Once the weather heats up and you can get outside, it’s time to start thinking about your garden. And if you’re searching for a way to add some variety, how to plant potatoes would be a great thing to learn! They’re easy to grow, store, and delicious. Plus, they’re super affordable, especially compared to other garden staples like tomatoes or peppers.
But before we start in learning how to plant potatoes, let’s talk about where they come from.
Planting potatoes, where do they come from?
Potatoes are actually related to tomatoes, peppers, and eggplants. They’re members of the nightshade family, which includes over 2,000 different species of plants!
Potatoes are native to Central and South America. They were cultivated there long before they made their way to Europe. By the 1500s, they were being grown all over Europe and Asia as well. Today, more than 7 billion pounds of potatoes are produced yearly around the world, and that’s a lot of spuds!
There are more than 4,000 varieties of potatoes, but most people know only a handful, such as:
- Russet Burbank (flaky and dry and makes excellent mashed potatoes)
- Yukon Gold (buttery taste and is best for roasting)
- Red Pontiac (a bit sweeter than the others and can be used for soups or salads)
Russet Burbank is the type you probably see in the grocery store.
How to plant potatoes in three different ways?
Today, we’ll talk about three ways on how to plant potatoes in your yard.
1. How to plant potatoes via hilled rows?
When you’re ready to plant your potatoes, you should have your soil prepared and ready to go. You’ll want to use a tiller or rototiller on your garden plot to break up the soil and remove any debris, especially weeds that may be present.
- After you’ve prepared your garden plot, it’s time to start digging.
- Use a spade or shovel and dig holes about 8 inches deep, spacing them about 18 inches apart.
- In each hole, put 1/4 cup of bone meal mixed with 1/2 cup of dried blood meal or bonemeal mixed with one tablespoon of lime or dolomite mixed into the soil at the bottom of each hole.
- Place one seed potato about 1 inch below ground level in each hole.
- If the potato is smaller than a golf ball, you can plant it as is. But if it’s larger than that, you need to cut it downside before planting.
- Cover the potatoes with more soil and tamp down firmly around them, so they’re stable.
- Water gently but thoroughly until they’re well-watered throughout the growing season.
- You can add more fertilizer if needed as well!
2. How to plant potatoes using grow bags?
Grow bags are containers that you can use to grow plants. They’re especially useful for growing plants in small spaces like a balcony or patio. You can also use them if you don’t have a garden or if your garden isn’t suitable for growing potatoes.
Planting potatoes in grow bags is one of the easiest ways to get started with gardening.
The pots are specially designed to drain excess water from the soil, so you won’t have to worry about your plants getting too wet or too dry.
These are the steps you need on how to plant potatoes using grow bags.
- Fill your grow bag with soil. Make sure it’s well-drained soil that doesn’t have any rocks or other debris in it. You can purchase soil specifically made for growing vegetables, or any good quality potting mix will do just fine!
- Plant your potato seeds at least 6 inches apart and 2 inches deep.
- Cover the potatoes with more amended soil until they are covered about 1 inch deep.
- Place the bags in a sunny spot where they can get at least 6 hours of sun a day and where air can circulate around them, such as on a patio, if you don’t have a yard.
- Keep watering regularly, adding fertilizer every other watering if desired, until the plants begin flowering.
3. How to plant potatoes using straw mulch?
Planting potatoes with straw mulch is a great way to ensure your potatoes get the right amount of shade and water. Straw mulching is an easy way to keep your plants moist and healthy while also improving soil quality.
Here are the steps on how to plant potatoes using straw mulch.
- Thoroughly mix in compost, manure, or other organic fertilizer into the soil at least 6 inches deep. You don’t want any fertilizer on top of the soil. You just want it buried underneath so that it doesn’t burn your plants’ roots when they come in contact with it.
- Then, cut holes in the ground about 4 inches deep and place the seed potatoes in each hole.
- Spread straw mulch over the top of the ground to keep weeds from growing and protect your plants from damage during colder months.
- The thicker the straw mulch, the better!
Tips when planting potatoes
It’s time to plant your potatoes! Here are some tips to help make sure you’re doing it right.
- Choose a well-drained spot for your potatoes, and mix in a good amount of compost before planting them.
- Potato planting is best done in the spring or fall when the soil is cool and moist. This allows for better root growth, which means bigger tubers.
- When digging your holes, make them about 6 inches deep and 8 inches wide. This will provide the potatoes with plenty of room to grow.
- Don’t forget to add compost or manure when preparing the soil for planting. This will boost nutrients and prevent weeds from growing later on down the road!
Start planting potatoes today!
So there you have it! You’ve got the details you need on how to plant potatoes.
Get out there and plant some potatoes. You’ll feel satisfied and excited at how rewarding it can be in terms of the food you produce and the time you spend outside doing something productive.
Hopefully, this guide has helped you learn something new about planting potatoes and making the most of your crop!