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Last-Minute Potato Planting

By on March 29, 2010

I bought five varieties of seed potato months ago but have been too busy to plant them. This actually worked out well because while they sat in their open brown paper bags on my window sill, they developed great shoots from their eyes.

I cut them up into pieces, ensuring that each piece had an eye or two on it. Then I let the cuts “heal” overnight on our kitchen counter.

Last night, working quickly before the sun set and the rains blew in, I dug 3” holes for my spuds and dropped them in, eyes up. Technically you’re supposed to plant them 12” apart in rows that are 20” - 36” apart, but everything I grow is planted in higher density than that and I’ve enjoyed bountiful returns.

When I have time I’ll mulch with straw to protect new shoots from late frosts. The straw will also keep the soil evenly moist during hot summer months.

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  Comments (8)


Thanks for the encouragement re potatoes.  Am growing them for the first time this year down in Sacramento. One group I’m covering with straw and the other group with loose dirt + compost.  After I get about 10 inches of straw and maybe 8 inches of dirt I’ll stop covering them up.  Have been told that the new spuds form between the seed spud and the surface of the soil so am making more space there by covering up. Do you think this method is okay? Sure feels weird to cover up those green leaves!

Posted by Cheryl McKinney on Apr. 04, 2010 at 1:00:36 PM


Yes! Definitely cover them up with dirt/compost/straw, but leave at least the top four leaves at the top exposed. They will continue to grow and support the spuds underneath with their photosynthesizing energy!

Posted by Ginna on Jun. 28, 2011 at 4:56:13 PM


I planted Russian Fingerling potatoes for a summer crop.  Having left it late I was faced with not wanting to delay planting by waiting for cut potatoes to heal over, so I brought out my blow dryer and used that to dry out the cut surfaces.  Worked quickly and well and I had no problems with the ensuing crop.

Posted by Deborah on Sep. 13, 2011 at 11:02:56 PM

Deborah, That’s a new tip! Thanks so much for sharing it with us!

Posted by on Oct. 04, 2011 at 10:56:14 AM


We planted pototoes for the first time last spring. What a joy to watch them grow. I too was afraid to cover the leaves and though I was pleased with the crop I now know we could have harvested more. Excited to see what we produce this year…yummmmmm! Thanks for the tips. smile

Posted by Mary Perez on Nov. 12, 2011 at 7:39:29 PM

Mary, Thanks for the good news from your potato patch!

Posted by on Nov. 13, 2011 at 7:55:33 AM


I have a question about the 15 gallon grow bags. Have you planted potatos in them and if so what were your results?


Posted by Patricia on Sep. 24, 2012 at 5:56:31 PM

The recommendations for potatoes in smart pots is one seed potato (section) per 3 gallon container.  Therefore 5 potato sections could be accommodated by a 15 gallon Smart Pot.  The medium should be a 50/50 mix of soil and compost.

(No, I personally have not grown them, but have heard good things about doing so.)

Posted by on Feb. 04, 2013 at 1:53:09 PM

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