How to Grow Potatoes

Prepare this popular root vegetable in late winter and earn a bountiful spring harvest.

Kestrel Potatoes have Old Fashioned Creamy Taste

Kestrel Potatoes have Old Fashioned Creamy Taste

Kestrel potato is a cream fleshed potato with a wonderful old fashioned taste absorbing less fat when cooked. Good resistance to slugs. Good beginner potato. Uses include boil, steam, mash, chips, saute, baked and roast.

©2012, Dorling Kindersley Limited

2012, Dorling Kindersley Limited

Materials Needed

  • seed potatoes
  • egg cartons or trays
  • general-purpose fertilizer
  • rake

Step 1: Preserve Seed Potatoes

Put Seed Potatoes in Egg Cartons for Sprouting

Put Seed Potatoes in Egg Cartons for Sprouting

In late winter, place seed potatoes in egg cartons with buds, or eyes, pointing upward. Stand boxes in a cool, light place indoors for about six weeks to produce sturdy, dark sprouts.

©2011, Dorling Kindersley Limited

2011, Dorling Kindersley Limited

In late winter, place your seed potatoes in egg cartons or trays with the maximum number of buds (eyes) pointing upward. Stand the boxes in a cool, light place indoors for about six weeks to produce sturdy, dark sprouts.

Step 2: Plant Tubers

Plant Tuber in Single Hole with Shoots Pointing Up

Plant Tuber in Single Hole with Shoots Pointing Up

Plant a single tuber in each hole dug in well prepared soil. Shoots need to be pointing upward.

©2011, Dorling Kindersley Limited

2011, Dorling Kindersley Limited

When shoots reach about 1 inch (2.5 cm) long, in early spring, mark a row in prepared soil. At 12-inch (30-cm) intervals, dig holes about 4 inches (10 cm) deep and plant a single tuber in each, with its shoots pointing upward.

Step 3: Fill Holes

Cover Seed Potato with Soil and Mark Position

Cover Seed Potato with Soil and Mark Position

Cover each seed potato with soil, rake over the row, and mark its position.

©2011, Dorling Kindersley Limited

2011, Dorling Kindersley Limited

Fill each hole with soil, rake over the row, and mark its position. A general-purpose fertilizer can also be applied at the specified rate on either side of the row at this stage, or it may be worked into the soil before planting.

Step 4: Cover Plants

Earth Up Plants as They Emerge by Mounding Soil

Earth Up Plants as They Emerge by Mounding Soil

Earth up around potato plants as they emerge by mounding soil around their stems to keep potatoes from being exposed to light.

©2011, Dorling Kindersley Limited

2011, Dorling Kindersley Limited

Tubers exposed to light will turn green, making them toxic and inedible. To avoid this, earth up the plants as they emerge by mounding soil around their stems to a height of around 6 inches (15 cm).

Keep Reading

Next Up

How to Plant Bare-Root Vegetables

Discover the best way to plant asparagus, rhubarb and strawberries in your garden.

How to Sow and Plant Fruiting Vegetables

Large leaves, golden flowers and heavy yields make squashes, zucchini and cucumbers ideal plants for productive pots.

How to Plant in Gardening Containers

To ensure that plants in gardening containers grow and perform as well as possible, you need to plant them properly.

How to Grow Rice

Learn how to cultivate a worldwide staple and ornamental plant with these easy-to-follow step-by-step instructions.

How to Grow an Avocado Tree: Guac 'n' Roll

Tips for turning that avocado pit into a thriving avocado tree and your next bowl of guacamole.

How to Grow Zucchini Plants

Zucchinis are a winner for being one of the quickest — and easiest — members of the squash family to grow.

How to Grow Hydrangeas in Pots

Learn how to grow these ever-popular flowering shrubs in containers for mobile garden color.

How to Grow Pineapple Plants

Learn how to grow a pineapple plant in your yard or in a pot.

How to Grow and Divide Peonies

Take a close look at how to successfully grow and divide peonies.