with soil.

Planting Seed PotatoesEnlarge Photo+Shrink Photo-DK - How to Grow Practically Everything © 2010 Dorling Kindersley Limited

Add More Soil

As potato plants grow, their stems should be regularly covered with soil or "hilled up." In the early days, this protects the tubers from frost. Later on, it encourages the growth of extra tubers, leading to a larger crop. Hilling up also prevents the tubers from being exposed to light, which makes them turn green and inedible.

Cover Potato TubersEnlarge Photo+Shrink Photo-DK - How to Grow Practically Everything © 2010 Dorling Kindersley Limited
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Excerpted from How to Grow Practically Everything

© 2010 Dorling Kindersley Limited

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