ArtsAutosBooksBusinessEducationEntertainmentFamilyFashionFoodGamesGenderHealthHolidaysHomeHubPagesPersonal FinancePetsPoliticsReligionSportsTechnologyTravel

Harvest Your Own Homegrown Potatoes Year After Year

Updated on January 10, 2018
cygnetbrown profile image

Cygnet Brown graduated magna cum laude from Argosy University. She is an author of twelve books and a long-time gardener.

Potatoes are not usually grown from seed. They are grown from other potatoes
Potatoes are not usually grown from seed. They are grown from other potatoes

Harvest Potatoes Year after Year

More and more people are trying their hands at growing potatoes in their backyard. Potatoes are one of the easiest vegetables to grow. When grown intensively, potatoes can produce more calories per square food than any other vegetable. Potatoes are not usually grown from seeds, but can be harvested year after year from potatoes that were harvested in previous year's potato crop.

When To Plant Potatoes

Q. When is the right time to plant—is there a cue in nature to remind us, or a soil temperature or calendar date we’re looking for?

Plant your potatoes as early in the spring as possible. Ideally you should plant your potatoes two to three weeks before your average last frost in the spring. It is possible for seed potatoes to rot too early if planted in cold wet soil. Your potato plants will get damaged if the young shoots are exposed to heavy frost. They will put out new shoots, but with each die back, the plants will produce a later, smaller harvest. It is better to wait until the soil has warmed somewhat before planting. Potatoes planted two to three weeks before the frost date will actually produce faster than potatoes planted four to six weeks before the final frost date.In the south however, potatoes may be better if planted in late fall or early winter.

A good way to determine when to plant potatoes is to determine when the first dandelion blooms after the snow has melted off.Plant your potatoes at that time.

Preparing to Plant Potatoes

Cut your larger sized-seed potatoes into pieces so that your seed potatoes will go further and are likely to produce a higher yield.. Be sure to leave at least two "eyes" on each piece and cut with a sharp knife. Leave cut pieces in a cool humid location overnight to harden the cuts and prevent spoilage before potatoes grow.

If you discover that your seed potatoes are susceptible to worm damage, such as wireworms, maggots or other pests, avoid cutting potatoes and just plant them whole. If you have a chance to hand pick your own seed potatoes, choose small potatoes so that you have more potatoes to plant.

If you have deep loamy soil, plant your potatoes about 4 inches deep and then hill at the proper time (more about that later). If however your soil is not ideal there are a number of ways to prepare your soil to improve your potato yield.

Incorporate as much organic material into your soil in order to produce the best yields. It is best to add the compost or other organic material in the fall so that the soil has time to balance itself. Avoid using fresh manure because it can cause scab on the potatoes. Therefore, use only aged manure into soil where potatoes are to be planted.Avoid adding too much nitrogen as this will delay potato production and will give you lots of potato leaves but very few potatoes.

Planting The Potatoes

Dig a shallow trench about 6-8 inches deep using a hoe or garden rake. Place potatoes in trench about 10-12 inches apart. Space rows about 36 inches apart or wider if you intend to hill them. cover plants with about 3-4 inches of soil leaving some depth to the trench.

Should I Hill Or Deep Mulch Potatoes?

When your potato plants are about 8 inches high, bring the soil up around the plants on both sides. Do this with a rake or a hoe.When cultivating around plants, be careful not to disturb the plant rots as it can damage roots. Hilling brings loose soil up around the potatoes so that they are able to form potatoes in cool loose soil. With your first hilling, bring hills only up to the point that levels the trench that you dug to begin with. In two to three weeks, hill again bringing the hill up 4 inches above the original ground level. If your soil is hard, instead of bringing the soil up around the plants, you can instead apply a deep well rotted mulch to the soil mixed with as much compost as you can spare.

As the potatoes grow and after the second hilling, add mulch of straw or well rotted (at least 2 years old) sawdust. The mulch will allow the soil to breath. Autumn leaves can also be used if they are shredded before using.

The mulch will not only keep the soil cooler and moister, but will also prevent potato beetles from being a problem because it provides a barrier and gives haven to insects that eat beetle larvae.

Harvesting Potatoes

You can start harvesting "new potatoes" a few weeks after the plants begin flowering. Dig into the loose soil that you hilled and gently pull out these thin-skinned potatoes.Gently remove them from the plant to avoid harming the plants development and further potato development.

Use early varieties of potatoes first and later varieties for storage.Red potatoes and Yukon Gold potatoes are great choices for obtaining new potatoes. Begin harvesting the main crop of potatoes after their vines die back and they lose most of their color. This may be caused by light frost or simply because they have reached maturity. Potatoes can be left in the ground for several frosts but should be harvested before the ground freezes to prevent damage to the potatoes

The Best Crop Rotation for Potatoes

To control soil borne diseases and pests, plant mustard greens into areas in the fall where potatoes were grown that spring. Enjoy the greens from these plants in the late fall and winter and/or early spring. This is an inexpensive alternative to expensive fumigants used by farmers who grow potatoes. Many potato farmers have found an 86% improvement in the quality of tubers when potatoes are rotated with mustard greens. Also, if possible, avoid planting potatoes, tomatoes, or peppers in the same ground the following year as they are closely related plants.

You May Never Buy Store-bought Potatoes Again!

Try growing a small patch of potatoes this year in your vegetable garden. Discover how easy it really is to grow the best tasting potatoes you have ever eaten. Home grown is so much better than store-bought that you will always grow some of your own. You may never buy store bought potatoes again!

© 2013 Cygnet Brown


This website uses cookies

As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at:

Show Details
HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the or domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)
ClickscoThis is a data management platform studying reader behavior (Privacy Policy)