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).