Planting, Growing, and Harvesting Potatoes



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Wondering how to grow potatoes? We’re here to help! This half-hardy vegetable is a culinary staple that is overlooked by many backyard gardeners. Here’s how to grow potatoes in your garden!

The taste and the texture of home-grown potatoes are far superior to those of store-bought spuds, especially the early varieties. They need a cool climate, and also need to be watched to prevent sunburn. In warmer climate zones, potatoes can be grown as a winter crop.


How to Plant Potatoes

  • Plant seed potatoes (pieces of whole potato or a small whole potato, with at least 2 eyes per piece) 0-2 weeks after last spring frost. (See local frost dates.)
  • You may start planting earlier, as soon as soil can be worked, but be aware that some crops will be ruined by a frost.
  • If you are cutting up potato pieces for planting, do so 1-2 days ahead of time. This will give them the chance to “heal” and form a protective layer, both for moisture retention and rot resistance.
  • Spread and mix in rotted manure or organic compost in the bottom of the trench before planting. (Learn more about soil amendments and preparing soil for planting.)
  • Plant seed potatoes one foot apart in a 4-inch deep trench, eye side up.
  • Practice yearly crop rotation.
  • See our video on how to grow potatoes in a trash can, the easiest-ever container garden!
  • Before planning your garden, take a look at our plant companions chart to see which veggies are most compatible with potatoes.


How to Grow Potatoes

  • Potatoes thrive in well-drained, loose soil.
  • Potatoes need consistent moisture, so water regularly when tubers start to form.
  • Hilling should be done before the potato plants bloom, when the plant is about 6 inches tall. Hoe the dirt up around the base of the plant in order to cover the root as well as to support the plant. Bury them in loose soil.
  • Hilling keeps the potatoes from getting sunburned, which can cause them to turn green and produce a chemical called solanine. Solanine gives off a bitter taste and is toxic, so do not eat green potatoes.
  • You will need to hill potatoes every couple of weeks to protect your crop.


  • Aphids
  • Flea Beetles
  • Leaf Hoppers
  • Early/Late Blight
  • Potato Scab: Most likely cause by a high soil pH. Remember: Potatoes like acidic soil (do not plant in soil with a pH higher than 5.2). Dust seed potatoes with sulfur before planting.


How to Harvest Potatoes

  • When you should harvest depends on what type of potato you have planted. Early-season potatoes take approximately 60–70 days to mature; mid-season, approximately 80; and late-season, more than 90.
  • For the biggest and best potatoes, harvest only after the plant’s foliage has died back. Cut browning foliage to the ground and wait 10–14 days before harvesting to allow the potatoes to develop a thick enough skin. Don’t wait too long, though, or the potatoes may rot.
  • Dig potatoes on a dry day. Dig up gently, being careful not to puncture the tubers. The soil should not be compact, so digging should be easy.
  • Allow freshly dug potatoes to sit in a dry, cool place (45°–60°F) for up to two weeks. This allows their skins to “cure,” which will help them keep for longer.
  • “New potatoes,” which are potatoes that are purposefully harvested early for their smaller size and tender skin, will be ready for harvest after about 10 weeks, usually in early July.
  • New potatoes should not be cured and should be eaten within a few days of harvest, as they will not keep for much longer.
  • After curing, make sure you brush off any soil clinging to the potatoes, then store them in a cool, dry, dark place. The ideal temperature for storage is 35–40°F.
  • Do not store potatoes with apples; their ethylene gas will cause potatoes to spoil.
  • Whether you dig your own potatoes or buy them at a store, don’t wash them until right before you use them. Washing potatoes shortens their storage life.
  • Find more tips on getting potatoes ready for the root cellar.


Recommended Varieties

Wit & Wisdom

Potato promoter Antoine Parmentier convinced Marie Antoinette to wear potato blossoms in her hair.

Grated potatoes are said to soothe sunburnt skin.

“What I say is that if a man really likes potatoes, he must be a pretty decent sort of fellow.”
A. A. Milne, English writer (1882–1956)


Reader Comments

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potatoe plants

I have small green balls that have grown on the potatoes vines, not sure what they are?

size of irish potato

i want to know if i plant potatoes with two eyes but small will i harverst large one

growing potatoes

Even better! Each eye will produce several stems. At the end of each stem a new potato will grow!


What variety of potato plants don't flower?

Mounding potatoes

Can you tell me how long you should continue to mound potatoes. We have been mounding them leaving about 8-10 inches above the dirt. We have done this two or three times this year and they are about above the ground now. We were wondering how long to keep mounding them? Do you continue to mound until the foliage starts to die?

side sprouts

Grew potatoes as a child, now doing my own for first time in 25 years. Potatoes doing great but just noticed some side sprouts coming up around the hill. almost like you would see with raspberries. do I let these side sprouts come up or clip them?


Let the side sprouts be–they may help produce more potatoes. When the shoots become of suitable length, you might want to partially cover them with soil or mulch just as you do the hilling for the rest of the plant.

Pictures Please

Is it possible to add pictures of how potatoes should look at each stage. I enjoyed reading your article but for those of us amateurs a picture is worth a thousand words :-) I planted my seeds about 11 weeks ago. They leaves look good I hilled a little. When should I pull them up? If I pull them too soon can I pack it back down? This is my first year. I did about 8 plants.

Harvesting Potatoes

We agree that pictures are always a big help. Thanks for the suggestion!

To get the biggest and best potatoes, harvest only after the foliage has started to die back. How long this takes depends on which type of potato you’ve got: early-, mid-, or late-season potatoes. When you see foliage turning yellow, cut it to the ground and wait 10-14 days before harvesting. (This will allow the potatoes to form a good protective layer.)

My son pulled up all my plants.

My sweet 6 year old son went down in our garden today and "weeded" a 40' row of Yukon gold potato plants. He thought that since potatoes grew in the soil, that the top must be weeds. He managed to pull all the plants up and leave some amount of root on most of the plants. My question is: I immediately planted them all back in the ground with in the hour. What is the likelyhood of them surviving and coming producing potatoes?

potato woes

How far along were the plants? It is really hard to know, but worth a try to see if they will grow back. The plants may go through shock, and wilt a bit at first; it may take a little while to recover, if they can. However, it is possible that the leaves can produce food enough to grow new roots. It is important, though, that some of those existing roots are healthy, to draw in water etc. Keep an eye out for any stresses, such as pests and diseases, and maintain good cultural conditions to baby the plants to help them recover, if possible. If the day is especially hot, you might provide a little partial shade (or place under row cover) during the peak of the heat until plants re-establish. Good luck!

Question about comparable potato varieties

Hello! Thanks for the helpful information on your site. If there's one thing from NZ that I miss, it is the melt-in-your-mouth deliciousness that are Jersey Benney new potatoes, grown in the Otago region. They are truly a gift of the earth! I now live in Arkansas and would LOVE to know if there are any potato varieties comparable to the Jersey Benney, here in the US? If so, where can I buy these as seed potatoes? It would be awesome if I could grow some next year.
Thanks again!

potato options

Unfortunately, I’m not familiar with Jersey Benne, but it appears that it is an early type, with waxy flesh, good for new potatoes, salads, boiling? If so, you might ask your local garden center or county’s cooperative extension for that type of variety that would grow well in Arkansas. For contact info, go to:
In general, ‘Yukon Gold’ is a popular yellow potato, but grows a little later than the first or second earlies (midseason). Not quite as waxy, but valued for its flavor. ‘Red Luna’ is said to be flavorful. Other options might be ‘Dark Red Northland’, ‘Red Gold’, or other red potatoes often grown as new potatoes. There are also heirloom varieties that might be fun. Good luck!

Potato bugs

I have a problem with potato bugs. They are not the flea beetle. What can I do other than check every plant every day and remove them by hand?

potato pests

Several bugs enjoy potatoes. Controlling them will depend on the insect. The Colorado potato beetle is one of the most common, and is a yellowish-orange beetle with black stripes. Handpicking is one of the better options; also remove any of the bright yellow eggs that cling in clusters on the undersides of the leaves. Mulching with a thick layer of straw helps reduce populations, as does covering the plants in mid-season with row cover. The beetle can quickly develop resistance to many pesticides. Crop rotation can help future crops. Hope this helps!

Coving potatoes

We have grow potatoes for two year theres a chance for frost were we leave. We cover the potatoes top up with some soil we this hurt the potatoes?

Covering Potatoes during Frost

Covering small (less than 4 inches tall) potato plants with a layer of soil will not harm them, as long as the soil is removed as soon as the danger of a frost has passed. For larger plants, use a clear plastic covering.

Why are my potato plants falling over?

I have large 2 foot beautiful potato plants that I planted from a bag of grocery store potatoes that had got eyes. The plants are extremely healthy looking, but I am having a problem with them falling over. Is this normal, or am I over or under watering?

potato trouble

Potato plants can fall over for various reasons. If, however, they look very healthy, it likely isn’t due to over- or under-watering, nor to disease or extreme temperatures. Sometimes the plants just get leggy, such as if the plants are too crowded, don’t have enough light, received too much nitrogen fertilizer, etc. And, when they reach a certain growth stage, falling over is fairly normal. Be sure to keep hilling them at intervals with mulch (such as straw) or soil, as this helps to give them support and encourages more potatoes to form underground. See the article above for more information. Good luck!

Planting season in Algeria.

What are the best seasons for planting potato in a zone with continental climate?

temperatures for growing potatoes in Botswana

Is it fine to start planting potato seeds in may or june in Botswana?is the winter temperatures in Botswana suitable for growing irish potatoes (using true potato seeds)?


What would cause the bitter taste in a home grown potatoe?


Potatoes shouldn’t be exposed to the Sun, which will happen if you don’t hill up/cover them with soil. They’ll get sunburned, in which case they turn green and will taste bitter.

soggy potatoes

HELP! I have been planting potatoes for many years in my container garden; boxes and buckets. The last two years i have harvest potatoes that are so full of water that they can't be fried. When steamed and mashed they come our as if regular mashed potatoes were soaked in water. The also are sort of rubbery and don't mash. They chew like hard pieces of cucumber. I haven't done anything different than years before. I water every other day. I plant early. This never happened before.

soggy potatoes

Well, Jack, it sounds like your plants and so your potatoes are getting too much water. You say you water every other day…but not how much or what you climate is or anything else. That seems like a lot of water. Guidance above to “water regularly” to provide “consistent moisture” is not necessarily a soaking. If you are planting in containers, the water may not be running off as quickly as it might in an in-ground planting, saturating the plants as a result. And about those containers: If you are not rotating the crop/s in them, are you at least rotating the soil?? You don’t say, so we will only suggest that you can not have it both ways: same plants in same soil. That’s all we’ve got on this…except to suggest that if it never happened before, you must have done something differently.

This season, start with fresh soil, fresh seed potatoes, and containers with enough holes to provide good drainage. Good luck! Let us know how it goes.

