Growing Potatoes

by Amy Gordon
(last updated January 21, 2015)

Potatoes are one of the most popular vegetables in the world, and for good reason. Potatoes can be used in so many ways, ranging from greasy potato chips to a healthy baked potato for lunch. Potatoes have a long history of being a cheap, easy-to-grow plant that has saved plenty of people from starvation over the centuries.

When most people think of potatoes today, they think of Idaho. (Great marketing effort, there.) You don't need to live in Idaho to grow potatoes; you can do it in your own backyard. It may take a little more effort to grow potatoes than to buy them at the store, but it is so much more rewarding to eat something you grew yourself.

If you want to grow potatoes, start by finding a good place to plant them. Potatoes require full sun, so do not plant them in a place where the plants will be blocked by trees or building. Potatoes usually will grow even if the soil is not perfect, but they really prefer soil that is light, loose, and well drained. It is also best if the soil is slightly acidic. It is best to only plant potatoes in one spot every third year, so if you want to have potatoes every year, plan to grow them in different spots.

You can begin planting your potatoes in early spring. Make sure that the ground where you plant the seed is moist, but not too wet. While potatoes may be able to survive a light frost, for a home garden you will probably want to do your best to just wait until after the frost.

When you go to plant your potatoes, start by exposing your seeds to warm temperatures and plenty of light. Before you plant the seed, turn the soil to remove any rocks or weeds and mix in a little bit of compost. You can either plant your seeds in rows about fifteen inches apart, or in mounds that are about three to four feet in diameter, with six to eight potato plants.

Put your seeds evenly spaced in the ground and cover them with about four inches of earth. After about two weeks they will begin to sprout and you should cover them with another four inches of soil. Cover the stem halfway when it is about eight inches tall, and keep covering it by about an inch a week.

About two weeks after the plants have finished flowering, you can begin the harvest for baby potatoes. You can wait all the way until a couple weeks after the foliage dies back. Harvest the potatoes by carefully digging them out of the ground. Let the potatoes dry outside for about two to three days, then enjoy.

Author Bio

Amy Gordon

Amy Gordon loves keeping things simple, natural, and safe so she can spend more time having fun. Every day she learns new things about making life at home easier and she loves to share it with you! ...

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