Steps to plant potatoes include initiating the sprouting process in the seed potatoes, cutting the seed potatoes, prepping the ground and planting. Potatoes grow from seed potatoes, which are potatoes from the previous season with eyes. Certified seed potatoes are recommended as grocery store potatoes may carry disease.
Potato planting usually takes place when soil temperatures reach at least 45 degrees Fahrenheit and after the last spring frost. Soil pH between 5.0 and 6.0 provides an ideal growing environment. Potatoes shouldn't be planted in the same location two years in a row. Ideally, gardeners should wait three or four years before using the same area again.
Customers can purchase seed potatoes for many types of potatoes from nurseries, garden centers or seed catalogs. Before planting, they need to spend about a week in a warm, sunny spot between 60 and 70 degrees Fahrenheit to initiate sprouting.
One to two days before planting, each seed potato needs to be cut into sections at least 1 inch in diameter. Each section should have one to two eyes on it. Doing this a day or two before planting allows the cut surfaces to harden slightly, making them less prone to rot.
The garden soil should be cultivated and loose. The traditional method uses a trench 6 inches deep. The seed potatoes go into the trench with eyes up and are covered with a few inches of soil. Potato plants need additional soil as they grow. Piling on this soil is known as hilling.