Re:soggy potatoes

Hello. What variety of potatoes are you using? Genetics play a role as well. Some potatoes are naturally high in moisture. These potatoes are best suited for potato salad or home fries. Red skinned or new potatoes are fine examples. Other potatoes are naturally high in starch and are best suited for mashed or French fries. Russet potatoes are a fine example here. Some potatoes are dual purpose like the Yukon Gold. I personally don't think watering is the problem. If you are truly watering too much, then your potato plants would be suffering. Another thing, perhaps you are harvesting too early. But the first thing to confirm is your variety.


i like french fries and sweat taters and hash browns and tater tots and bass fishing

potatoes production guidelines

could you please help me with an infor regarding potatoes growth I am in botswana

Irish Potato

I like the piece. I would also want to know how to control the pest. I am based in Nigeria

Row width

How wide should rows be ? I will be planting Irish Cobblers in the next week or so.
I am from Guelph Ontario.


I have grown, from eyes from potatoes, peelings really. I have grown successfully in bags previously....but I put them in the ground this time (built up from compost ) they grew tall...and when I dug them up the had brown blisters more or less all over them, but I peeled them and the inside is beautifully creamy white, and no blemishes, are they safe to eat?
Kind regards, dorothy

Potato harvest

Hi, Dorothy, It sounds like your potatoes have some kind of scab—there are numerous ones related to spuds. It may have been that the pH of your compost was not suitable.  Do a pH/soil test to determine it. See this page for recommended pH: http://www.almanac.com/content/ph-preferences Note that pH is only one possible cause.

In the meantime, your potatoes—once peeled—should be perfectly fine to eat. Congratulations on a successful harvest!

Potato Farming

Farming process, diseases, fertiliser and harvesting

Dusting Potatoes

This was my first year growing potatoes. I had a good crop but they had scab on them. Should I have dusted them with sulfur and is an acidifier for blueberries the same thing and can I use that? Thank you.

potato scab

If you’ve had potato scab before, check the pH of your soil and adjust it to 5.2 or a bit lower, down to about 4.8. To do this, you can add sulfur. You can also dip the cut seed potatoes in sulfur before planting, to help deter disease, including scab. As for using a soil acidifier for blueberries – that plant likes the pH in about the same range. If your product is basically elemental sulfur, without other additives focused on blueberry growth, then it should be fine to use.

Potatoes Left Behind

Last fall I apparently missed some russets when digging up my crop and they replanted themselves. This spring I did use left over tubers from last year to plant my new crop (which I know is not advised). When I recently dug up this year's crop, to my surprise, the plants that grew from the potatoes I missed last year were much more productive than the ones I purposely planted. Why would this be? Is it that they simply got a head start?

The usual approach to

The usual approach to ‘volunteers’ is to dig them up because they get blight and the last thing you want is disease. But it’s up to you. If the potatoes seem good, just look at them closely and make a call. Most volunteers are poor.  It’s all experimentation!


to allow you paid volunteers to flourish within you properly you have to provide them witha moist base lubrication


Hello I have been growing potatoes and I have noticed some small round green things that look like tomatoes just a bit harder I was wondering if you can tell me what they are please ?

small round green things . . .

Hi, Thomas, The small round green things on the potato plants … are potato fruit. Potatoes and tomatoes are in the same family (Nightshade) and are the most alike two plants in this family. Potato fruit and flowers are produced because this is how the plants multiply themselves—by seed. Both potatoes and tomatoes produce flowers; those on potatoes usually fall off and never develop into anything. However, … this year’s weather in some parts of the country—cool temps and rain—is “causing” (enabling?) them to remain on the plant, pollinate, and produce small fruit that resemble small tomatoes.

These are not edible; they are bitter-tasting and contain high amounts of solanine that can make you —or worse.

Trying to grow potatoes from the seeds could take years. Only breeders and growers find them useful.

So enjoy them. You may not see them again for a while. And your potatoes under the soil will be fine.

Thanks for asking!

Hi, I would like to know if

Hi, I would like to know if after you graft a potato and tomato together using well drained moist media, hydroponically with drip feeding, would the potato or sweet potato rot or become larger and better yields being left in the media until the tomato plant was pulled out after it's 3rd-4th harvest?


I want to be right guided about different farming

Rain go away??

I had 5 huge healthy potato plants and now none... :( all it has done is rain rain rain rain... I had two stragglers hanging on and they were about to spring back but guess what it rained again and today I looked and it looked like they were dying once again.. well you know what it's stinking 1 am and you know what it's doing again? RAINING!! I thought potatoes needed a lot if water/moisture? My potato box has plenty of holes in it for run off... I a so frustrated this was my first time for potatoes and they were so tall too they were about 4 foot high. Did the water really kill them?

potato troubles

How frustrating! Potatoes do like even moisture, about 1 to 2 inches of water a week. It sounds, though, as if yours got a lot more because of the uncooperative weather. You might still check below in the soil to see if any of the potato tubers survived and are still edible. Too much moisture can cause tubers to grow abnormally, such as cracks or odd nobs. The most important concern, perhaps, is that a lot of rain or overwatering, on leaves or in soil, can lead to disease, such as various wilts and rots. If you’d like to try again next year, and if you expect a lot of rain, perhaps you could devise a rain barrier (a large umbrella, even, might help to protect a single plant in a pot), or move containers under a shelter, if possible, during those downpours.

Small potatoes

I tried this year a bag for my potatoes. I planted them May 20 and yesterday I dig the potatoes out of the bag because the plant looked like part were brown dying. The harvest was a lot of dime and nickel russet potatoes. very little and maybe a little bigger some few. What did I do wrong?

voluntary potato plant

i have a voluntary potato plant come up. the plant is dying- it is half dying and stilll green. when i went to pull the grass around the plant i found 2 potato on top of the ground that had sprouted roots. i replanted them. will the orginal plant produce and will they be good to eat. should i go ahead and dig the original plant and can i eat the potatoes. and will the the 2 that i replanted produce potatoes before the end of october here in the state of indiana. my dad and brother were great gardeners but somehow i did not inherit their talent. thank you.

potato planting and harvest

Potato varieties will vary in the time that they take to mature, from about 90 to 110 days or more. Potatoes also like a soil temperature of 60 to 70 degrees F (not warmer or cooler). It may be too late to plant new potatoes now in Indiana. Purdue University Cooperative Extension Service in Indiana recommends that early-season potato varieties be planted as soon as the soil is dry enough to work in early spring; late-season types should be planted from late spring through mid-June. As temperatures cool in early fall, you could try to extend the season for your newly planted potatoes and see what develops – place row covers over the plants, encase them in tomato cages wrapped in clear plastic (with open top), or other measures to keep the heat around the plant and keep the soil warm as the weather starts to cool (do not do this during the heat of summer weather, though). Meanwhile, your original plant that still has some green to it and had already formed 2 potatoes – be sure to keep mounding soil around the base, or applying a thick layer of straw, to keep any developing potatoes from being exposed to light (which turns them green and somewhat toxic, and encourages the roots to grow, as you found with the two you planted). There might be some potatoes further down in the soil that are still developing. You might want to wait for harvest until the entire plant has died off (or at least when the tops of the plants have yellowed and are turning brown) for any developing potatoes to grow larger, or, if you’d rather not wait, you can carefully check in the soil to see if there might be anything there of a suitable size to harvest now. Gardeners sometimes harvest the smaller size potatoes as “new” potatoes in summer and early fall, before the tubers reach maturity.

Potatoes taste horrible

I've tried growing 3 different varieties, so far all of them taste like dirt. What am I doing wrong?

potato taste

Potatoes can taste off for several reasons, even after cleaning and scrubbing and peeling, which removes any actual soil left on the potato skin from the garden. Be careful about storage conditions – make sure they do not get any light (which makes them turn green and taste bitter), and avoid any high temperatures, which can change the flavor, too. Growing conditions can also affect flavor and health. Check the potatoes for any signs of disease – mold or rot – that might affect the taste; cut off any discolorations.

Can u just send me a comment

Can u just send me a comment to my gmail say hi so it can go faster
My gmail is noahburns002@gmail.com

Adding soil will they be ok?

Hi it is my first time growing potatoes and I had seen that you need to add soil to your plant after it has grown so tall. Well I didn't really know what this meant until doing further research. Well what I did was cover the entire plant with dirt.... ENTIRE plant. Will it be OK did I hurt it? I know now you just add soil to the base of the plant and. Uild upwards but I heaped it directly on the plant I have one starting to poke back through the surface but not sure about the others if they are coming through or not

Hilling Potatoes

You are right, it is usually best to leave the top group of leaves alone, but for the first hilling (which is what we call adding soil to potatoes), the plant can generally recover fine even if all leaves are covered. It is a good sign that one of the plants is starting to come up again, and hopefully others will follow! 


Is it ok to cut the above ground foliage? If so, what are the rules? Also are potatoes which have appeared from previous years edible? Thank you.

Potato growing from potato boxes

I am growing potatoes from potatoes I purchased at WM they were from the actual seed area so they are not store bought potatoes like you would purchase to eat. I am growing them in potato boxes. I found the idea from the Internet. I built the boxes 8 inches and the potatoes grew great the plants are 3 foot tall as they grew I added more wood to the sides and added top soil as they grew. They are now dying I do not know why. The plants leaves have a brown area on them with holes like something is eating them. I have put down grub x and 7 dust the plants what can be killing them?

Brown Potato Leaves

It appears that your potato plants might be suffering from late blight. Watch this video to learn more about how you can stop the spread and save your potatoes.

Potato growing from potato boxes

From Walmart? If they aren't seed potatoes, don't try it. Most potatoes sold for eating are sprayed with sprout inhibitor and will not sprout. However, if they are sold as organic potatoes they will not be treated with inhibitor, and will probably grow just fine.

cutting off tops

Can I cut off the tops of my potatoes as they have taken over and I cant see where the actual plant is to lift and keep damaging the potatoes.

potatoes didn't flower and are dying

I planted my potatoes in a grow bag and hilled them quite often. I thought they were doing great until they started dying but didn't flower. Does that mean that I won't have any potatoes?

Not all potato plants flower;

Not all potato plants flower; you still might get potatoes under the ground. Check carefully in the soil to see if you feel any potatoes developing.

Little red potatoes growing

I dug down quite a bit and found some little reds growing so I tried to replant them and water them well. Hopefully that will work. After digging the soil seemed really to be in good condition as I was suspicious that I may have watered them too much.

most of the plants are dead(3 still growing)

I decided to go ahead and see what I had in my bag. I planted Pontiac Reds in a potatoe bag and followed the instructions pretty well. I thought they were OK until they started to die and they also never flowered. You told me previously that sometimes they don't flower. I have a lot of very very small red potatoes. Some no bigger than a marble. I want to try it again but am fearful that I missed something. I took a picture but it appears there is no way of sending it to you. I am looking for any suggestions so that I can have a fruitful crop. I also have two other potato crops growing in planters and they also seem to be doing OK with flowers. I am going to wait on these as they are still doing great or at least that is the way it looks.

