How to plant potatoes with sprouts?

How to Plant Potatoes with Sprouts

Planting potatoes with sprouts is an excellent way to grow your own delicious and nutritious crop. Whether you are a seasoned gardener or a beginner, this article will provide you with a step-by-step guide on how to successfully plant potatoes with sprouts and enjoy a bountiful harvest. Let’s get started!

Choosing the Right Sprouts

The first step in planting potatoes with sprouts is to choose healthy and strong sprouts. Look for sprouts that are firm, plump, and free from any signs of rot or disease. These sprouts indicate that the potatoes are in good condition and will have a higher chance of successful growth. It is also important to select sprouts that have reached a length of 1/2 to 1 inch, as this indicates that they are actively growing.

Preparing the Potatoes

Once you have selected the sprouts, it is time to prepare the potatoes for planting. This process is known as chitting. Start by placing the potatoes in a cool, well-lit area. This will allow the sprouts to develop further. It is essential to avoid direct sunlight, as it can cause the sprouts to become weak and leggy. The ideal temperature for chitting is around 50℉. Allow the sprouts to grow until they reach a length of 1/2 to 1 inch.

Preparing the Planting Site

Before planting the sprouted potatoes, it is crucial to prepare the transplant site properly. Potatoes prefer well-drained, slightly acidic soil. Incorporating organic material such as compost or aged manure into the soil will provide essential nutrients and improve its structure. This will help the plants establish strong roots and promote healthy growth.

Planting the Sprouted Potatoes

Now that you have prepared the potatoes and the planting site, it is time to plant the sprouted potatoes. There are several methods you can use:

  1. Mounding Method: In this method, you will mound soil into rows. Plant the sprouted potatoes by placing them in the rows with the sprouts facing upward. Ensure that each potato piece has at least one or two sprouts. Space the potatoes about 12 inches apart to allow room for growth.
  2. Trench Method: In this method, you will dig a trench that is about 4 inches deep. Place the sprouted potatoes in the trench with the sprouts facing up. Space the potatoes about 12 inches apart.
  3. Container or Straw Bale Method: If you have limited space or prefer container gardening, you can plant sprouted potatoes in containers or straw bales. Follow specific instructions for each method to ensure optimal growth.

Caring for the Sprouted Potatoes

Once the sprouted potatoes are planted, it is important to provide them with proper care to ensure healthy growth and a successful harvest. Here are some essential tips:

  • Watering: Consistent watering is crucial for potato plants. Aim for about one to two inches of water per week, ensuring that the soil remains moist but not waterlogged.
  • Hilling: As the potato plants grow, you can mound soil or a mixture of compost, peat moss, and garden soil around the base of the plants. This process, known as hilling, helps support the plants, prevents potatoes from turning green, and encourages more tuber development.
  • Weeding and Pest Control: Regularly inspect your potato plants for weeds and pests. Remove any weeds promptly to prevent competition for nutrients and space. Take appropriate measures to control pests and diseases, as they can significantly impact the health and productivity of the plants.

Harvesting the Potatoes

Knowing when to harvest your potatoes is crucial for getting the best flavor and texture. Harvesting time typically depends on the variety you are growing, but there are general guidelines to follow. Harvest new potatoes or small potatoes when the plants are still flowering. For larger potatoes, wait until the plants’ foliage starts to die back and turn yellow. This indicates that the potatoes have reached maturity. Gently dig around the roots with a garden fork, taking care not to damage the tubers.

Storing the Potatoes

After harvesting, allow the potatoes to cure for a week to 10 days in a cool, dark, and well-ventilated area. This curing process helps the skins to toughen and heal any minor wounds. Once cured, store the potatoes in a cool, dark place with good ventilation to prevent sprouting and spoilage. Avoid storing them near onions, as onions can cause potatoes to spoil more quickly.


Planting potatoes with sprouts is a rewarding and enjoyable gardening experience. By following the steps outlined in this article, you can successfully grow your own potatoes and enjoy the delicious taste of homegrown produce. Remember to choose healthy sprouts, prepare the planting site, and provide proper care to ensure a bountiful harvest. Happy potato planting!

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Q: What are sprouting potatoes?

Sprouting potatoes are potatoes that have developed small shoots or sprouts. Sprouting occurs when potatoes are exposed to warmth and light.

Q: Why plant potatoes with sprouts?

Planting potatoes with sprouts has several benefits. It enhances disease resistance, promotes faster growth, and increases yield.

Q: How do I choose the right type of potatoes for sprouting?

Select disease-free, certified seed potatoes for sprouting. Different potato varieties have unique characteristics, so consider your preferences and needs.

Q: What do healthy sprouts look like?

Healthy sprouts are of a suitable size, have a vibrant color, and feel firm. Avoid using potatoes with excessively long or weak sprouts.

Q: What is chitting and why is it beneficial?

Chitting is the process of encouraging sprout growth before planting. It promotes earlier harvests and ensures stronger plants.

Q: How do I chit potatoes?

To chit potatoes, follow these steps: 1) Place the potatoes in a cool, bright location with temperatures around 50-60°F. 2) Allow the sprouts to grow to a length of about 1-1.5 inches. 3) Keep the potatoes in a well-ventilated area. Chitting usually takes 2-4 weeks.

Q: What are the planting techniques for potatoes with sprouts?

There are different methods for planting potatoes with sprouts, such as trenching and hill planting. Trenching involves digging a trench and placing the sprouted potatoes in it. Hill planting involves creating small mounds and planting the sprouted potatoes on top.

Q: How do I care for sprouted potatoes?

Water sprouted potatoes regularly, ensuring the soil is moist but not waterlogged. Hill the plants by gradually covering the sprouts with soil to encourage tuber development and protect them from sunlight.

Q: When should I harvest sprouted potatoes?

You can determine when to harvest sprouted potatoes when the foliage begins to die back, the vines turn yellow, and the soil around the plants becomes loose. These signs indicate that the potatoes are ready for harvest.

Q: What are some tips for harvesting sprouted potatoes?

Gently dig up the potatoes using a garden fork or shovel to avoid damaging them. After harvesting, store the potatoes in a cool, dark place with good ventilation to prevent sprouting and spoilage.

Q: What should I take away from this article?

In summary, planting potatoes with sprouts offers benefits like enhanced disease resistance, faster growth, and increased yield. Choose disease-free seed potatoes, identify healthy sprouts, and follow proper planting and care techniques to enjoy a successful harvest.