How to Grow Potatoes

Planting advice for how to grow potatoes, recommended varieties and potato recipes.

A-to-Z Vegetable Guide:
How to Grow Vegetables»


Solanum tuberosum

Mashed, baked, grilled or fried, potatoes are a staple for balanced, healthy meals. And they're easier to grow than you might expect—and packed with fiber, minerals and nutrients. Just watch the butter and sour cream.

Hardiness: Annual.

Planting advice: Purchase disease-free seed potatoes for best results. In March or April, place either whole small potatoes or small pieces with at least one "eye" about 1 foot apart in a 1- to 4-inch-deep trench, with rows spaced 2 feet apart.

Late-maturing varieties store better. When shoots appear, cover with a ridge of soil.

Harvest tips: Gently dig up tubers after the vines die; earlier for "new" potatoes.

Store in a cool, dark place with good air circulation. If they sprout eyes, remove sprouts and move to a cooler location or use immediately.

Recommendations: Norland (early, red skin), Pontiac (red skin, summer harvest), Katahdin (heirloom, free of mosaic disease).

"New" Potato Tips: What are "new" potatoes? They are simply young potatoes that are harvested in the spring or early summer. Their tender, paper-like skins flake easily with a fingernail. They're popular because they have a creamy texture and can be easily cooked whole, which makes them great candidates for steaming or roasting. Because they retain their shape, they're perfectly suited for potato salad, too. Since they're more perishable than other potatoes, use them within a few days of purchase.

Pointers for Perfect Potatoes»

Purple Potatoes»

Potato Salad Recipes»

Potato Side Dishes»

Baked Potatoes»

Source: Birds & Blooms "Grow Veggies for Less"