Blue Potatoes-First time Grower

My daughter brought me home some baby blue seed potatoes from her work, so I dug a trench and planted the potatoes, when they got a little taller I put some dirt around them, but that has been it. I have these gorgeous really really tall potatoe plants, that have flowered. I didn't hill the dirt, ever again. So my worry is will I have potatoes? One of them has one of those poisonous berries growing on them. The plants have no bugs and look super healthy. Being a first time grower I had no clue what I was doing, I was excited about attempting to do a garden. The plants are tall so I used some stakes and string to help hold them up.

Trenches that are 7 to 8

Trenches that are 7 to 8 inches deep should require less hilling. A relatively shallow trench of about 4 inches would need 6 to 8 inches of hilling. How deep was your trench? Also remember that part of the reason you hill is to keep keep the spuds moist; the soil helps with that. When you reach the desirable height, consider mulching. Potatoes need at least 1 inch of water per week. We hope this helps and that you have a hefty harvest!

Last years organic potatoes

I used left over potatoes that I stored poorly as my seed potatoes. Is that bad? I just read your answer to someone else not to use last years potatoes. Some were green as well. Will they be ok? If not, why? What is different about "seed" potatoes as well, thank you:)

seed potatoes

Grocery store potatoes are for eating; they are treated with a sprout inhibitor so they will have shelf life in the store. (Sure, eyes may sprout but not like those that appear on seed potatoes.) Seed potatoes are grown to produce edible potatoes. Certified seed potatoes are disease-free. Sources we consulted do not recommend using your harvested potatoes (from seed potatoes) for the next year’s crop. Opinions are mixed. If you do use your harvested potatoes as seed potatoes, strict storage conditions are advised (storage in a coo [50°F] area after harvest, then a 3 to 4 week period of hardening off/outdoor exposure and high humidity—also called greening. Crop rotation is also highly recommended. But that will not guarantee a desirable crop. Using green spuds is another topic on which growers take different sides.


Am I doing it right

I planted a potato about 8 weeks ago. I do not want it to be poisonous but I don't know if I am growing it right. I am giving it plenty of water and if it grows something i don't want it to be poisonous
Please help

Poison potato?

Eight weeks is a long time to wait for your potato plant to send up some greens. If there is no sign of life coming from the soil something is wrong and nothing is growing.


I guess I forgot to completely inform you on everything. I started it with chits, about 6 inches from the bottom. The leaves grew through, every few inches I would cover them again. Now I am about 6 inches from the top of the bag. And something (I think it was an animal) ate the tops off. So again. Will my taters inside be okay? Will they re sprout? Or should i just dump the bag and start over?
Thank you again, and I apoligize for the first entry.

topless potatoes

Without the tops, William, you might as well discard the bag. The leaves produce food for the tubers. Without the leaves, growth stops. Sorry to be the bearer of the news…


I have taters growing in a bag. Well something happened to the tops of the plants. Will they regrow? Will my taters inside the bag still grow? Or do I just empty the bag and start over?

planting potatos

hello this is the first year that i planted potato and when i did i just planted the whole potato and now there are like 17 or more plants all in a cluster can you tell me what will happen am i going to have a lot of potatos or am i going to have just a few how many potatos can i get from one stalk

Potato mania

Hi, Ron, It’s hard to know how many potatoes you might get, there is so much involved—soil, moisture, bugs, weather, etc., not to mention type of spud. Hope for the best.

2nd year yield

Hi there, we have a lot plants come up from last year's plot and were wondering if the yield would be as good as last year or if it's worth ditching them now and planting a new batch? The plants are about 16 inches at the moment.

last year's crop

Last year’s potatoes should not be used as seed potatoes, so, yes, plant a new crop—but not in the same place! Rotate the plot location!


Our potato's are coming up, should we cover the hole plant with straw ? Or should we just let go ? They do not have flowers on them yet.

covering potatoes with straw mulch

If you are growing potatoes through straw mulch, once your potato plants poke up from the first layer of straw (which is about 3 to 4 inches) and reach a height of about 4 to 6 inches, then you can cover the whole plant with another layer of straw mulch (some gardeners leave about 1 inch of the plant exposed when covering them, so that the leaves can still be exposed to light and make food for the plant). Continue doing this (covering the plant with straw once exposed plant height is 4 to 6 inches) until you have a layer of straw that is about 12 or so inches high. Then monitor the plant as it grows; do not cover the entire plant again, but do replenish the straw if it gets dislodged or flattened – you don’t want sunlight to get to the tubers, or they’ll turn green and become bitter and not safe to eat.

planting potatoes left from last year

I have potatoes left from last year. They have sprouts approx 12 to 16" how do I plant them?

Just pulled in a couple of

Just pulled in a couple of pounds of reds that got planted after they sprouted in the cabinet. The surprise wasn't that they grew, but that they grew in the Caribbean, with soil pH around 7.5. Even 90 degree weather didn't stop these guys

Russet Potatoes

How long does it usually take for a russet potato to grow??

potato growing time

Days to maturity for a russet potato is 85 days.

Potato Bugs

Ive had problems with the potato bugs last year i tried something that seemed to work very well i mixed a tablespoon of liquid dish detergent with a gallon in a pump sprayer and sprayed it on my potatoes . this worked very well for me. i hope this will help someone who has a problem with potato bugs.

That stuff works great! I

That stuff works great! I use it on all of my edible plants with bug issues. Great & gentle on herbs for white flys!

Little project

I have three potatoes that my family neglected to cook, and accidentally left them to grow in a cabinet. I decided to leave them there, on some paper towels on a plate. I water the towel once a day, and it's interesting how there are roots spreading across it. There is no place for me to plant them in our apartment complex, though I think I can get a pot for them

Your website states the

Your website states the Hardiness Zone is: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 1. I am in Hardiness Zone 8b. I know the posted Hardiness Zones are areas where the potatoes can grow best. Can I grow potatoes here? When should I plant/harvest them?

potatoes in Zone 8

Potatoes are a cool-season crop. You can try growing them in fall and early winter for a late spring/early summer harvest. In areas of Arkansas and Texas, for example, potatoes are often planted around mid-February. For best advice about timing, you might contact your county’s Cooperative Extension. Here is a link to get you started:


How much water do i give my potatoes

I am in Queensland, Australia on the east coast. I have a question that I haven't been able to find an answer too. How much water to give the Potatoes plants, I planted them in raised beds I planted 24 of them as 3 lots of 8 different plants. I have been soaking the ground every day with lots of water. I checked them and the potatoes are about the size of my large fist and lots of them under the plant. They are now flowering and do I keep giving lots of water or do I stop watering, the ground is just dirt with hay between the dirt every 4 inches. I have covered the ground with about 3 inches of hay. What do I do now please.
Paul the Aussie...


Do potato farmers have plant every year?

potato farming

Many potato farmers plant every year, however, they rotate the crops so they grow in different fields every four years.

potato plants

i have small green tomato shape/size seeds growing on my potato plants are these seeds and can i plant them

These tomato-size green fruit

These tomato-size green fruit are poisoness and should not be eaten. You can save the ripe seeds inside the potato fruit and plant them. It would take many years for the seeds to develop into potatoes. and you would not get the sametype of potatoes as the parent plant. These seeds are mostly used by breeders who are hoping to come up with a new potato variety.

Harvesting but constantly raining

I'm in the middle of my potato harvest but its been constantly damp and raining for 8 days. So are they in danger of rotting because of the rain? Should i go ahead and pull them up during rain?

potato harvest in wet conditions

Harvesting potatoes in wet conditions increases the chances for rot in storage; yet, leaving them sitting in soggy soil can also encourage diseases. If you must harvest them at this time, keep them separate from any vegetables/potatoes that were harvested in dry conditions. Handle them gently to avoid damaging them. Pat dry and place them in an area with excellent ventilation to help them to dry off. Make sure that they are relatively clean (but do not wash them!), and wipe off soil on them that may harbor diseases. Keep the temperature around 50-60F for 2 to 3 weeks to cure; normally, you’d cure them in higher humidity (85-95 percent), but if they are already wet, a less humid environment might be safer. Higher temperatures will encourage bacteria. After curing, lower the temperature for long-term storage to around 40F, and keep monitoring for diseases; discard any that show signs of trouble. Good luck!

HELP! My red potatoes are

My red potatoes are already starting to get a little soft. I brushed them off, but didn't wash them. They are stored in a gunny sack in our mudroom (the coolest room in the house). Is there something I can do? Am afraid they'll start rotting, and won't last through the winter.

It sounds like hollow heart

It sounds like hollow heart which is caused by rapid growth of the potato after a period of stress. The center dies out and pulls apart. It is not a disease but is caused by abrupt changes in growing conditions and sometimes by cold soil. Try to make sure your potatoes get an even supply of moisture and wait til the soil warms up to at least 58 degress before planting.

I just dug up some golden

I just dug up some golden Yukon's for diner. Some of the potatoes have brown spots in the middle and they are hollow. what am I doing wrong its the second year that its happened . what am I doing wrong

Hello) Also a first timer

Also a first timer here at potatoes, if I bury a cut up potatoe and its started giving roots, is it ok to put it back or is that the end of my seed)

First time planting potatoes.

First time planting potatoes. Bought Burbank Russet seed potatoes. Planted them on July 5th. Tall and green. I have not done anything else, except plant them. There were no instructions with the potatoes. I am in Ottawa, Canada, Zone 4. They are in partial shade. Do I need to hill them up? When should they be ready to harvest?

Hi there, I live in Alberta,

Hi there,
I live in Alberta, Canada - I planted "late season" potatoes just over a month ago. I have super tall, green leafy stems, some of which are about to flower - I have never planted potatoes before. Do I dig for potatoes now, or do I wait until they have all flowered?

Hi Kelly, We're here to help!

Hi Kelly, We're here to help! You do not harvest your potatoes until those vines have died. After you harvest them, they can sit for a week or two at 65° to 70° F to cure. Then store them  in a root cellar or where the temperature will be 35° to 40° F if you want them to keep through the winter.

When harvesting, is there a

When harvesting, is there a way to determine by sight, which is(was) the "seed" potato that I should not eat? Will it be the only potato which has growth (stalk?) coming out of it?

Yes—your seed potato will

Yes—your seed potato will have a stalk coming out of one end. If you plant pieces of potato (pieces with "eyes") the seed portion will be the one with the flt surface where it was cut before planting.
Don't eat the seed potato. Put it into your compost; it has done its job.

I'm wondering if you've ever

I'm wondering if you've ever tried or know about planting short season potatoes in the garlic plot (after garlic has been harvested in early July) for a fall potato harvest. I live in MA and am trying to make the best use of raised garden beds.. If I base last frost date on your chart, it's the first week of October. If the first comes earlier can I cover the plants at night? Thanks!

There are potatoes that can

There are potatoes that can be planted in late summer and will mature in about 120-135 days. Katahdin, Kennebec, Bintje and fingerling potatoes are all suitable. You can cover the tops if you get an early frost.

