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Spud-tacular Growth: Six Secrets of Growing Potatoes

Spud-tacular Growth: Six Secrets of Growing Potatoes

Back in 2018, my very first gardening blog post was about what to do with those leftover St. Patty's Day potatoes. Five years later, still doing our thing with taters. Spuds are one of my favorite vegetables to grow that are also oh-so-fun to harvest!

Two young boys harvesting red potatoes in their garden.

This is why I'm excited to share some planting potatoes advice with these six tips straight from our own potato trenches:

  1. Choose the Perfect Plot: Find a sunny spot in your garden, whether in a bed, in the ground, or by using a large pot or growing bag. Just ensure the chosen location gets at least six to eight hours of sunlight each Day.
  2. Prepare the Soil: Dig down about a foot and loosen the soil with a garden fork. I also like mixing compost or worm castings into the ground to give those spuds a cozy bed filled with grow-boosting nutrients.
  3. Cut and Cure: If you have large "chitted" or "sprouted" potato tubers, you can cut them into smaller pieces, but make sure each piece has at least one or two "eyes." Let the cut pieces sit in a cool, dry place for 2-4 days to form a protective layer. This step helps prevent rot and disease.
  4. Plant with Precision: Dig holes about six inches deep, and space them about a foot apart. Place each potato piece or whole tuber (eyes facing up) into each hole, covering them with soil. Then, practice patience as you await the sprouted stems to break the soil surface.
  5. Hill 'Em Up: As the potato plants grow, gradually mound soil around the stems. This act encourages more tuber development and prevents new underground potatoes from greening.
  6. Water Wisely: Potatoes need consistent moisture, so water them regularly. However, be careful not to overwater, as it can lead to potato rot. Aim for moist, not waterlogged, soil. Keep those spuds hydrated but not soggy!

Potato Patch with healthy green leaves and a sign that reads, "Potato Patch."

That's it! Remember, planting potatoes is a journey filled with anticipation and excitement. Don't be afraid to get your hands dirty, enjoy the process, and may you harvest an abundance of delicious spuds!

Want to learn more? All of our Rutabaga Education's Fall Books include lessons that include activities to learn all about growing and eating potatoes, along with fun activities that sneak in nutrition, math, science, potato history, and more!

Books that show the Rutabaga Education Curriculum books.

Still have a taste for tater knowledge? Watch this video!

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