How to Grow Potatoes at Home

Harvesting your own food can bring you countless benefits, not just for your taste buds. Get ready to learn how to grow potatoes at home! It's not complicated at all.
How to Grow Potatoes at Home

Last update: 22 April, 2021

Did you know that you can grow potatoes at home? Potatoes are one of the most produced and easy to harvest foods in the world. This is due to its unique flavor, the great variety of recipes that can be prepared, and the amount of vitamins in this ingredient.

Undoubtedly, it’s a food that should be present in healthy diets. Therefore, today we’re going to bring you a small step-by-step tutorial so that you can enjoy this vegetable from your home garden. After all, everything tastes better when it’s fresh and just harvested.

Materials needed to grow potatoes at home

For this task you’ll need the following:

  • A pot or container to plant the potatoes, which is at least 60 centimeters (24 inches) in diameter
  • Compost or a universal substrate that serves as fertilizer
  • Potatoes

The potato is a food native to the mountains of Peru, so it needs a cold climate and, like almost all plants, sunlight. Therefore, be sure to place them in a sunny area where they receive natural light for at least 6 hours during the day.

Of course, this isn’t a mandatory requirement, however, you can make use of it for better results, especially if you live in an urban area.

Potatoes next to a pot.
Potatoes are versatile in gastronomy and there are many recipes to take advantage of their benefits.

You may be interested in: Discover the Best Terrace Gardening Tips

Step-by-step to grow potatoes at home

  1. The first step is to choose a potato variety. There are more than 400 types (yellow, parel, creole, among many others). In order to harvest them home, it’s better to choose only one. This way the process will always be the same.
  2. If this is your first home garden, it’s ideal to start with local products that can adapt to the climatic conditions. Also, remember that there are several factors that can affect your crop; therefore, it’s best that you get advice on what is the ideal variety for you to harvest and the best time to plant.
  3. Now, to start planting your potatoes at home you should keep in mind that they’re a tuber. Therefore, they don’t have seeds like other fruits and vegetables that are part of our diet. When planting potatoes at home you should choose the best tubers (the largest potatoes, since they’ll germinate better) and cut them into 4 equal pieces.
  4. Be sure to leave each of these pieces in the sun for a minimum of 1 or 2 days. Don’t add water or liquids! The potato itself has a certain amount of moisture that’ll allow it to begin the germination process.
  5. After these two days you’ll see small sprouts and roots on the potato. This means that they’re ready to plant in the garden. In addition, you should remove the sprouts and leave only 2 or 3 for the planting to be successful.
  6. At the moment of planting, you should leave 10 centimeters (4 inches) of depth and position the potato so that the sprouts are facing upwards.
  7. Prepare the soil with the substrate that serves as fertilizer. To do this, you should add a layer at least 15 centimeters (6 inches) thick.
  8. As the plant grows, you’ll continue to add the substrate and compost periodically. This will help the plant to grow more roots.

Should I water the potatoes I plant?

Like any other plant, potatoes require care. In addition to leaving them exposed to sunlight, as we’ve already mentioned, you should water them periodically so that the substrate and compost are kept slightly moist.

You must be very careful when watering, since an excess of water can generate fungus and other problems, such as the total loss of your crop.

To avoid these excesses you can mulch the pot in which you’ll plant them with straw, foam or other absorbent material. This will ensure that the substrate stays moist without becoming completely waterlogged, avoiding permanent damage to the planting.

Potatoes in a field.
Potatoes are varied. It’s a universal food that’s cultivated all over the planet.

When can I harvest potatoes?

The best way to be sure that the potato is ready is when the plant comes into flower. If you start to see the lilac-colored flowers that this tuber usually produces, it means that the time to harvest is approaching.

This should happen between 8 to 10 weeks after planting. When the potato comes into flower, you should stop watering the potato and cut the stems of the plant.

Wait 10 to 15 days and you’re done. Then you can harvest potatoes to enjoy delicious mashed potato or the recipe of your choice, fresh and straight from the garden.

Don’t be scared to plant your own potatoes at home

If, at the end of the harvest you want to plant potatoes at home again, you’ll have to renew the soil. Always use organic substrates and fertilizers.

The tubers shouldn’t be left uncovered. If they show through to the surface, cover them with compost. Otherwise, you could lose all the work and the harvest. Don’t grow them in the shade either. Potatoes prefer sunlight. If you notice green leaves, remove them immediately.

As you can see, planting and harvesting potatoes is something simple that you can do at home without the help of an expert or exclusive gardening materials. In conclusion, what are you waiting for to start your sustainable vegetable garden at home right now?

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  • Ochoa, Carlos M. Las papas de sudamerica: Peru. International Potato Center, 1999.
  • Monteros, Cecillia, et al. Las papas nativas en el Ecuador. INIAP Archivo Historico, 2005.
  • Gómez, René. “Guía para las caracterizaciones morfológicas básicas en colecciones de papas nativas.” Centro Internacional de la Papa (CIP), Germoplasma de Papa, Dpto. de Mejoramiento y Recursos Genéticos. CIP, Lima, Perú (2000).