Potatoes are a popular food staple and subject for the home gardener. Easy to plant, grow, and harvest, they provide a tasty, nutritious addition to any meal. Potatoes come in many varieties, but all are handled in essentially the same way in terms of planting and care. Potatoes are generally planted using "seed" potatoes. These are not true seeds, but small potatoes or sections of potatoes containing two or three "eyes" that, when planted, will sprout shoots from which the plant will grow.
Things You'll Need
- Tiller or cultivation tool
Count the "eyes" or sprouts on the potato. Ideally, the seed potato should have two or three eyes. If some of the potatoes are larger and have more eyes, use your fingers to rub off all but two or three of them. Seed potatoes that have started to sprout are desirable.
Prepare the soil. Potatoes prefer loose, well-drained soil high in organic material with high water retention capability relatively free of rocks and with a pH of 5.5 to 6. Work the soil to loosen it, using a tiller or cultivation tool. Dig holes 4 to 6 inches deep and about 15 inches apart, using a shovel.
Plant a sprouted seed potato, sprouts pointing up in each hole, and cover with soil. Fill the holes completely, but be careful not to damage the sprouts. Water well to moisten the soil, but do not overwater. If the soil tends to form a crust, break the crust and loosen the soil surface with the shovel until the sprouts break the surface.
- Photo Credit seed potatoes image by hazel proudlove from Fotolia.com
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