Potatoes

This is the Potatoes section of the website where you’ll find articles about growing potatoes.

My family has been growing potatoes for generations and it plays a big part in daily life. There are many different things to learn when growing your own potatoes and I have tried to cover as many as possible in this section. If you need any help or have any questions please ask. Growing your own potatoes is rewarding and never gets old!

ransomes potato spin digger

Harvesting Potatoes Using A Spin Digger: history and operation

The spin digger or spinner was the first mechanised attempt at removing potatoes from the soil in which they grew to make gathering the potatoes easier. Prior to the invention of the spin digger, someone had to manually dig the soil and potatoes with a spade or a fork and spread the crop on the …

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a potato pit

Storing Potatoes Outside: how to make a potato pit

The thought of storing potatoes long-term outside seems strange, but this is precisely how most people kept them for centuries in their fields and gardens. The mound they created was known as a “Potato Pit”. The funny thing about potato pits is that they are excellent at storing potatoes for a long time if made …

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Underhaug superfaun potato harvester

Underhaug Superfaun UN1700 Potato Harvester: history and operation

The Superfaun potato harvester was first produced by Underhaug (correctly referred to as Underhaugs Fabrikk from Naerbo in Norway) and given the model name UN1700. Underhaug was bought by Kverneland ( another Norwegian company) in 1986, the most noticeable change was the machine was finished with Kverneland red paint instead of Underhaug orange paint – …

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a potato being peeled

Can You Compost Potato Peels?

Many people are surprised to learn that potato skins (aka peels) are packed with vitamins and nutrients and can also be a good source of fiber. Many regularly cook young, new potatoes peel-and-all and enjoy the health benefits the peel brings. Mature potatoes develop a tough skin that is typically removed before cooking — with …

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when do potatoes flower

When Do Potatoes Flower?

Potatoes are a common staple in the American diet and are often grown in the home garden. These starchy tubers are used for fries, mashed potatoes, and in casseroles, soups, and stews. It may surprise you to learn that even though potatoes are vegetables, the potato tubers aren’t really the fruit of a potato plant. …

When Do Potatoes Flower? Read More »

a large potato grown using phosphorus fertiliser with other potatoes in the soil in the background

What Role Does Phosphorous Play In Potato Production?

Potatoes need adequate nitrogen, phosphorus, and potassium to grow. Each nutrient plays a role in plant growth and the quality of your potato tubers. For example, phosphorus is vital for developing a strong root system and for promoting good tuber development. What is phosphorous fertilizer? Fertilizer contains the vital nutrients nitrogen (N), phosphorus(P), and potassium …

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rsz_knapsack_sprayer_to_apply_liquid_fertilizer

Liquid Fertilizer For Potatoes: pros, cons, and how to choose

Fertilizing your potatoes during the growing season keeps them healthy and promotes a good yield. Many chose to apply granular fertilizer to the soil before planting them and side-dress the potatoes two weeks after planting them and then once a month up until two weeks before harvesting. But you don’t need to fuss with granular …

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potatoes growing in compost

Can I Grow Potatoes In Straight Compost: + how to increase its P and K

You may have read about growing potatoes in compost and wondered if it was really a good idea. Technically, potatoes can be grown in compost alone, but it isn’t always the best choice. Amending your soil with compost or making a potting mix with compost and soilless mix for containers may be a better choice. …

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an image of potato tops cut off from the potato drills in a field

Can You Cut The Tops Off Potato Plants?

Potato plants (Solanum tuberosum) produce leafy tops that grow to 40 inches tall, explains the International Potato Center. The tops perform photosynthesis and manufacture energy that is stored as starch in the underground tubers. Without the tops, your potato plants cannot perform photosynthesis, and tubers will not grow. However, there are times when the tops may …

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an image of a potato cut in half showing the brown cavity of hollow heart inside

Can Potatoes Grow Too Big: why massive potatoes (tubers) should be avoided and how to keep their growth in check

Potatoes come in a variety of shapes and sizes, from tiny fingerlings to massive baking potatoes. The size of the mature potato tubers depends primarily on the type of potato you are growing, but other factors also affect their size. While many gardeners face the challenge of potato tubers that grow smaller than expected, sometimes …

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a photo of The Colorado Potato Beetle on a potato plant

Identifying And Removing Colorado Potato Beetle From Potato Plants

The Colorado Potato Beetle, also known as a potato bug, is a common insect pest found primarily on potatoes in North America. This destructive insect devours the foliage (and blossoms) on potato plants and can strip them bare in a few days if action isn’t taken. Fortunately, there are ways you can keep potato bugs …

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crop rotation in different sections in vegetable garden

