What Is the Best Way to Grow Potatoes?

Homegrown potatoes are better boiled, grilled, cooked, or roasted! Here are two easy ways to grow potatoes and how to get the best yield.

You can’t match the flavor of potatoes straight from your own backyard. Here’s how to sow potatoes for a bumper crop this season.


When should potatoes be planted?

Seed potatoes are cold-tolerant and can be planted in the garden in early spring when soil temperatures exceed 50 degrees Fahrenheit, around the time dandelions bloom. However, cover any new vegetation with landscape cloth or an old sheet to shield it from late frosts. Damage to the vegetation does not destroy the plant, but it may set it back, resulting in fewer potatoes than you would have had otherwise.

Complete sun and well-drained soil are ideal for growing potatoes. Don’t panic if your soil isn’t ideal; we’ve got a couple of alternatives for you further down the list.

What should we plant?

Instead of planting seed from potato seeds, plant cut-up bits or small-sized tubers known as “seed potatoes” for simpler and faster results. In the early spring, purchase disease-free seed potatoes from nearby or online nurseries. You should also break up the sprouting ones in the pantry.

Which potato variety should I grow?

Sure, there are a few varieties of potatoes available in the grocery store, but when you grow your own, the choices multiply — big, thin, long, stubby, red, blue, or yellow — there’s a potato for every taste. Local garden centers frequently have a variety, but if you want to try something new, you might look at the products of a couple of the online sites mentioned below. Potatoes are divided into six shape and color groups, each of which contains hundreds of varieties. You’ll find heirlooms that have been passed down over decades, new varieties with better flavor or disease and pest resistance, and all in between.

Person Holding Brown Stones

Primer for potato texture

If you’ve got the potatoes in the kitchen, it’s the inner texture — the combination of starch and water — that shows you how to cook them. Floury potatoes have more starch than water, making them ideal for baking; waxy potatoes have more water than starch, making them ideal for salads or roasting. All-purpose potatoes, as the name suggests, are the most adaptable and can fit into any of your culinary creations.

The pieces can be of any dimension, as long as each one has two or three eyes.

Person Holding A Green Plant

Preparing Seed Potatoes for Planting

  • If your seed potato is the size of a golf ball or smaller, you should plant it whole.
  • If it’s larger than that, you’ll want to break it into bits with 2 or 3 eyes each.
  • Allow the parts to dry naturally for a few days to form a callous that will aid in disease resistance.

Set small potatoes seed, and when you see growth, it’s time to plant.


You may want to experiment with presprouting, also known as “chitting”: It gives your potatoes a head start and will improve your yield. The dimpled end of the potato is the seed end, where the majority of the development will occur.

Set potatoes or bits, seed ends up in a location that stays around 70 degrees F and receives indirect sun.I think the egg carton seen above is a perfect way to keep the potatoes upright (and also move them to the garden later). They’re good to go in the garden if you see small, stubby sprouts in a week or two. Just don’t leave for too long—leggy sprouts are delicate and quickly break off.

Place the seed potato, eye or sprout side up, in a 3 to 4 inch deep hole.

Brown Potato

How to Sow Potatoes the Hilling Way

Hilling is an excellent method for growing potatoes, whether in rows or as a single vine. Have a look at the diagram and step-by-step instructions below.

  1. Place the seed potato sprout-side-up in a 3 to 4 inch deep planting hole, as seen in the picture above. Firmly press so that it makes strong contact with the dirt. 2 inches of compost or dirt should be used to cover it.
  2. Keep an eye on the stem and cover half of it with soil until it has reached 6 inches taller.
  3. Phase 2 can be repeated until the “hill” is around 12 inches long. Drought tension lowers yield, so cover your hill with a 2-to 4-inch layer of organic mulch to preserve moisture.


Harvesting Suggestions

Brown Potatoes

Pull some dirt away from the stem of the plant 2 weeks after it blooms. Take enough small potatoes for a meal and replace the soil so the remainder will be ready later.

When frost kills the vegetation or it dies naturally, it’s time to dig. Begin near the edge of the hill and work your way toward the main stem with a spading fork. After carefully digging the vine, return to the soil and sift through it with your hands to locate any potatoes that dropped off below ground.

You can see your potato harvest if you pull the side of the box down.

Hilling Method Suggestions

Make certain to drink! Drought stress reduces yield, and the soil on this small hill dries out easily. As a result, ensure that plants receive 1 to 2 inches of water each week.

When you see roots poking through the soil, feed plants with an edible liquid plant nutrient, such as fish emulsion, every couple of weeks.

Avoid high-nitrogen foods, which result in more leaves and fewer tubers. When the vegetation begins to die back in late summer, stop feeding and watering.

Make sure the potatoes are well coated with dirt. Many that are exposed to sunlight can grow poisonous green spots. (If they do shape, cut them off and eat the potato.)

Planting potatoes in a package or bag

Brown Paper Bag on Brown Wooden Table

No hilling is needed when growing potatoes in a big box filled with compost or potting mix. For structural integrity, use any packing package at least 18 inches deep with the bottom intact, and fold the top flaps into the case. I used a second box inside the first to save it from collapsing before the end of the season.

  1. Prepare seed potatoes for planting: If the seed potato is the size of a golf ball or less, sow it whole. If it’s larger than that, you’ll want to break it into bits with 2 or 3 eyes each.
  2. Fill the box halfway with dirt, then plant the potatoes 4 to 6 inches thick.
  3. Simply rip or break the package open at the end of the season, pick out the potatoes, and compost the remainder.

Also, make sure to poke drainage holes in the bag’s bottom.

What if you don’t have a box? Not a challenge. Simply rip open a bag of potting soil, poke some drainage holes in the bottom, and plant your potatoes!