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Guide to Planting Potatoes

Beier's Greenhouse offers many varieties of potatoes for your home garden. Growing your own potatoes is easy and can provide a bountiful crop.



Start with seed potatoes

Your seed potatoes should be purchased locally. Look for healthy potatoes with at least 1-2 eyes. Larger potatoes can be cut into quarters, but be sure that each piece has at least one eye. We carry a wide variety of seed potatoes at Beier's, including:

  • Blue Seed

  • Burbank Russet

  • Dakota Pearl

  • Kennebec

  • Red Lasoda

  • Norland Red

  • Red Pontiac

  • Yukon Gold

Soil

Potatoes do well in almost any type of soil, as long as it is well-drained and loose.

Start planting

You can plant your potatoes a few weeks before your last frost date in the spring. Potatoes love to start growing in cool weather. Just make sure the soil has both thawed and dried out.


A few reminders:

  • Plant your potatoes in full sun.

  • Plant them where you have not recently grown either tomatoes or potatoes (crop rotation is a MUST!).

  • When planting, space them at least 1 foot apart and have your rows about 3 feet apart.


Create "hills" that will allow them the ground cover that they need. As your plants grow, layer the plant with soil at the base. This will allow the plant to produce not only more potatoes but also protect the plant from the sun. Keep mounding soil around the plant as it grows until there is around 1ft of soil mounded around each plant.

Potato care and maintenance

Once plants are started they are pretty easy-going. Just keep a few things in mind:

  • Occasionally check to make sure the potatoes are properly covered with dirt or mulch and not exposed to sun, which will turn them green.

  • Keep an eye out for bugs. Aphids can occasionally be a problem, however, the main culprit is the potato beetle. You are almost guaranteed to get potato beetles, so try to get rid of them as soon as you see them. (They’ll also lay egg clusters under the leaves, so lift the leaves to check that too.)

Harvesting

Harvesting can be done with either a pitchfork or by hand. Just be careful to avoid damaging the roots of the plants and be sure to leave some potatoes to mature for later if harvesting early in the season (potatoes can be harvested as soon as the plants bloom for baby potatoes).

Storage

Keep your harvest in a cool, dry, and dark area. A cool basement or root cellar is a perfect location. DO NOT WASH potatoes if you are going to store them. Brush off the excess dirt and store until you plan to use them, then wash. Enjoy!!

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