I have 1 potato plant in a

I have 1 potato plant in a container. 2 weeks ago I took a few delicious ones out and reburied the plant. Now it's original growth is almost completely died off. A shoot from the base of the plant has now grown to equal size of the original and just flowered. If I wait to harvest all at once will the original ones be rotten? Should I harvest now and have the newest ones be too young?

I bury my kitchen scraps

I bury my kitchen scraps which often contain potato peelings. I choose a place in my yard that I think I might eventually plant flowers. Several years ago I noticed a plant in my garden that I didn't recognize - lo and behold upon pulling it, potatoes appeared in the dirt........golf ball sized and just a little larger. This year I have potato plants all over in my garden beds!! I'm going to harvest all the plants in a week - and enjoy the "fruits" of my labor! No seed potatoes were buried/planted......potato skins only! Does this surprise anyone as much as it does me? btw, the potatoes are absolutely delicious - Irish potatoes delicious.......creamy tasting!

same experience as you

Hi there,
I'm having the same experience as you. I buried all kinds of organic waste (including potato peels) from our kitchen in a area of my small veggie garden. Like you i witnessed this strange plant which I had not planted spring up all over the show. I've just found out they are potatoes... So I'll see what comes up in about a month and half or so... I'm excited and curious ;-)

i am a smol companay of

i am a smol companay of planting potatoes, how i can mix npk with the time of planting potatoes

I am growing potatoes in a

I am growing potatoes in a bin. They have grown almost as tall as me and haven't yet flowered. However One did have a small flower on it which has now turned into a tomato like berry. Can you explain what this is and whether it is edible?

This is not edible it and is

This is not edible it and is actually toxic. The pod contains seeds of the potatoes plant.

Vacation worries! I live in

Vacation worries! I live in Southeastern Michigan and I planted my potatoes (mostly yukons) in early to mid June. Some have finished blossoming, some are still in blossom, and some have not blossomed at all the plants are green and only just barely starting to lean over. I have even had some new potatoes already. However I am fighting what appears to be early blight on both a few tomatoes and potato plants leaves this year, even with rotation. I am also fighting pests including potato beetle with beneficial insects. I think I have caught it early by pulling the infected leaves and/or plants. However, I am worried because I am going away for a several weeks. Should cut my losses and harvest my organic garden potatoes or leave them and hope for the best?? Please help!

Hi, May: Well, this is really

Hi, May: Well, this is really a question of your personal tolerance for risk--and desire for potatoes. We personally would undertake a 3-step plan: (1) Early in the morning of vacation departure, do one last careful physical removal of any visible pests and their larvae. (2) Then apply a normal dose of a good organic insecticide per directions. (3) Then go away and have a good time and not worry about it. It is what it is, and our guess is that you won't find things much worse, if any, when you get back. Have fun!

I live in Massachusetts and

I live in Massachusetts and planted 55 hills on June 1. Luckily all are doing well. I've hilled them, but they are growing beyond the top of my hills. Can I just keep piling up the dirt dirt, and if so, for how long? (I see just a few buds but no flowers yet.)

Can I store my newly

Can I store my newly harvested potatoes in my basement refrigerator? I keep it about 45 degrees and open the door only seldomly.

i was wondering if i could

i was wondering if i could use the little potatoes that i found as seeds even though they have no spuds on them ????or should i leave them in a dark spot till they grow them?

Are you asking whether the

Are you asking whether the smaller potatoes harvested from a potato plant can be used as seed potatoes? And if so, do their eyes need to sprout shoots/roots first? If so, YES, once you harvest your crop of potatoes for the season, you can save the smaller potatoes (about egg size) as seed potatoes, providing that they look healthy and undamaged. Let them dry for a few hours in the sun, then set on a windowsill in indirect sun for a few days to cure. Then place them in a dark, cool, dry area, as mentioned in article, to store until next year. Monitor them over the winter and discard any diseased ones, or those that sprout prematurely. In early spring, take them out. Each seed potato section should have about 2 eyes. 

This may sound like a stupid

This may sound like a stupid question, but I read that the seed potatoes aren't for eating. I just pulled up a dying potato plant, and pulled up about five potatoes. Some were the size of new potatoes, but one was much larger. I'm wondering if the one that's much larger was my original seed potato? And should I throw that out? Also there were several smaller potatoes about the size of a dime. Are these any good? The potatoes I'm growing are more purple potatoes. I have white potatoes that have done nothing so far at all except grow.

There are no stupid

There are no stupid questions. Here's what we learned looking into this. The matter of eating seed potatoes has fans in both camps. Some say sure, eat em. Others advise against it and we agree with this side. It is not wise. The reason for your larger-than-the-others potato may be the distance between that plant and the next one (say, more than 12 inches). Larger tubers are sometimes produced at wider spacings—but not every time, every plant, or every potato. It sounds like just that one. As for the 10-centers (the dime-size spuds), sure they're good! Clean em, cook em, and eat em!
We can't tell from here why your white potatoes are not doing as well as the blues, but enjoy whatever you get.

It is the end of June and we

It is the end of June and we are just starting to dig some new potatoes. We are finding many of the new potatoes to be larger than we feel they should be for this time of year, they are really nice size, but many have buds on them? What does this mean?

If the buds (eyes) are

If the buds (eyes) are dormant, this is normal. If they have started sprouting, that's a puzzle. Is the parent plant still healthy and green? If it is dying back, then perhaps the potatoes are much further along than expected and they are somehow acting as seed potatoes. Or, could it be that the potatoes got inadvertently cut off from the mother plant? In which case, it might be that they are now acting as seed potatoes and sprouting into individual plants. If they had been exposed to light, they would turn green.
I'm not sure if this is the case here, since it is early in the season, but there is a condition called heat sprouting in which high soil temperatures (above 75F) cause the natural dormancy of the potato to break early. For more information, see:
This site also discusses a few other physiological conditions that might cause sprouting:
Hope this helps!

Hi, this is first time I've

Hi, this is first time I've found potatoes in my compost. I threw out some potatoes in the compost back in the winter and since spring they sprouted leaves on top. Today I pulled the leaves up and found baby gold potatoes bout the size of small golfballs and some are even smaller.. None of them are green and they look like the small variety at the store. Can I eat these? Are they poisonous? They look and smell great. I'm just not sure if it's a good idea to cook and eat them.
Please help. Thanks!

Hi, Mom: Perhaps you

Hi, Mom: Perhaps you misspoke. Do you mean to say that you have found some compost in your new potato patch? Cook 'em up! We'll be right over!

Is there any sugestion to

Is there any sugestion to plant potatos in soil ph level 7.5 to 7.9? May i proceed r not on my 4ha

The 1st year I planted

The 1st year I planted potatoes I had an awful infestation of potato beetles. In a conversation with a friend who also grew potatoes she mentioned she had bird houses by her garden and they would eat the beetles. I now have six houses in my garden and have not used pesticides in 4 years. We sit in our porch and watch the birds swoop down into the garden then back up to the houses. They are feeding their babies! We have sparrows and wrens living in the houses. They are occupied every year. They pretty much eat anything that moves in the garden.

What kind of bird houses?

What kind of bird houses?

My first attempt at growing

My first attempt at growing potatoes!
They are really growing but there are 2 shoots at each place I planted them. Do I pull one out so there is only "one plant"? I planted them at the end of May.

No. Just let them be and grow

No. Just let them be and grow like crazy! :)

Help, Planted red pontiac and

Planted red pontiac and yukon gold potatoes in the garden this year. They are growing great. They are about 2-3ft tall and have just finished flowering. Where the flowers were, we now have what looks like small green tomaotes. We have always grown potatoes in our garden and have never seen this before. They are planted next to cabbage with tomatoes on the other side of the cabbage. We are soooo confused. Do you have any idea???
Thank you.

What look like small tomatoes

What look like small tomatoes are actually the botanical fruits (berries) of the potato plant--these are poisonous, though, so don't eat them. Usually, potato flowers will drop off before setting fruit, so gardeners aren't used to seeing these green berries. 'Yukon Gold' is one cultivar that is more prone to setting fruit. Cool temperatures can also promote fruiting. For more information, see:

Hi there. My daughter and I

Hi there. My daughter and I shoved about 6 sprouting potatoes in a tote bag filled with dirt, about a month ago. They are growing like crazy buti think there are too many in one bag. I want to split them off into two or three bags. Will this hurt the plant, if I do it really carefully? I haven't checked for spuds but when you look down the inside of te bag there are loads of good roots. What should I do? Let them grow too close together, or splitter off into separate containers?

Out of pure curiosity, I

Out of pure curiosity, I stuck a dozen Russet potato eyes in some potting soil in peat pots. I was amazed, every one of them grew into strong, leafy plants.

Now, behind my trailer at a campground, they are growing incredibly well, for the work of a non-farmer. I feed campground leaves into my "Leaf Eater" mulcher every fall, for my flower beds. I separate the mostly maple leaves from the pine needles before grinding, as I was told by the campground owner the pine needles are quite acid, too much so for flower gardens. Not wanting to waste anything, the pine needles are accumulating (well dried,in heavy sealed plastic bags) Would this pine needle mulch be of benefit to my potatoes, with them liking acid?

Growing Hamen potatoes from

Growing Hamen potatoes from the Eastern Shore of Virginia. After about 3 weeks, the plants are about 12 inches tall. Any suggestions on when to harvest? Also, if there are several eyes can I cut the potato into quarters for more plants? I was told that you couldn't.

You can harvest new potatoes

You can harvest new potatoes around the time when the plants have just finished flowering. Harvest mature potatoes after the vines start to die back--a few weeks after potato plants start to blossom.

This video shows a good overview of harvesting mature potatoes:

If there are several eyes on a seed potato, you can divide it so that each section has 1 or 2 eyes. Small potatoes can be planted whole.

I was wondering what the

I was wondering what the plants looks like when they are ready to be harvested? And for future reference when I should plant? In western Colorado? Thank you!

Hello Like most questions


Like most questions being asked, I am growing potatoes for the first time. I am using a garbage container and drilled holes at the bottom and side. Anyway, I was wondering, can I use coffee grinds and eggshells in the growing medium for potatoes? As well, if they like acidic soil, would it hurt to give them a very watered down vinegar and water mixture?

Thank you!

Hi, Nos: Congratulations on

Hi, Nos: Congratulations on taking the potato plunge! The main thing you should do is remain calm and simply make sure that your potatoes are growing in rich soil that has a pH of about 5.2 to 5.5. Do a soil test, and slightly amend if necessary. But just sort of randomly adding things to the soil is a recipe for disaster, as they can make the plants susceptible to disease and/or pests, if not downright kill the plants. Coffee grounds are acidic and eggshells very basic, but that doesn't mean that they would necessarily balance each other. Do test and then research what action -- if any -- to take. Remember that potatoes have been doing fine on their own since long before you came on the scene, and just sometimes need careful massaging, not major manipulation. Thanks for asking, and good luck!

Compost mixed with soil works

Compost mixed with soil works well for spuds. Use vinegar on plants you want to kill. Most soils are slightly acid and compost wll safely make your soil more acidic. Tryng too hard can sometimes do more harm than good. Potatoes are not hard to grow and your large container should work great.