Can I Grow Potatoes In The Same Plot Every Year? the importance of crop rotation

Growing potatoes in the home garden is a great way to provide your family with healthy and nutritious potatoes all year, but it does come with its challenges. Potatoes should not be planted in the same spot yearly and must be rotated with other crops. Find out how to rotate your potatoes and what to …

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harvested potatoes ready to be cured before storage

How To Cure Potatoes After Harvest: a step-by-step guide

Growing your potatoes in the home garden and storing them for winter is a great way to provide your family with healthy and nutritious food all year. Following the best practices for harvesting, curing, and storing potatoes is essential to your success. Find out what curing means and how it affects the storage life of …

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sandy loam soil in a field of potato drills

The Best Soil For Potatoes: what it is and how to get it

Potatoes are easy-to-grow vegetables that will grow in nearly any soil. However, they do best in sandy loam with a pH between 6.0 and 6.5.  Providing potatoes with good soil, adequate nutrients, and plenty of water will increase your potato yield and help prevent diseases. What soil type is best for growing potatoes? Potatoes will …

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a large leaf of a potato plant

Can I Eat Potato Leaves: are they poisonous?

Potatoes (Solanum tuberosum) are an annual vegetable in the Solanaceae or nightshade family. While the tubers are a healthy and nutritious addition to the diet, not all parts of the potato plant are edible. Like other plants in the nightshade family, some parts of the potato plant are poisonous. What are nightshade vegetables? Nightshades are …

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a potato being planted into soil with the buds facing upwards

Do You Plant Potatoes With The Eyes Up Or Down?

How many times have you forgotten about that bag of potatoes in your pantry only to find them covered in strange, bumpy growth? These growths are buds or sprouts which grow from the potato eyes, and they look rather unappetizing. Some people toss the entire potato thinking it’s no good, while others cut the small buds off before …

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potato plants falling over in a field

10 Reasons Why Your Potato Plants Have Fallen Over

Growing potatoes in your backyard or garden isn’t difficult. With proper care, you can expect to harvest two to five pounds of potatoes from each plant, depending on the variety and growing conditions. Sometimes, problems arise, like the tops of the potato plants falling over. This can happen for several reasons. Find out why your …

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slugs and snails eating potato plants

Slugs And Snails Eating Potato Plants: identification and removal

If you have noticed chew marks on the leaves of your potatoes in the morning but can’t identify the culprit, you may have a problem with slugs or snails. These garden pests come out under the cover of darkness and slip out of sight when morning arrives. Look for glistening trails on the foliage as …

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a potato showing the eyes with small buds

What Are Potato Eyes

Potatoes are a popular vegetable in the home garden as many people routinely eat potatoes with meat and poultry dishes. According to Statista, the average American consumed 29.3 pounds of fresh potatoes in 2021. While many were purchased, many were also grown in the home garden. Growing potatoes involves planting either whole or cut sections …

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how deep to plant potatoes

How Deep Should I Plant My Potatoes: why seed depth is important

It’s the time of year again when we begin to think about next years potato crop. We may have already decided where we will grow them, what variety we will plant, and how much potato fertilizer we will apply. One aspect which can make a massive difference to the speed our crop establishes and the …

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rooster potatoes freshly dug laying on soil

Potato Variety Rooster: origin and characteristics

Rooster is the most popular potato in Ireland – In 2004 It accounted for 40% of the total potato crop grown. They are a dull red-skinned, yellow-fleshed maincrop potato that has an excellent taste and high yields. They are highly versatile- they can be boiled with skins on, mashed, chipped, roasted, steamed and baked with …

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russet norkotah potatoes

Potato Variety Russet Norkotah: origin and characteristics

Russet Norkotah is the second most popular potato in the US. They are a russeted, brown-skinned early to medium maincrop potato. They are very attractive potatoes with excellent processing abilities. They can be boiled and mashed but their main market is for baked potatoes or processing for French fries. Origin The Russet Norkotah were bred …

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red desiree potatoes

Potato Variety Desiree: origin and characteristics

Desiree is a red-skinned early maincrop potato. They are slightly waxy potatoes with a distinctive taste. They can be boiled, roasted, chipped and used cold in salads, they are versatile potatoes and are suitable for pre-packing and general ware. Origin Desiree was bred in the Netherlands in 1962. Yield and dry matter Expect high yields …

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kerrs pink potatoes

Potato Variety Kerr’s Pinks: origin and characteristics

Kerr’s Pink are the second most popular potato in Ireland. They are mainly cooked as boiled potatoes but are good for roasting and chipping also. They are suitable for pre-packing and general ware. Origin Although thought to be an Irish bred potato when it was introduced in 1917- it was actually J. Henry of Cornhill …

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Potato Variety Russet Burbank: origin and characteristics

