Growing Potatoes

Posted: April 1, 2011

baby red potatoes

Baby Red Pontiac Potatoes

Early spring is the time to plant your seed potatoes!  All our seed potato is Maine Certified which ensures seed is inspected for disease, pests and viability before shipping.

To grow your potatoes, choose a sunny spot with well draining, loose soil so that the roots and tubers can develop.  Potatoes don’t like a particularly rich soil, so if you have some organic matter and the pH is good, the potatoes should be happy.


One potato can be sectioned into 2-5 plants depending on its size, and smaller roots can be planted whole.  Each section must have at least one healthy “eye” that remains intact.  Space plants 12”-16” apart in rows 24”-30” apart.

Trench Method: A traditional planting method involves digging a shallow trench, about 6″ deep and placing the seed potatoes in the trench with the eyes facing up. Then cover the potatoes with a couple of inches of soil. As the potato plant grows, soil is continually hilled up along the sides of the plants. This keeps the soil around the developing tubers loose and keeps the surface tubers from being exposed to sunlight, which will turn potatoes green and somewhat toxic.  You can stop hilling up when the plants begin to flower, adding a few inches of straw alongside the plants will help to conserve moisture.

Scatter Method: Some gardeners prefer to simply lay the seed potatoes right on the soil and then cover them with a few inches of mulch. You can continue laying mulch as the plants grow. If you have a rodent problem, this method is probably not your best choice.

Container Method: The container method makes hilling easy and takes up less space. Plant your seed potatoes in the bottom of a tall container, like a clean garbage can or whisky barrel. Put about 6″ of soil in the bottom first, then spread out your seed potatoes. Keep adding soil and straw as the plants get taller.

To order potatoes from Sow True Seed, order here or call us at 828-254-0708. Local pick-up is available at our retail store – 146 Church Street in downtown Asheville, NC.

updated 2/29/12

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