Planting potatoes in your garden is really quite easy, and there is nothing that compares to your own freshly dug potatoes. There are some steps involved before you plant, however.
1. Buy seed potatoes from a greenhouse, big box, co op or on line venue to get good quality, unadulterated potatoes. Yes, you can also plant potatoes you have purchased from the produce section of a store, but be aware that most of these have been treated with a chemical to prevent sprouting eyes.
2. Plant when the ground has warmed up, and weather has been in the 60s or warmer.
3. Chit the potatoes 24 – 48 hours before you are going to plant. Chitting means you take your potato and locate the eyes, or sprouts. Cut the potato into pieces that each contain at least one eye.
4. Allow the cut potatoes to sit over night, to lightly scab over and form a faint skin over the cut. This helps prevent the potato piece from rotting in the soil.
5. Locate where you would like to plant your potatoes. Choose a spot that gets ample sun, and a spot that has not been manured recently.
6. Plant the potato pieces about a hand width apart. Watch to make sure the entire piece is covered with soil.
7. Several times throughout the growing season, mound up soil around the base of the plants. This is called “hilling” and will cause your plants to produce even more potatoes.
8. When the foliage begins to turn yellowish brown and starts to die back, it is time to harvest. Carefully dig the potatoes up, being cautious to not spear or damage the potatoes. If that happens, eat them right away as they will not keep.
9. Brush the garden soil off the potatoes. Be gentle, again you do not want to damage them. Allow to dry, then prepare for a feast of your very own home grown potatoes!