Hi! In early march of this

Hi! In early march of this year i just randomly planted some potatoes. I have been watering them regularly and i have also been hilling them. They've grown quite a bit. Today when i went to check on them some of them have fallen and started to wilt and they haven't even have blossoms. I live in the central valley of california, what does this mean and what should i do?

Not all potato plants flower;

Not all potato plants flower; you still might get potatoes under the ground. Check carefully in the soil to see if you feel any potatoes developing.

I'm new to this. Second time

I'm new to this. Second time I've tried to grow potatoes. My first time ( last year ) ended up with a nice green stem and I continued to add soil whenever the leaves were about 6" above the soil. ( growing in a garbage can ) come harvest time ( I thought ) I dumped the entire thing and went looking for 'taters. I found two --- about the size of a Brazil nut, each. Don't know what happened but, whatever... I got some seed potatoes from a nursery this time and they are growing really well. What I don't know is; do I continue to water even after the leaves etc. die back or what. When should I stop watering?

Hi Bob, Potatoes grow best in

Hi Bob,
Potatoes grow best in rich soil. Make sure to add compost or aged manure to the soil. Keep watering as long as the plants are growing. After the potatoes flower and the plants start to die back it's time to stop watering and dig them up.

Hi! I have some potatoes that

Hi! I have some potatoes that we grew last year that have sprouted. Due to the cold wet weather we have been having here (it was 22 degrees with snow on Mothers Day and snow/rain since then), we have not yet planted. Most of the sprouts are now a good 12-15 inches tall. Can we still plant these? Do we just plant them deep? Thanks for your advice!

Leave the sprouts on but

Leave the sprouts on but "wind them up" when you plant the spuds, instead of leaving them at full length.

In late FEB I planted seed

In late FEB I planted seed potatoes in a wood box which I added boards to as the crops grew. I used garden soil from Lowes when it came time for hilling. They were about 4-5 feet tall the last time I hilled them and absolutely beautiful. Only a couple days later, a few of the plants started falling over at dirt level, rotten. The tops were still green, although somewhat wilted. I live in east Texas and we have been getting a good amount of rain these past few weeks. So I don't know if that has contributed to the problem or not. While some of the plants in the box are alive and healthy, I'd like to know what happened to the ones that died? The healthy plants haven't bloomed yet so I'm wondering if there is any chance that the dead ones will bounce back.

Hi, I'm growing potatoes for

Hi, I'm growing potatoes for the first time this season. I was wondering, when it comes time for hilling, could I hill the potatoes with wood ash? My family pulls out the firepit a lot this time of year, and we always end up just dumping out the ash. Could I instead put it to use as a hilling material?

Wood ash can be very useful,

Wood ash can be very useful, but you want to avoid it in areas where potatoes are to be grown because the alkaline conditions can encourage potato scab. However, you can use your wood ash for many other purposes. Mix into your compost heap and it provides a natural source of potassium and trace elements which is great mulch for most vegetables. It also has a liming effect, so wood ash can remedy excessively acidic soils.

My seed potatoes got a little

My seed potatoes got a little soft while waiting to plant them. Are they still good for planting?

Hi Renola, As long as the

Hi Renola,
As long as the potatoes have eyes or show some sptouts they should be OK to plant. Discard potatoes that show rot.

I planted seed potatoes. The

I planted seed potatoes. The plants went crazy but only 1 flowered and now the plants are wilted and have holes in leaves. We have had a very dry warm winter/spring. Never grown before, how can I tell if things are ok?

We planted potatoes left from

We planted potatoes left from last season. 1/2 or more are coming up as expected. But checking on some that were not sprouting, we found many small potatoes growing off the seed potato? Will these eventually sprout a plant?

What do you mean by the "eye"

What do you mean by the "eye" of the potato? Also, is it alright to plant potatoes in May or June in SJ, California?

The eyes of the potato are

The eyes of the potato are the areas where the buds are, each of which will produce leaf shoots and/or roots. If you've seen a potato sprout while stored in the kitchen, those areas that produce the shoots are called the eyes. For a photo, see:
Here is more information on potato eyes:
As to when to plant potatoes in San Jose, it looks like May and possibly early June would be OK, although even earlier would be better. For best advice, we'd recommend that you contact your county's Cooperative Extension. They can tell you the best planting dates, and varieties that might do well in your area for later plantings. For contact information, see:
You might also be interested in:

How much should you water the

How much should you water the potatoes when planting?

Hi, Mary: A lot of this

Hi, Mary: A lot of this depends on where you are and how hot it is, but you should plant potatoes in soil that is moist but not too wet. Give them a week and a half or so to get started, watering only lightly if the soil seems to be drying out. Then begin watering well every 3 days or so. Thanks for asking!

Can I plant potatoes in mid

Can I plant potatoes in mid April in north Texas, dfw area?

Hi Kiri, You can plant the

Hi Kiri,
You can plant the potatoes as soon as the ground is soft and not too wet.

I plant a potato last

I plant a potato last February. I plant it on a pot. For now, I don't know when i will harvest the potato? Do potato needs sunlight everyday? I think the pot has a tall of 8-10 inch and its wide is 6-7 inch. Do i need to transfer it on the ground? I need an answer for my potato. THANKS!

hi, Since potatoes are a root

Since potatoes are a root crop, once they start to get established, trying to transplant your start to the ground may prove difficult, as tuber roots may have already began to develop. In this instance, if your pot is the biodegradable type, pull open various spots on the PEET pot, and plant the whole thing pot and all. If it is a clay or plastic pot, carefully remove the entire dirt and root ball in one piece, and plant it. potatoes are big nitrogen users, so, give a well balanced fertilizer (Miracle grow).
Don't use too much, or burn the plant from fertilizer.

Good luck

I'm 9 and I want to grow a

I'm 9 and I want to grow a potaco in my classroom.Is there any easier way?

Yes there is! Get your seed

Yes there is! Get your seed potatoe and find a tall bin. It could be a trash can. You can even use a big plastic tub. You can place that in the window sill of your classroom and grow a potato right there!

Look for the link to growing

Look for the link to growing a potato in a trash can. It will need lots of sun and water, so best not try in the classroom. Hey! You could be the first person to get a school garden going! Best of luck!

Hi Herobrina, See our

Hi Herobrina,
See our planting advice on this page. You can plant the potato in a big container with good well-draining soil. Cut up a seed potato (or an organic potato from the store) and make sure each piece has a couple of "eyes". Plant the pieces in the container and place it in a sunny spot. Keep the soil moist.

Great site! I've grown

Great site! I've grown potatoes here in NM for a few years, but always have a few questions. Any confusion I had about growing and planting was answered in a short, efficient way. Thanks!

Hi. I was curious and didn't

Hi. I was curious and didn't find the answer above. When is a good time to plant potatoes in a container in Illinois? Thanks in advance!

For Central Illinois, plant

For Central Illinois, plant potatoes April 1 to 15, June 1 to 10.

i have question .... i grew a

i have question .... i grew a potato plant in my pot and it grew well but i cant understand that why my potato's coming up from soil and turning green why?????

When growing potatoes, it's

When growing potatoes, it's important to pile up more earth to cover the tuber when the stem reaches a height of nine inches above ground; this prevents tubers near to the soil surface from turning green.

Hi I have a quick question. I

Hi I have a quick question. I bought a 10 lb bag of potatoes from the market today (Dec 12, 2014) to use for mashed potatoes on Christmas. I usually store them under my counter in the kitchen but they don't last that long cause I use them up quickly. So my question is can I store these potatoes in the original packaging on my balcony in a material shopping bag? Or is it too cold to do that? It's snowing here in Canada so its pretty cold... I figured you guys would be the best people to ask since you grow your own :)

Oops, its the 13th lol

Oops, its the 13th lol

The ideal temperature for

The ideal temperature for storing potatoes is between 40 to 50 degrees F. Perhaps you can keep them in the basement or garage?

Just don't let them freeze.

Just don't let them freeze. If so many, put them on paper in an unstacked layer in your closet if that's all you have.

Hi my name is mark I had a

Hi my name is mark I had a fluke happen I used my organic waste from my itchen for mulch. Low and behold I used that mulch and I got plant growing in my garden . Mind you im tickled pink by it but there growing in winter. I live in the central valley ca . Is there any4hing I need to know so I dont loose them? How long do I wait before I harvest? Thank you for your time.

Hi Mark, Are you sure that

Hi Mark,
Are you sure that you have a potato growing in your garden? If it is a potato you need to hill some soil up around the plant and also be aware of frost and chilly weather. Cover the plant to protect it from freezing and if you have prolonged cold weather the plant will not grow. Potatoes can be harvested after they bloom.

Thank you. They are potatoe

Thank you. They are potatoe plants at first I thought they where some new weed somi pulled one and and that told me what they where. Mind you I was excited . Ive never grown any before. Ill let youknow how they did

The ground froze before I

The ground froze before I could dig my potatoes this year. Should I leave them to regrow next year or can I still dig them now?

Hi Linda, If the ground is

Hi Linda,
If the ground is frozen to the depth where the potatoes are, they will be ruined. A surface freeze will not harm them. You can test the soil by digging down to see if the potatoes actually are frozen. If you can't dig into the soil put a layer of mulch over a section of potatoes and then try again. Some of the potatoes left in the ground over the winter may sprout next year.

I want to know if

I want to know if Albuquerque, NM has the right climate to plant potatoes now in October. Thank you for your valuable time.

Judy, Yes, you can grow

Judy, Yes, you can grow potatoes in New Mexico. They are considered a half-hardy crop which you plant these near the average date of the last killing frost, or plant in summer for the fall garden. See our frost dates calculator here:

I live in Albuquerque, NM and

I live in Albuquerque, NM and I want to know if I can plant Klondike Gourmet petite potatoes now in October. A friend gave me a partial bag and I'd like to plant them if possible. Thank you for your valuable time.

Hi:), I live in Southern

I live in Southern Massachusetts and my mum hucked some bad potatoes out in the yard and garden (probably in the early summer/spring) and I went over one day and noticed nice big aprox. 2-21/2' plants with flowers. There was a potato showing that had lots of bug holes in it, but I think the plant was growing out of it?? Maybe?? She did not plant the potatoes, just threw them out for the animals. I think we might have already had a frost, it has gotten quite close anyways, but the plants are not dead yet. Should we get to digging?

I want to add, they were

I want to add, they were store bought potatoes, not sure what kind. New, russet maybe?

With some luck you may have

With some luck you may have some potatoes growing under the soil in your garden. If the plants are green and healthy looking leave them until they turn brown from the first hard frost. You can than dig up the plants and see if you can find some potatoes under them.



Hello Patrick , the best time

Hello Patrick , the best time to plant potatoes is during rainy season in malawi. However you can plant them any time of the year as long as you water them regularly in the morning and in the evening. I hope I have answered your question but if you want more explaination please don't hestate.

