How to Grow Potatoes
Prepare this popular root vegetable in late winter and earn a bountiful spring harvest.
2012, Dorling Kindersley Limited
- seed potatoes
- egg cartons or trays
- general-purpose fertilizer
Step 1: Preserve Seed Potatoes
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
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
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
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).