Planting Instructions and Helpful Hints
How many pounds should you order?
To start off, a very simple rule of thumb is if you plant 2 lbs you take X 10 and should harvest 20 lbs. Approx. 20 to 24 lbs fit in a Target or Walmart plastic grocery bag. So depending on how many lbs you want to store through winter this is very easy to remember.
For best results plant a 2 oz. seed piece, which would be about the size of a golf ball. Plant them 9" to 12" apart for most varieties. The closer you plant, the smaller and more numerous the tubers will be. Properly spaced, the tubers will be less numerous and larger. You want them far enough apart so the plant can size up and not have to compete for nutrients and water. Again, the rule of thumb is you can expect to plant 1 lb of seed to produce 8 to 10 plants and yield about 10 lbs of potatoes. So for every lb. should yield 10 lbs back.
What maturity should you buy? If you plant a later maturing variety the most likely it will store longer. Again, general rule of thumb, later maturing potatoes store longer, but much depends on your storage area. Cool 40+ degrees with a little humidity and dark. Potatoes go through a sleeping period and you want to keep that as long as you can by controlling the temp and dark room.
Warming and sprouting your seed: If the seed potatoes aren't sprouting yet, set them in a warm and somewhat sunny area to get the seed to break dormancy and sprout. You can plant your seed even if they have not yet sprouted but the potato should be warmed to around 50 degrees. They will pop out of the ground more quickly if there is a sprout forming, but don't worry about it, if you want to plant your garden they will pop up:)
Prepare your seed for planting: Make sure you have at least one eye per seed piece. We recommend you cut them a day or two ahead and then allow them to cure, forming a thick layer of dried skin over the cut areas. Ensure that they have enough air flow around them during the curing process; do not cover them with anything or bag them in plastic in order to allow the air to heal them.
To plant: NOTE**Make sure your soils are at least 50 degrees!** You do not want to plant warm seed in cold soils. Plant about 2 - 3" deep; do not plant too deep, as you want the plant to break ground and establish quickly. As the potatoes grow, begin to "hill" dirt around the plants; continue to hill them up as the plants grow. This keeps the tubers forming well below the surface, away from light and heat. Potatoes love air, water and soil in an equal 1:1:1 ratio. Do not compact the soil. When you hoe and hill up the rows keep them light and fluffy. Potatoes need adequate, but not excessive, moisture to size nicely.
PLANT POTATOES IN THE GROUND
- US ZONE 1: Feb-May
- US ZONE 2: Apr-Jun
- US ZONE 3: Apr 15-Jun 1
- US ZONE 4: Apr 15-Jun 1
- US ZONE 5: Apr 1-15
- US ZONE 6: Apr 1-15
- US ZONE 7: Jan 15-Mar 1 (Aug 1-15 Fall)
- US ZONE 8: Jan 15-Mar 1
- US ZONE 9: Jan-Mar
- US ZONE 10: Jan-Feb