Food Gardening Network

Growing Good Food at Home

How to Grow Potatoes—Everything About Growing and Enjoying Spuds

In this month’s Food Gardening Magazine, you get a double feature—everything you need to know about growing sweet potatoes and potatoes at home! With about 4,000 varieties of potatoes and 7,000 varieties of sweet potatoes, we’ll help you narrow down your list with a look at some of the most popular varieties that make growing potatoes and sweet potatoes easy, so you can have a delicious harvest! It’s easy to get overwhelmed by all the possible choices, so we’ll help you choose the best potatoes to grow in your garden.

You get all the tips, techniques, and advice about how to start and maintain an awesome potato garden, including growing potatoes from potatoes (Beware: these potatoes, when sprouting, are useless for starting new plants.) We’ve got you covered when it comes to growing potatoes!

Plus, you get specific advice about the best way to grow potatoes and sweet potatoes—including planting potatoes in grow bags for easy harvesting; growing potatoes in pots or containers; planting sweet potatoes in raised beds; even growing potatoes in fabric pots.

Potatoes and sweet potatoes need their space. We’ll give you tips on the ideal potato spacing to give your crops room to spread out—while still leaving enough space for the rest of your garden.

This gardening guide about potatoes is your #1 guide for being the best potato and sweet potato gardener you can be! You should refer to this gardening guide whenever you have questions about your potato and sweet potato garden—from planning to planting and from maintaining and nurturing to harvesting and reaping the rewards in your kitchen.

First, you get a complete Introduction to Potatoes—including some history and basics about potatoes. Did you know that the potato is the third most important food crop in the world? And the geographic range of where you can grow potatoes is truly impressive! And even though sweet potatoes aren’t truly potatoes, we treat them like they are. You’ll be surprised to hear who one of their closes relatives is (Hint: it’s not the yam).

Then, you get Feature Articles about Potatoes that include:

  • Types of Potato Plants—some are good for baking; others are better for roasting; still others can hold their own in a salad. Learn the difference between them and find out how versatile sweet potatoes can be (they’re far more versatile).
  • Getting Down to Growing Potatoes: The Basics—potatoes and sweet potatoes grow a little differently, so you’ll need to plan and prepare before you plant. Learn about the basics for getting your garden ready.
  • Getting Ready to Grow Potatoes—everything you need to know about growing potatoes where you live. Find out which type of garden is best for your needs and situation. And learn why what you planted last year can affect what and where you should plant this year. That might determine whether you plant right in the ground, in raised beds, or in convenient and portable grow bags.
  • Start with the Right Soil to Grow Potatoes—if the soil doesn’t have the right nutrients and pH for your potatoes and sweet potatoes, you may as well head to the market for your potatoes. Do the work ahead of time to ensure that your potatoes and sweet potatoes have healthy, balanced, welcoming soil in which to grow. And while you’re planning, check out our list of garden crops that will grow well with your potatoes—and which won’t.
  • Should You Fertilize Your Potato Plants?—when, how, and how much to fertilize your potato crop is essential to a successful harvest. Plus, specific guidelines on the best combination fertilizers for your potato and sweet potato plants—if and when they need it.
  • How—and When—to Water Your Potato Plants—you need to hit that sweet spot—not too much water, and not too little. Here are the best methods for ensuring your plants get just the right amount of water in the right way.
  • How to Spot, Treat, and Prevent Potato Diseases—tips to ensure that your potato plants don’t suffer from common plant diseases. In most cases, prevention is easier than treatment—but learn what to look for, so you’re prepared.
  • Potato Pests and How to Prevail Over Them—easy tips for spotting and eliminating pesky pests from your potato garden!
  • Weeding Your Potato Garden—stay vigilant, and don’t waste time when weeds appear. Find out when it’s best to start weeding, and when you may not need to worry about weeds.
  • Harvest Time for Your Potato Plants—potatoes and sweet potatoes need slightly different harvest approaches. Learn what you need to do to welcome in your potato and sweet potato crops.
  • Essential Tools and Equipment for Growing Potatoes—from grow bags to garden forks, get the full list of essential gardening tools and equipment for growing and enjoying potatoes and sweet potatoes … and for almost all of your gardening needs.

Next, this premium gardening guide highlights a sampling of three different categories of potatoes—early, mid-season, and late—it all depends on how long they take to grow. We also have an overview of a handful of sweet potato varieties, to help you choose the spuds you want to grow—remember, this is just a sampling of the many varieties available:

  • Early Potatoes
    • Caribe
    • Red Norland
    • Red Pontiac
    • Russet Norkotah
    • Yukon Gold
  • Mid-Season Potatoes
    • All Blue
    • Desiree
    • Huckleberry
    • Kennebec
    • Kerr’s Pink
    • Peter Wilcox
    • Purple Viking
    • Red Cloud
    • Rose Gold
  • Late Potatoes
    • Carola
    • Nicola
    • Prince Hairy
    • Russet Burbank
  • Sweet Potatoes
    • Beauregard
    • Carver
    • Centennial
    • Georgia Red
    • Oklahoma Red
    • Oakleaf
    • Triumph
    • White Jewel
    • Violetta

And all your potato-gardening efforts are more satisfying when you have quick and easy-to-make recipes, to ensure your harvest is enjoyed by everyone you serve at your home. Food Gardening Network is all about providing delicious recipes for making yummy dishes. Try these recipes and enjoy your potato harvest:

Next, you’ll learn all about the health benefits of potatoes with Nutrition Facts about Potatoes & Sweet Potatoes and Home Remedies & Health Benefits of Potatoes. Learn about all the wonderful and beneficial attributes of potatoes—including eye health, weight and diabetes management, plus cancer prevention and cardiovascular and bone health. And get the facts behind one of the biggest potato myths of all!

And to be sure you have everything you need to grow your own potatoes, we’ve included a Resources about Potatoes section—so that you can easily find additional tools and information about potatoes.

Finally, our Potato Glossary section gives you the explanation of key potato-gardening terms and concepts—so, you’re up to date about important potato-gardening ideas.

Check out this premium gardening guide now— How to Grow Potatoes—Everything About Growing and Enjoying Spuds—and you’ll really learn everything you need to know about potatoes!

Laura Logan, Norann Oleson, Victoria Arnold, and Samantha Pulcherz contributed to the creation of this gardening guide.


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