How to Grow Potatoes

Grow Potatoes On Your Patio

Dig This has 6 varieties of seed potatoes to grow delicious potatoes in your garden or a potato grow bag (shown to the right).

Here on the coast, potatoes are generally planted in April.  Buy them early and store in a dark, dry place to encourage the eyes to sprout before planting.  If they have not sprouted when you’re ready to plant, move them to a warmer place for a few days.

Plant the potatoes in a well-drained, loamy soil high in organic matter with a pH on the slightly acidic side (6.0-6.8).  Dig composted manure into the top 30cm (12″) of soil first.  Do not add lime to areas of soil planned for potatoes.

Potatoes are traditionally grown in trenches.  Set the tubers approximately 3”-4″ deep 12” apart in prepared trenches spaced 24’ apart.  Or plant in a block spaced 8” apart. No space?  Use a potato grow bag.

Plants will emerge around 2-3 weeks. When plants are 1′ tall, hill-up the soil 6-8″ around the plants.  It’s ok to cover green leaves! Straw or grass mulch also works well. Don’t water after planting until the plants have emerged.

Potatoes grow from a runner that forms from the stem of the plant above the seed potato that you set into the soil. Anything you can do to increase the length of the stem, such as piling more soil against it or planting in a deep trench will allow more runners and potatoes to form.

“New” potatoes can be harvested about 7-8 weeks after planting. Potatoes grown for late summer and fall use can be dug when tubers are full size or when foliage begins to die. For potatoes grown for storage and winter use, harvest after vines have died back. Store in a dark, cool place with high relative humidity. Paper sacks stored in a garage work well.

2017 Varieties:

Yukon Gold: Early season. Oval tubers with yellow skin & flesh. High yielding. Keeps well.

Sieglinde:  Mid to late season. Gourmet potato. Oblong slightly flattened, smooth tubers with thin skin.  Stores well.

Russian Blue:  Mid to late season. Heritage variety.  Round oblong tubers with dark purple skin.  Heavy setting so give room.

Red Chieftain:  Mid season. Oval to oblong tubers with smooth bright red skin. High yielding.  Stores well.

Banana Fingerling:  Late season. The super star of the seed potatoes. Excellent flavour. Yellow banana-shaped, small wax-type tubers with firm texture.  Great baked, boiled, or roasted.

Warba: Early season. White skin and flesh Warba is great for boiling or roasting.