Hi names erik Castillo I

Hi names erik Castillo I believe that the best time to plant potatoes is early spring after the frost is gone or may to june is also good for planting potatoes also early summer when weather isnt scorching hot im growing russet potatoes what season is it right now and I can tell you the best time for planting potatoes

In late April, a store bought

In late April, a store bought potato had sprouting eyes on it. I cut the potato in half and stuck it in a pot & covered with dirt. I set it outside and pretty much forgot about it. It was a rainy season, and to my (happy) surprise, at the end of June, I found the pot with about 3 inches of plant, stems and leaves, attached to the potato, which was now showing above the soil. I excitedly dug a hole in the ground near a fence row, of a neighboring cow field. Having watered off and on over the past few months, in addition to occassional rain water, my plant has grown so far to a height of about 15 inches tall. Not very bushy, however, it has branched off into at least 5 stems. I have not yet seen any flowering. I have not used any of the above ammendments ...sulfer, manure, or anything. The spot I chose did have previos horse manure at one point lol. I guess my question is... Is it possible, that from little or lack of care, I may be blessed with any potatoes? Should I even attempt to dig up, and have I allowed enough time? What is the monthly time frame from start to harvest? The stems have remained firm, and freen. A bit leggy, and are now growing low. They also, have been in full sn here in North central TN. Being a beginer gardener, I assumed sun was a good thing, but now have learned from this board, for potatoes, sun is not so good. Maybe a little too late I suppose!?

Some grocery store potatoes

Some grocery store potatoes may have been treated to inhibit sprouting to prolong shelf life, but since yours sprouted, that wasn't an issue. Also, store bought potatoes might not be certified disease free. Seed potatoes at a garden center are usually certified. Plus, you can usually find more variety of seed potatoes from a garden center or garden catalog, and some that might be more adapted to your climate, than those at a grocery store. However, lots of gardeners have success using grocery store potatoes as seed potatoes. In Tennessee, March is the ideal time to plant potatoes, but April is fine, too. The success of your potatoes will depend in part on what variety you have planted and when, based on your local climate. Potatoes like cool weather, can stand light frost, and don't do so well in the heat of summer. Check your frost dates. Nashville, for example, has a last spring frost around April 6 and a first fall frost around October 28. (See the frost calculator at: http://www.almanac.com/content...). Early season potatoes mature within 75 to 90 days; midseason, about 95 to 110 days; late season, about 120-135 days (these store well usually). Potatoes grow best in cool weather, when soil temps are about 60 to 70F. It's best to get the crops harvested before the heat of summer, or time them to mature in fall. In areas with hot summers, early and midseason types grow well in spring plantings (plant about 3 to 4 weeks before last spring frost); late season types can be planted in early summer for a fall crop.

Due to space constrictions on

Due to space constrictions on my balcony, I decided to pull my Kennebec potatoes earlier than what is recommended. The plants had already flowered a few weeks ago (I even got a few potato fruit that I will try to save the seed from) and the foliage had just begun to brown/die back but definitely wasn't dead. I ended up with about 30 or so potatoes of varying sizes. I'm unsure how to store them because I'm assuming they're not "new" potatoes, nor are they fully mature potatoes. What would you recommend?

Make sure that the potatoes

Make sure that the potatoes are dry. Brush away any extra soil and store the potatoes in a cardboard box in a cool dark area. See our tips for storing potatoes on top of this page.

I live in Louisville KY and

I live in Louisville KY and have started planting a lot of (mostly large - like half-barrel ) containers. Had tomatoes for several years and these did well. This year I expanded. I had a bunch of russet taters that sprouted in the pantry so I decided for giggles to plant them in a half-barrel in May, in potting mix and compost in a 5" deep layer at the bottom. Drain holes are 1.5" above bottom, to retain water through our hot summer days. As they grew I added peat moss and some commercial bagged compost until the barrel is full.

Summer this year has been milder than most - only two days so far above 90F (32C); mostly in the 80's (27-32C). I've got a nice crop of spindly 3'+ vines, but from what I am reading here, I may not have (m)any tubers due to the temperature of the soil, which I have not measured yet. I haven't seen any (or maybe just a very few) flowers. I have kept the soil nice and damp through the whole season.

So I have a few questions:
1) what is the ideal and what is the limiting soil temperature range(s) for common barieties of potato (russet, white/Idaho, red-skin, yukon gold, etc as seen in my local chain grocery store)? Are there any varieties that are higher-temperature tolerant and easy to grow?
2) if I don't have (m)any spuds soon, can I just leave what I do have in the pot to start itself over whenever they choose?
3) since these were grocery-store potatoes which may harbor untold diseases, I gather that at the very least I should not plant potatoes (or any Solanaceae crops) for at least 4 years in this pot. What kind of diseases are we talking about - what are the symptoms so I can decide if I do (and where can I read up on potato diseases)?
2) If I have some of these diseases, it begs the question of what the commercial growers do, since they are monocultural operations with less opportunity for rotation? Hefty chemicals?
3) If potato diseases are so rampant, how does anyone produce disease-free seed-stock tubers of a true variety?
4) And finally, a story with a question:
My dad grew up in Hartford Connecticut during the Great Depression. Sometime (I never asked when) they would lay down a 6" layer of compost on the driveway, plant potatoes, and add dead leaves as the vines grew to keep the tubers covered. The pile may have gotten to 2' or higher. Winter came, snow covered the pile, and for dinner his mom would send him out to stick his hands into the (unfrozen, apparently due to the insulation of leaves and snow) pile and fish out enough potatoes for the family. Has anyone else ever heard of this? When do you suppose they planted? What variety(ies) might they have used? For reference, the first frost was usually the 3rd week of September, and hard freezes came by late October. Winter lows were as cold as 0F in January-February, but mostly 15F and above until then.

Is it possible with new

Is it possible with new potatoes to harvest just the larger ones and then leave smaller ones to grow on into the season?>

Hi, Lora: Yes, but just be

Hi, Lora: Yes, but just be sure to work as quickly and gently as possible in doing this.

My plants have not died back

My plants have not died back yet but I did dig some red potatoes up and the were a nice color and size. one however was starting to rot in the center. I plan to store my potatoes so I want to leave them in the ground for 10 days after the plant dies back. What should I do? Im afraid if I leave them in they'll keep growing and ill end up with a lot of center rot.

I had a lot of potatoes gone

I had a lot of potatoes gone to seed so I put them into pots they have grown to about five feet but also growing from the stem are a few bunches of what looks like small green tomatoes can you tell me what it is?

Both potatoes and tomatoes

Both potatoes and tomatoes are in the nightshade family‚ Solanceae, but these are NOT tomatoes. Inside these "seed balls" are "true" seeds of the potato.
Do not eat the seed balls or the seeds; they contain solanine, which is toxic to humans!
Potato seed balls can occur during cool seasons. You can save and start the seeds indoors next season, transplanting after all danger of frost has passed. Note that they need a long growing season. You may get a harvest of a variety of tubers!

Hya.This my first time

Hya.This my first time growing potatoes.Some of my crop has produced seec balls on the top leaves.Is this normal and what do I do next? Tx for any help.

My potatoes are not

My potatoes are not producing. They have bloomed & I dug up some of the plants, but they aren't producing. Is it too late to save them?

Perhaps you need to give the

Perhaps you need to give the plants more time? Sometimes the potatoes won't start to form until a week or so after the plant begins to bloom, or just when the flowers start to fade. Some potato plants may never flower. So for new potatoes, start looking for these as the plants flower and a week or so after. For mature potatoes, harvest after the plants die back--even waiting a week or two after that.
Also, if you give the plant too much nitrogen, it will focus on growing foliage and you won't get potatoes. Use a balanced fertilizer instead.
Potatoes don't like the soil to be over 80F, and will slow or stop producing tubers if the soil gets too hot. If you are in a hot climate, be sure to mulch thickly around the potatoes to keep soil moist and cool.

I live in southern Ontario.

I live in southern Ontario. I've planted potatoes from the first time. The plants are about one foot high. However, they are growing along the ground and not straight up. I've notices that the plant is yellowing as if it's rotting. They have not flowered yet. What do I do. They are in full sun and we have been having a lot of rainf lately. What do I do. I'd hate to lose this crop

I live in southern Alberta

I live in southern Alberta and have the same problem; I've been growing these for almost ten years and have never seen this before. Any ideas? Thanks

Providing these are regular

Providing these are regular potatoes and not sweet potatoes (which are always vining), it might be more unusual to see them growing along the ground (unless they were just so heavy that the stems fell over) since they usually show an upright and bushy habit. We've read though that they might tend to vine more in cool climates, such as in the mountains of South America. We're guessing that it might also depend on the variety.
Not all potato plants flower; you still might get potatoes under the ground. Check carefully in the soil to see if you feel any potatoes developing.

ppl tell me that if u cut off

ppl tell me that if u cut off the tops of the plant after the flower die it will make the potatoe grow bigger is this true

Hi James, Please see our

Hi James,
Please see our answer to Sharon's question below.

I just finished planting my

I just finished planting my potatoes in Zimmerman Minnesota on May 25th. Due to rain, couldn't plant them any earlier. I planted three varieties but didn't soak the eyes prior to planting. I also used bone meal in a sandy soil with added black dirt mixed in. What do you think?

Hello James. Yes you grow

Hello James. Yes you grow bigger potatoes pulling the flower off. A lady seen my garden about 7 years back, and ask me y I wasn't pulling the flowers off. Well I did then and browed the biggest potatoes ever
Ben doing it ever since

If you remove the flower to

If you remove the flower to get bigger tubers do you wait until the flower dies or while flower is still in bloom?

Cold temperatures can change

Cold temperatures can change the starch in potatoes into sugars. The refrigerator might not be the best place to put your taters.

We recommend to store

We recommend to store potatoes in a cool, dry, dark place. The ideal temperature for storage is 35 to 40°F.

We have 4 rows approximately

We have 4 rows approximately 0.5 miles of potatoes that have been weeded and hilled (hilled 2-3 times) They are blooming now. I have heard that some people top their potatoes and by doing that the potatoes grow bigger..... Any advice appreciated and "How To's". Thank you in advance. Sharon Reneé

Hi Sharon, We have also heard

Hi Sharon,
We have also heard that some gardeners remove the potato flowers (leaving all the leaves) before they develop into small green seeds. We have not tried it but it does make sense. The energy to produce seed will instead go into producing the potatoes under the soil. You can test it buy removing the flowers in one row to see if the potatoes will grow bigger.

If you buy organic potatoes.

If you buy organic potatoes. Can you use these instead of potato seeds? If so, how do you go about doing it? Thanks.

You can buy organic potatoes

You can buy organic potatoes (or any from a store) and as long as they form eyes they will grow. Most non-organic store bought ones have a process dont to keep them from forming eyes and sprouting. Keep them in a cool dry place and once they start to form eyes, cut into small sections leaving 2 eyes on each piece. I set mine for 24 hrs after cutting (on a rack) at room temp to allow them to form a skin. Then transplant to the growing box or garden.

