Growing Potatoes - Knowledgebase Question

Ballwin, Mi
Question by wbjsab
April 11, 2008
Someone told me I could start potatoes by cutting them in quarters and planting them in the ground, is this true? What is the best way to start growing potatoes?


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Answer from NGA
April 11, 2008

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Although it is tempting to plant potatoes that you purchase in the grocery store, you won't have as much success as if you were to purchase seed potatoes at your local nursery. Grocery store potatoes generally come from a long distance away, which means the variety may not produce well in your growing region. And, they've been treated to retard sprouting. So, while you can do as your friend suggests, I'd recommend using certified disease free seed potatoes from your local nursery.

Find a sunny garden spot and plant the seed pieces 6-inches apart and cover them with 4-5 inches of soil. As the vines grow, hill soil, leaves, or compost over them to keep the developing tubers covered. Leave only a small portion of the growing vines exposed to encourage additional root development. Once the plants blossom, stop adding compost to the hill. When the foliage begins to wither and die, the tubers will be full-grown and ready to harvest.

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