How to Prepare Potatoes for Planting
It is really easy and below you’ll find step-by-step instructions from purchase to planting. They’re such a fun crop to grow and if you’ve got kids or grandkids, they will love it when it’s digging time. It’s like digging for buried treasure so let’s get started on creating our pot of gold
Where Do I Begin?
- First, find your last frost date. Just type in your zip code here and you will find both your first and last frost dates. Go ahead and write both dates on your calendar because you’ll need them for all of your crops.
- Count back 2 weeks from last frost date and this is your potato planting day. Write “plant potatoes” on your calendar.
- Count back 3 days from “plant potatoes” and write “prep potatoes”.
- In the fall, begin looking for seed potatoes and order them as soon as they are available so you don’t miss out because a lot of places sale out quick. They should ship them when it’s time to plant in your area so don’t worry about ordering too early. I purchase mine form Hoss Tools because they have quality products and are a wealth of information. To purchase your seed potatoes, just click HERE. If you’ve missed the window for ordering your potatoes don’t sweat it, because you should be able to find some at one of your local farm stores. I noticed that Tractor Supply had a nice stock of them just a few days ago.
So now you know when your last frost date is, when to plant, when to prepare your potatoes for planting, and when to order. It’s getting exciting now! So let’s get our hands a little dirty and start working on those potatoes.
I Have My Potatoes, So What’s Next?
Now that you have your potatoes, you can see that each potato has what is called “eyes” (see photo above). Place the potatoes in a box with a little space between each (or on anything where they can get air flow, i.e. screen, fencing, rack) and let sit for a week or two to let the eyes begin to sprout just a tad. If you don’t have time to do this step because you need to plant NOW, don’t stress it. It’s not a big deal. Just skip this step and move on to preparing your potatoes for planting as in the steps that follow.
- Cut each potato into sections where you have 1 to 2 eyes per piece of potato.
- Place each piece cut side up, on a cardboard box (shelf, newspaper, just something breathable) with each piece separate from each other where air can circulate.
- Let sit for 2 to 3 days or until the cut has healed over. You’ll know it’s healed when it has dried over and no longer looks moist and fresh.
You’ve done it! You’re potatoes are prepped and ready for planting.
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For your next step, check our blog post “Let’s Get Dirty in the Garden” on how to plant those potatoes, and you can watch me in action and see just how easy it is here. Your comments are always welcome and if you have any questions, please don’t hesitate to ask.