I didn't get all my potatoes

I didn't get all my potatoes dug up last year. My plants turned green and started to grow this spring. Will they do alright and make new potatoes this year

Potatoes are a perennial type

Potatoes are a perennial type plant in that if the potatoes left in the ground are un-damaged during the fall and winter they will produce new plants in the spring.

Hello, I live in Alabama. My

Hello, I live in Alabama. My daughter brought home a potatoe plant in a large pot. I have never planted potatoes before and don't know how to maintain them or when to harvest them. Any advice is appreciated.

If it is a single plant in a

If it is a single plant in a large pot (around 3 gallons or more) you can keep in in that pot for the year. You would want to keep it in the full sun and water regularly. if you start to see the tops of the potatoes add dirt to keep them protected from the sun. When the Green plants die off and turn brown its time to harvest. I wouldnt expect much from a single plant but you could see 3-6 potatoes depending on the type planted.

i planted 4 -24"Sq. pots i

i planted 4 -24"Sq. pots i goe 4-bhls. of spuds 1/2 of them 4-6"2-3"wide and a lot of pee wee's, i took a bag of russets from the grocers cull pile in the winter kept till sid spring ears were 3-4" long and all shrivled up they came up like crazykept covering them till top of pot plants were 4' high frosted off and harvesed them, what a pile shaired them aroung the area.used rick organic potting soil with no chems. just used mirical grow a few times the are great im in cen. ct.

Hi, my neighbor tossed a

Hi, my neighbor tossed a bunch of potatoes that were sprouting roots into a flower bed about 10 weeks ago. He didnt bury them and they sprouted nicely anyway. So, he got anxious and dug the tubers up this evening. Surprisingly, there were actually some good sized tubers along with some tiny ones. He gave them all to me to cook. I decided to wash one and toss it into the microwave to make a baked potatoe. The potatoe seemed excessively hard when I cooked it the regular amount of time, so I cooked it longer. It never seemed to cook right. It never got soft. It was tough and really watery inside. It tasted kind of sweet. I don't quite get what's wrong with these potatoes. I made a second one and the same thing happened. There are green areas as well. Also note that the stems and leaves were still very green and not drying up at all.

Your neighbor had kind

Your neighbor had kind intentions, however, potatoes exposed to sunlight turn green. Keeping tubers covered while they are growing prevents greening. The green patches will taste causes a bitter taste because the flesh contains a moderately toxic compound. When preparing potatoes, cut away any green areas and discard. 
Also, when the potatoes are dug up, the weather conditions are important or the potatoes could turn green which changes their flavor. It needs to be warm and dry (after a period of little or no rain). Cloudy days are even better. 
All in all, potatoes must be grown—and stored—and harvested—in darkness. 

Hi there! We seem to have

Hi there! We seem to have accidentally planted potatoes! I put some old ones in a compost pile on top of the ground, thinking they were dead and would just decompose, but they started sprouting up unexpectedly. I had already planned to build a raised bed next to where they sprouted, so I did, trying to not disturb the plants. Also, since the plants were growing almost entirely above ground, I thought it would be good to cover the bottom part with some soil (I guess this would be considered hilling?). Now, part of the plant has started to die. I'm not sure if I disturbed some roots or covered with too much soil or what. I think the plant was at least 6 inches high when I added the dirt, but I'm also not sure exactly. Any suggestions on what to do at this point, or if I should just let them do their thing? Oh, and I haven't planted the raised bed yet, in case that matters (but it is staying put, lol).

I say let them ride. I

I say let them ride. I usually hill (or add dirt to a box) when the plant is 12" or more. I cover the bottom 6" leaving a min of 6" of plant above ground. At first you will see slight wilting or yellowing, but with proper water, sun, and time they usually pop back. The one thing to watch is the ammount of sun. Most dont build a compost pile in direct sunlight.

How often do you hill

How often do you hill potatoes? Live in Savannah, GA We planted them in raised boxes about 12 in. And hilled them when they were about 6in and hilled them when they were about 3in out of the soil and hilled them again until we reached the 12in. Should we make the box deeper to reach 18in?

If you can, that wouldn't

If you can, that wouldn't hurt. You can also use straw (it works if the plant's root system is in soil) with a bit of dirt on top. Remember, the object is no sunlight.
Or, you can just stay put and have a bit smaller harvest.
Your key next season is to start about a foot below the box with your initial layer of compost and the seed potatoes.
You'll be fine as you have described your situation though.

I had previously gotten

I had previously gotten directions to plant potato eyes 2 inches apart. the plants are very healthy and beautiful, but now I am worried after reading all of these comments that the advice I followed could be bad for my harvest. I have blooms starting to show, so what should I do?

Is it too late to plant

Is it too late to plant potatoes..Im in KY and I want to plant this in pots. If it is not too, late..any advice? "new to this.

While normally the early crop

While normally the early crop is planted around March to mid April, a second crop for a later harvest can be done mid-June to mid July, according to the Kentucky Cooperative Extension. (I'm sure you can plant in between those times as well, if you don't want to stagger harvests.) You might be interested in this publication from the Kentucky Cooperative Extension:

I just finished planting my

I just finished planting my potatoes in Zimmerman Minnesota on May 25th. Due to rain, couldn't plant them any earlier. I planted three varieties but didn't soak the eyes prior to planting. I also used bone meal in a sandy soil with added black dirt mixed in. What do you think?

Is June 1 too late to plant

Is June 1 too late to plant potatoes in NC?

It depends on the type of

It depends on the type of potatoes you plant. I would stick with an early red and you could even take them as "new potatoes"

New Potatoes are regular potatoes that have been harvested early. Normally at about 2-3 inches in diamiter.

Early potatoes typically mature between 65 and 85 days, but immature tubers can be harvested within seven weeks.

I read all your guidelines

I read all your guidelines and I have followed. I am in Canada- Vancouver. I have planted my potaeto plants for my first time this year in my patio in pots. Now my potatoes are 6 weeks old. Now they are ready to bloom. I hope all will be going well and I hope I can have some potaeto in last week of July. I use moisture meter to know when I need to water and it helps. As you mentioned, potaeto plants want moisture soil and it is true. Thank you for your great guidelines.

Hi Henry, Nice to hear that

Hi Henry,
Nice to hear that your potatoes are doing so well on your patio. Hopefully you'll have a nice harvest come July.

I was raised with a garden.

I was raised with a garden. This is the first time my potato plants have buds, but don't seem to be opening. What causes this?

Maybe you have had some

Maybe you have had some fluctuating weather which has caused the buds to not open yet. If the buds look healthy they should open when the weather turns warmer. It's important to keep the potatoes well watered during the period when they are flowering and immediately following the flowering stage.

can potatoes i planted last

can potatoes i planted last season come back this season???

Hi Kristan, If you accidently

Hi Kristan,
If you accidently or on purpose leave a few small potatoes in the ground in the fall they may overwinter and come back the following spring. If you live in a cold area the potatoes need to be at least 8 inches under ground so that they don't freeze during the winter months.

My six pots of potatoes did

My six pots of potatoes did not bloom. I planted them months ago, and they came up strong and beautiful. I think we got a heat wave in Jan. up to 88° and I did not respond with enough water. I resuscitated them and they were doing all right but went away for 3 days and another heat wave of 90°. The vines for the most part are yellow and limp. There is some new growth of leaves coming near the bottom on the vines though. Should I trim them and see if they grow back. Like I said, they never bloomed. Thank you!!

Kaye you didn't say where you

Kaye you didn't say where you lived or what kind of potatoes you planted.It takes 70 to 120 days for potatoes to form.If I were you I would gently dig around the roots of the potato plants and see if you can find any potatoes. If there are none or if they are too little I would give them a chance to grow.But you are going to have to keep them moist. It would help if you would mulch them heavily.GOOD LUCK

It sounds like your plants

It sounds like your plants succumbed to the heat. Potatoes are extremely sensitive to high temperature and dry soil, among other things. One source estimated that one potato plant's total water consumption in a season is about 26 inches (over several months) for plants in the ground. Plants in pots—no matter what they are—tend to require more water than those in the ground simply because the soil in the pot, being exposed on the sides, dries out quicker than ground soil. You could trim them and see what happens.
(BTW, while you were 88°F in January, we were probably -18°F!)

Last year the local wildlife,

Last year the local wildlife, probably badgers or foxes, attacked my potato patch leaving it looking like a war zone. This year, the potatoes that I wasn't able to lift last year have started sprouting and there is a good deal of leaf growth showing above ground. Not wanting to grow potatoes in the same patch on consecutive years I've dug them up and most of them look very healthy. What can I do with them? Should I replant them or are they safe to eat? Thanks for your help.

I don't know anything about

I don't know anything about badgers but I know a little about potatoes. I would say you can either plant them or eat them. Just make sure they are not damaged when they are dug if you are going to plant them. If some are damaged let them heal a few days before planting.

Thanks Carol, that's a help.

Thanks Carol, that's a help.

Is hilling super neccessary

Is hilling super neccessary

Hilling helps to protect the

Hilling helps to protect the growing potatoes from the sunlight so that they don't turn green and it also helps you get a bigger harvest.

I bought a bag of potatoes

I bought a bag of potatoes that are all green. Are they safe to eat

Green potatoes have a bitter

Green potatoes have a bitter taste because they were exposed to light during growth (not a good idea). You may wish to trim these parts off. If you ate a lot of it, your stomach might be irritated.
Inspect potatoes at the store before purchasing and store them at home in a cool dark place with good air circulation.

I'm growing potatoes for the

I'm growing potatoes for the first time, what does hilling mean and what do I do

We have had a very wet winter

We have had a very wet winter and spring . We live in Virginia Beach, VA. Is it too late to plant potatoes ?

It's not too late. Plant as

It's not too late. Plant as soon as the soil has dried up a bit.

I would like to know how to

I would like to know how to can potatoes via the water bath method. Years ago my grand mother and mother did it that way and I'd like to also I don't care for pressure cookers. If someone out there knows please let me know.

Has anyone heard of the old

Has anyone heard of the old method of cutting up the seed potatoes and coating them with Copper. Letting them dry for a week or so prior to planting ?? I seem to remember me grandfather doing this but I have lost his 1940s gardening book.

I only heard of dusting them

I only heard of dusting them with sulfur but since copper is a fungiside that is possible.You only have to dry them a day or less.

Thank you Carol You are

Thank you Carol
You are correct. It was Sulfur not copper. I found my answer in a 1957 published Gardening book last night.

how to can potatoes ?

how to can potatoes ?

What does dragging off

What does dragging off potato's mean? Thanks in advance

how can store pottos for

how can store pottos for about 6 months of so, can I store them in my storm cellar?

Here are tips on how to store

Here are tips on how to store potatoes from the University of Idaho extension: Store in a dark, cool, unheated place that is 42 to 55 degrees F.  A garage is a common place. Do not expose to any light. Potatoes need high humidity as well as air flow so put them in a perforated bag that is not tightly sealed. Do not wash the potatoes before storage.

