It’s Time to Play in the Dirt
It’s potato planting time and my absolute favorite time of year…spring. And when the calendar says potato planting time, rest assured the trees and flowers are about to start blooming and pollen will fill the air. Okay, that part (the pollen) I’m not so crazy about since I suffer from seasonal allergies. Fortunately, Zyrtec keeps the headaches at bay so I can enjoy this beautifully amazing and colorful time of year.
So, have you marked the calendar for when you should plant in your zone? Have you ordered your seed potatoes? If not, that’s okay. We’re way down here in Central Florida where we get a really early start so most of you will probably have plenty of time to get things together and ready for your area in time. If you need some help on how to get started and where I purchased my seed potatoes, check out my blog post on “How to Prepare Potatoes for Planting” here. You can also watch my video below and see exactly how I did it.
This is the tool I used but a regular ole hoe works great. For info on this single wheel hoe, just follow this link.
Tools You’ll Need:
Planting potatoes is really easy and fortunately you don’t need a lot of tools either. Just an ordinary hoe and a rake works great. But I’m 60 and digging holes and trenches is a little more tiresome than it use to be. So this past Christmas I asked for a wheel hoe to make gardening a little easier for me and in return, even more enjoyable. To see the wheel hoe in action and to watch how I planted my potatoes, just follow this link to our YouTube Channel. I also add some 10-10-10 fertilizer while I’m planting to give them a little boost. I do recommend the fertilizer, but this is something that you can omit if you have really good soil. You can also substitute for an organic equivalent. I just used this because I had it on hand and want to use it up rather than throw it away. I do prefer, and use, organic practices most of the time.
Shoppable List of Tools for Your Convenience
Now Let’s Get Dirty
- You need to decide where to potato planting is going to occur. Since they are part of the night shade family, you DO NOT want to plant them where any other crop in the night shade family was planted the season/year before, i.e. tomatoes, peppers, eggplant. You also want well drained soil as potatoes do not like a lot of water. They will rot. So look for an area that is high and dry. Sandier soils are better for potato planting.
- Now decide on your weapon (tool) of choice and let’s get to cuttin’ some rows. Your furrows only need to be 3” to 4” deep. If you like to have nice straight rows, you can run a line from one end of your plot to the other to help you along the way or you can just wing it. The choice is yours.
- Make your rows 30” to 36” apart to allow yourself space to get in between them once they have grown to maturity for weeding, fertilizing, and such.
- Place your potatoes, cut side down/eyes up (see photo above), in the trench and spread them 8” to 12” apart. The farther apart, the bigger the potatoes will grow.
- Once you’ve placed all of your potatoes. sprinkle a little 10-10-10 on each side of the rows. DO NOT put fertilizer directly on the potato, it will burn them.
- Now cover with dirt and wait for the magic to happen.
Water as needed for your soil type and your potatoes should sprout in 2 to 3 weeks. Remember, potatoes like water but do not like a soppy ground. Better to underwater than to overwater.
This post may contain affiliate links. We make a small commission if you buy the products from these links (at no extra cost to you). As an Amazon Associate, I earn from qualifying purchases. But I only recommend products we would use ourselves. See my full disclosure here.
WAIT! We’re not done…
Once they begin to sprout and they get to about 3 or 4 inches above the ground, it’s time to cover with dirt again. Some people use straw which seems to work well too (just something I haven’t tried), so that is an option. AND AGAIN, once the potato plants grow 3 to 4 inches above the dirt you will cover for a second time.
Hilling potatoes this way helps to reduce weeds and therefore they don’t have to compete for nutrients. And, if there is a chance for frost, the dirt will protect the tender plants and bring them through the cold snap. Win win!
In the photo above, you can see what potato plants look like when they have sprouted. As you can see, the one on the right is three times larger than the one on the far left which is why I haven’t hilled them (covered them with dirt). But now it’s time and you can see the little weeds beginning to sprout as well. The size of plants and the sprouting weeds are sure signs that it’s time to hill.
Find More Helpful Posts Below:
- How to Prepare Potatoes for Planting
- How to Grow an Amazing Corn Crop this Year
- How to Cook an Artichoke
- How to Plant Peanuts for Maximum Production
- The Beautiful Muscadine
If it’s time to plant and you’ve had a lot of rain, DON’T PLANT YOUR POTATOES. It’s okay to wait a little bit because potatoes will rot in a wet ground. So if you’ve had a lot of rain, just wait it out and let the ground dry a bit before planting your potatoes. They’ll be fine and you’ll be so glad you did.
I hope this has been helpful to you and I would love to see the photos of your potato plantings and to hear your comments. And if you have any questions, please don’t hesitate to ask. Until next time…
If you ever have any questions, please don’t hesitate to ask. I love hearing from you!