- Prepare the soil
You can plant your potatoes in a patch of land, or you can put them in a planter on your patio. Large pots, a stack of tires and old chimney pots all work well. The most important thing is making sure your soil is as weed-free as possible. Additionally, you might want to till some compost or manure into the soil to make it nutrient-rich.
Prepare the ground with well rotted compost add a potato fertilizer high in potash.
Be sure to spade or loosen the soil extremely well. Potatoes will not grow in hard or compact soil.
- Pick an appropriate time for planting in your climate
Time your planting so that it falls a week or two before the last frost of the season for your area. The colder nights will kill potential pests, and your potatoes will need more sunshine as the days get longer.
- Pick an appropriate spot in the garden
Pick a loose and sunny part of your garden, because potatoes need high heat and lots of sunlight to grow properly. Never plant potatoes in the shaded areas of your garden.
Be sure to plant potatoes in a different part of your garden each year, so that soil can “rest” a season and replenish the nitrogen. Either that or replenish the soil with plenty of liquid fertilizer during growing season and after your potatoes are harvested.
Potatoes can also be panted in potato bags or large pots. Carefully plunge a single chitted (sprouting) tuber into the compost with the shoots pointing upwards, to a depth of 12cm (5″) from the soil surface. Gently cover the tubers with compost. All they require is water and a bright, frost free position to grow in.
- Put your seed potatoes about four inches deep
Potatoes should be planted in rows about 12 inches apart and at a depth of about 4 inches. Build up the soil along the rows, forming a mound. Potatoes should be far enough apart that they shouldn’t run into each other underground as they grow.
Another way to plant potatoes is to cut them into chunks so that each chunk has at least 1 or better 2 sprouts shooting up. Carefully dust the potato chunks with agricultural sulfur taking care not to break off the sprouts if at all possible as this slows down growth. Plant the potato chunks with the cut side of your chunk facing down into the soil and the sprout or “eyes” pointing up and about 3-4″ below the soil level in your mounds.
As the leaves start to push themselves above the soil, keep earthing up the soil around the plants to prevent any of the potatoes showing. Otherwise, these will turn green and be inedible, as well as poisonous.
Once the plants are well established and are in flower can give them a liquid feed. Once the plants start to die back that is normally the time to start lifting and harvesting.