Every year I have a problem

Every year I have a problem with aphids on my cole crops I have tried almost everything to get rid of them.Last year I bought an organic mite,thrip and aphid spray that worked pretty good but it was not cost efficient. Another gardener friend suggested I buy lacewing cacons. What do you think?

Every year I have a very bad Aphid problem with my cole crops. So much so that I have thought of not planting any. But that would be a shame. A gardener friend of mine suggested I buy some lacewing eggs. I have tried most all the recommended sprays and only one worked to keep them under control but never eliminated them completely. This product was expensive considering the amount I had to spray repeatively.
What do you think? I'm open for suggestions.
How and when do I use the the Lacewings?

I was told that if you plant

I was told that if you plant Dill plants near those plants that aphids go after that the aphids will rather attack the dill than the other crops. Hope this idea helps

Have you tried covering your

Have you tried covering your cole crops with row covers? They come in different weights so there are light ones than can be used the entire season. Sun and rain penetrate but the insects don't. That is a better method in my opinion than spraying.

K Mueller

I had read in an organic

I had read in an organic gardening site that planting garlic in my veggie garden and around my rose bushes would get rid of aphids, so I tried it.

100% eradication!

Good Luck!

Thanks Debra I certainly

Thanks Debra I certainly will
give it a try.

The best practice to prevent

The best practice to prevent aphids is to keep the leaves dry - only water the dirt!

I am interested to learn from

I am interested to learn from your experience regarding the age of potato tuber after planting or sowing when it can be harvested to use as seed for next crop. You can relate with size of tuber and age of tuber in days

As recently as 2/3 weeks ago

As recently as 2/3 weeks ago I planted potatoes in 4 seperate containers in shallow soil intending to top the soil up as they grew. When I looked again they had all sprouted leaves but the soil is too shallow to accommodate much potatoes. Can I cover the leaves and what will happen or will I have to transplant into deeper soil? Thanks in advance.

When the plant grows to about

When the plant grows to about 6 inches tall, you can cover the lower leaves and stalk with a few inches of soil or straw. Leave the top group of leaves alone (although for the first hilling, the plant can recover fine even if all leaves are covered). As the plant grows another 6 inches, add more soil or straw to the base. When you reach the top of the container, you should have a nice mound of soil or straw in which the potatoes can grow. The plant will produce stems and leaves above the soil/straw level.

Thanks a million. Much

Thanks a million. Much appreciated. :)

Hello fellow farmers! Am a

Hello fellow farmers! Am a firt timer in potato growing and am trying to find out which could be the very best variety to grow in Ndola, Zambia!

Hi there, I'm in Ireland. I

Hi there, I'm in Ireland. I planted seed winter potatoes in large tubs in the garden. The plants grew really well and grew to over two feet tall when all the foliage / vegetation suddenly died and rotted away. I went to empty the containers a few weeks later and found quite a few perfectly formed baby potatoes. I don't know what killed the plants, probably blight, but the tubers look perfect. Is there any reason I can't eat them?

check that your bag was

check that your bag was draining water well.that may be the cause.thx

I used large pots with drain

I used large pots with drain holes, not a bag. Thanks anyway.

Although there seems to be no

Although there seems to be no conclusive study that indicates a blight-infected potato is harmful to eat, there was an investigation a few decades back that raised the question of whether blighted potatoes were linked with certain birth defects and therefore expecting moms should avoid them; however, this theory is still inconclusive. Even if there were no risk from blight, however, there is a chance that a blighted potato may also contain other diseases that might indeed be harmful, so it might be best to just throw the entire potato away. (And, no one should eat a green potato.)
If you want to take a chance with the tubers from your blighted plants, then check to see if the potato itself looks healthy. If it does, it likely would be OK to eat. If there is any sign of corky dry areas, scabs, etc., on the tuber, then you can cut that part out and eat the rest, or just throw the whole potato out. If there is any slime or mold, throw the potato out. If it has an odd flavor, also throw it out.
If your potato tubers show any sign of disease, do not use them for canning--even the good parts.

We have grown potatoes for

We have grown potatoes for several years,but this year we had a problem we have never had before. We planted both a red and abrown potato. They are all very dry. They do not make good bakers,French fries, or mashed. About the only way they come out good is as hash browns. Does anyone know what makes a dry potato?

A dry potato can be due to

A dry potato can be due to variety (such as russets vs. more waxy types), or cultural/environmental disorders or disease problems. If your potatoes showed any discoloration inside, or sunken or hollow areas, you might look into a disease such as fusarium dry rot, or a cultural or environmental problem. For more information, see:
Check your soil to make sure it has the nutrients that potatoes need (not too much/not too little), and be sure that the crop has the proper amount of water, consistently. Consider environmental factors that might be coming into play, such as chemical damage from nearby areas, heat or cold stress, etc.

my potato plant has been

my potato plant has been growing since summer. I already dig out most of the potatoes. Now there are some new leaves came out from branches's split ends (with litter bud-like joins). should I keep the plant? will it produce potatoes again?

FYI: I live in northern CA.


Often, one can make the final

Often, one can make the final harvest after the plant has died back, unless you desire a smaller sized potato, in which case the main harvest would be earlier, when most tubers have reached the desired size. If you do not have frost in your area, the plant still has plenty of green leaves (along with the new ones), and the plant is not starting to die back (turning brown), then you can certainly let the plant continue to grow and see if it survives to form more tubers.

Iplanted 220 bags of potatoes

Iplanted 220 bags of potatoes my problem is that at what stage did i put top dressing fertiliser and how to haverst

side dressing should be did

side dressing should be did when the plants are 4-6" high I preferr to till between rows and with a hoe about 4" from bot. of plant make small trench both sides apply 10-10-10 fert. then hill the potatos. works every time.

I live in Hardiness Zone 8B

I live in Hardiness Zone 8B is there still a way/type of potato that I can still plant?

Potatoes can be planted as

Potatoes can be planted as soon as the ground is workable but not too wet. This is often 2 to 3 weeks before your average last frost date.  The soil temperature should reach 45 degrees. If you're not sure of your frost dates, see our Frost Charts: http://www.almanac.com/frostdates

My wife is Filipino and LOVES

My wife is Filipino and LOVES to plant ANYTHING she can get her hands on. We live in the Bay area of CA. She planted an Ube potato and it has grown into a fairly nice bushy plant and the vegetation has not started to die off yet. Can we expect any kind of a "crop" from this planting??

If you have prepared the

If you have prepared the ground well before planting,you maybe able to harvest a good crop. Just like any potatoes, Ube needs well drain, loose soil and of course good soil (composted manure mix with sand will do the work) to be productive. Keep the soil moist but not soggy, and don't let it dry.

We live in eastern Oregon

We live in eastern Oregon where they grow a lot of potatoes. In the fall the go over the rows with a roller and kill the plants. Then they water them like crazy for days before they harvest. Why do they do this?

At potato harvest, they are

At potato harvest, they are killing the vines to terminate the growth of the tubers to control their size and set their skin which reduces bruising during harvest. This process also reduces insect issues and disease. They are probably applying an herbicide to help vine kill which is best applied at dusk with high volumes of water. This allows the product to penetrate the leaves and stems before being activated by the sunlight the following day. Hope this helps answer your questions!

won't the herbicide enter the

won't the herbicide enter the potato? that sounds like a bad thing to do

I am a first timer in the

I am a first timer in the area of potatoes. How can I grow potatoes? Help me to find out if it is possible to grow potatoes in Gombe, North Eastern part of Nigeria. Gombe is a place with warm climate with between 5 to 6 months of rainfall in a year. The location of my farm is near Dadin kowa dam (Google: Dadin kawo dam, Gombe, Negeria) This will enable you to see my location. The location of my farm is in Maleri, a village situated towards the northern part of the Dadin kowa lake, just by the western bank of the lake.

Thank you.

In the southern regions, when

In the southern regions, when is the right time to plant potatoes? and how long does potatoes take to ripe?

In many southern regions, you

In many southern regions, you plant potatoes in late winter (February, early March). Check with your county's cooperative extension for local dates.

I am 65 and have been

I am 65 and have been planting red potatoes for some years now and my plant date is always Valentine's weekend. Never has failed me. 90 days and I dig. Just my 2 cents worth.

I was brought up to plant

I was brought up to plant potatoes (New England) on or before St. Patrick's Day regardless of weather/frost- it worked there and has worked well for 30 yrs. in the Willamette Valley (Oregon-USA) harvest 1st crop early June, 2nd crop in late summer. Good luck!!

Hello,I have potatoes growing

Hello,I have potatoes growing in a container.pulled out a couple and tasted one,it was a bit bitter,not the best tasting. The potatoes were not exposed to sunlight.Any ideas?

Usually, bitter potatoes

Usually, bitter potatoes means that they have greened up (developed chlorophyll) due to exposure to sunlight, which also encourages colorless solanine to concentrate there, which makes the potato taste bitter. Sprouts at the eyes can also contain solanine and taste bitter.
It's just a guess, but since they were not green, and you likely didn't eat a sprout, perhaps they were not ripe yet or they were stressed in some way, such as by insects or disease?

I planted my seed potatoes

I planted my seed potatoes really late due to rainfall. I am in Edson, Alberta, Canada. I planted the end of May,although this is very late I have huge full plants & am waiting for them to flower. My question is when should blossoms appear given my late planting date?

It's been about 12 weeks or

It's been about 12 weeks or so, right? Usually, flowers would appear about 6 to 10 weeks after planting (depending on type and local conditions). However, there are some varieties that don't flower; they still produce fine potatoes. Perhaps you have one of those types, or they are just delayed a bit in flowering. (Depending on whether you have an early, mid-, or late-season variety, it could take from about 80 to 120 days from planting to harvest.)
Or, sometimes if potatoes get waterlogged or thirsty, or don't have enough sun, they will fail to flower. In this case, they might not produce a good crop. However, your plants are healthy, so it could be they are just a nonflowering type or are a later flowering type.
All you can do is to dig the plant after the foliage has yellowed and died and see what's there. Or, you can gently dig a little bit now with your hands to see if there are any potatoes growing; replace the soil afterward.

With 2014 planting less than

With 2014 planting less than 3 months away, I thought you'd like to know that my usual planting date is around June 1 every year. I live 100 km. north of Edmonton, and my garden catches up with all those gardens planted around the traditional date of May 24. (soil is warmer) Sometimes, conditions don't allow June 1. I've planted as late as June 6th, and harvest as usual - everything. Even late variety potatoes. Good luck!

I just finished building a

I just finished building a potato bin to grow potatoes year round https://sphotos-a.xx.fbcdn.net... We use fresh straw and potato eyes and dig up fresh potatoes year around...any comments?

Interesting. Presumably it

Interesting. Presumably it would work. You might need to add new soil each year and have several of these going every season, with appropriate rotational crops.

I am in potatoe home growing.

I am in potatoe home growing. Thanks for the information.


Botanical Name: 

Solanum tuberosum

Plant Type: 

Sun Exposure: 

Soil Type: 

Soil pH: 

Hardiness Zone: 

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