How Far Apart To Plant Potatoes?

Gardeners often take a detour to grow potatoes in the garden because potatoes seem difficult to grow. So, how far apart do potato planting rows need to be in order to get the most growth potential in a home garden? The proper spacing of potatoes depends on the type of gardening you are doing and the type of potatoes you are growing. Larger potatoes naturally require more space. However, the general recommendation is that you plant each potato 12 inches apart to allow plenty of room for growth. Each row needs to be three feet apart. In this article, we’ll take a deeper look at how much depth and space potatoes need to grow.

How Do Potatoes Grow?

It all started with a potato. Did you forget there was a bag of potatoes in the cupboard? I always do! When you finally realize the bag is there, you’ll find sprouting vine-like tentacles all over the place.

These tentacles are the start of a new potato plant. Potatoes grow eyes and grow into future potato plants. If you grow them, you grow potatoes.

You can technically grow potatoes from potatoes in the produce section store, but it’s wiser to use certified seed potatoes from a reputable company. Their options tend to have fewer disease problems.

How Far Apart Do You Plant Potatoes?

Potato growing

Spacing is critical. After all, you need space for your plants to grow. The question is how much free space do you have. Whether your space is inches or feet, potatoes can be grown. It’s just a matter of planning!

Square Foot Gardens

Is your planting area compact or has enough room for cluttered rows? If you have limited space and you’re maximizing your one-square-foot garden facility, try planting a fingerling that’s easier to accommodate with 12″ x 12″ spacing.

People who want to grow full-size potatoes in a square-foot garden should first make sure they have at least 10-12 inches of good-quality soil to fill. Then, remove any soil beyond an inch or two and save it for later. Arrange potatoes evenly at a rate of one per square foot. A grid of square feet helps increase spacing.

Once the potatoes are in place, cover them with another inch or so of soil. As the plants grow, you’ll plant around them with the reserved soil. Make sure the potatoes themselves are never exposed to direct sunlight, as this will cause the potatoes to develop green spots and become inedible.

Using this method, a 4’x4′ garden bed can hold a total of 16 potato plants. Potatoes may be a bit smaller than growing in a larger garden bed, but they’re still delicious!

Farm-Style Spacing

Start by digging a trench in the garden. Aim for one that is at least 6 inches wide and about 8 inches deep, as this will allow you to correct. Apply a few inches of compost to the bottom of the trench. Keep the trenches 2-3 feet apart, as this makes it easier to manage the trenches.

Make sure each seed potato has at least two eyes, as these are where the plants grow. Large-seeded potatoes with lots of eyes can be cut into chunks. If you do cut them into small pieces, wait a few days for the cut sides to dry to prevent rot or possible disease susceptibility.

Once your seed potatoes are ready to plant, plant one every 12 inches in the trench. Add enough compost to ensure your potato seeds are about 2-3 inches deep. After planting, water and keep the potatoes growing. As they develop, add more compost and soil to keep them covered.

Growing In Bags And Buckets

You can still grow potatoes if you really don’t have room to grow potatoes or have no garden space at all. Grow bags or buckets work just as well, and gardeners can even get a bumper crop.

A 5-gallon bucket can be used to grow potatoes, but you must make sure there are adequate drainage holes in the bottom and sides of the bucket. Potatoes will die in still water.

Grow bags are made of materials that allow drainage. Make sure the container you use is breathable.

Add 2-3 inches of compost and soil to the bottom of your grow bag or bucket. Use a high-quality potting soil mix.

Make sure to plant no more than one or two potato seeds per container.

After planting, you can treat these potatoes as you would any other method and add more soil to ensure the plants and tubers remain covered.

How Deep Do You Plant Potatoes?

You can grow potatoes 1 to 3 inches deep, according to the University of Illinois Extension. In many cases, they don’t need a thick layer of soil to start growing into healthy plants.

If you cut the potato seeds into small pieces, don’t bury the pieces too deeply. Otherwise, they may use up the energy they need to grow before they damage the soil surface.

Tips For Growing Potatoes

  • 1. Choose a sunny spot

Potatoes need to be planted in a sunny location in early spring. They do not grow well in shade or partial shade.

  • 2. Make sure you have the right soil

Potatoes are aggressively rooting plants. They will give you the best crop if you put them in good quality, loose, well-drained soil. Make sure the pH range is between 5.0 and 7.0.

  • 3. Prevent freezing

You should plant potatoes before the last frost date in your area, but that means severe cold can still happen. Potatoes cannot withstand severe cold, so be sure to cover them with straw or extra soil to protect them. Otherwise, you’re putting your plants at risk; they could die.

  • 4. Water frequently

Potatoes need a lot of water once they start to grow potatoes. In general, you need to provide 1-2 inches of water per week for proper development.

  • 5. Harvest after the leaves die

The best time to harvest potatoes is when the leaves of the plant start to wilt. At this point, the potatoes are in a ripe state. When the potatoes are in bloom, you can dig them out to harvest smaller potatoes.

Final Thoughts

Knowing how far to plant potatoes is a critical part of growing potatoes in the garden. If you don’t leave enough space between each plant, it could result in your plants not growing enough or facing more pests and diseases. Before you plant potatoes, make sure you know the proper intervals!