Russet Burbank potatoes are one of the most popular potato varieties in the United States. They were bred by the US plant breeder Luther Burbank (Massachusetts) in 1902 in a bid to improve the disease resistance of Irish potato varieties being used at that time. Beginnings Russet Burbank potatoes were not an immediate success when …

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roast potatoes

Which Are The Best Potatoes For Roasting?- Top UK and US varieties revealed

Roast potatoes can go well with several dishes, ranging from barbecued chicken to pot roast, among others. While seasoning makes a tremendous difference, you should also consider the type of potato you’re using. This is especially the case since they don’t all roast the same. So, which potato types are the best for roasting? What …

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potato plants grown in the garden

Copper Sulphate As A Potato Blight Spray: what is it and is it good?

Blight is a common fungal disease that affects potatoes. It can destroy the entire crop in less than a week if left unattended. Unfortunately, there is little you can do to save your potatoes once they have been infected with blight. This makes prevention key to raising healthy potatoes. While the best prevention for potato blight …

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blight on the leaves of a potato plant

Blight Resistant Potato Varieties: background and examples

Blight is a fungal disease that can affect tomatoes, potatoes and other members of the nightshade family. Early Blight is caused by the Alternaria solani fungus while late blight is caused by the Phytophthora infestans (p. infestans) fungus. Late Blight was responsible for the Irish Potato Famine between 1845 and 1849, destroying nearly 80 percent of Ireland’s potato crop. This …

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eelworm damage on a potato

Eelworm In Potatoes: what is it and how do I remove or prevent it?

Eelworm is a parasitic nematode that lives in the soil and feeds on plant roots. Its host plants are nightshades and they particularly like potatoes and tomatoes. If you’re growing potatoes, it is extremely important to educate yourself on eelworms. If you like to grow a lot of potatoes and tomatoes, you’ll definitely want to …

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planting potatoes in our garden in the month of march

What Month Do You Plant Potatoes?: explaining when and why

There is nothing quite like the creamy texture of a homegrown potato. The difference in taste between homegrown and store-bought is so dramatic, that I try and grow most of my potatoes. What month I plant potatoes in is key to how many potatoes I can harvest. Since potatoes store easily for the rest of …

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seaweed half submerged in sea water

How To Make Your Own Seaweed Fertilizer For Growing Potatoes

If you love tasty new potatoes as much as I do you’d probably do nearly anything to improve their taste and yield. That’s why you owe it to yourself to try using seaweed fertilizer to grow bigger and tastier potatoes this year. Is seaweed fertilizer good for growing potatoes? Yes, seaweed fertilizer provides potatoes with …

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field potato harvest landing

How Many Potatoes Per Plant

For most varieties of potatoes you should expect to harvest between 8 to 14 potatoes per plant. The size of these potatoes will vary due to how well you have met the growing needs of the plant. Lets examine the background details to the question “How many potatoes per plant? Your yield will be a …

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bowl of boiled white potatoes with skins on

Can Dogs Eat Potato Skins: raw or cooked answers

Eaten by cultures the world over, potatoes are a staple in most diets. They provide a plethora of important nutrients. Fiber, magnesium, potassium, and vitamins such as C and B6 with a relatively low caloric content. Their complex carbohydrates provide plenty of slow-burning fuel for your body. But are potatoes as beneficial to our canine …

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a ccoked baked potato cut into quarters at the top with a white background

The Nutritional Value Of Baked Potatoes: the facts

They are one of the most versatile and widely used root vegetables in the world. Because they are inexpensive and fairly easy to grow in rich soils worldwide, potatoes have long been a staple food for many cultures. In fact, in the mid-19th century, most farmers in western Ireland and parts of the Scottish Highlands …

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frshly dug potatoes about to be stored

How Long Are Potatoes Good For: storing and eating

The length of time potatoes last is mostly dependent on the temperature they are stored at. In normal home cupboard conditions the temperature will be roughly 60 fahrenheit / 15 degrees centigrade. At this temperature the potatoes will remain firm for up to two weeks. After this time they will start to soften or begin …

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When to harvest potatoes

When To Harvest Potatoes: dates and descriptions

Potatoes are typically categorized into three main categories according to their days to maturity. They are classed as: early, mid-season, and maincrop potatoes. They may also be referred to as earlies, second earlies, and long-season or maincrop potatoes. While early and mid-season potatoes are typically harvested and eaten as new potatoes, late-season or maincrop potatoes …

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how to hill up potatoes

How To Hill Up Potatoes: why and how to do it

What is “hilling up” potatoes Gardening is always thought to be simple and easy, looking from the outside. This is the idea: Plant the seed in the ground Water. Plant grows. Pick your fresh produce. However, once I got started, I realized very quickly that it just isn’t that easy. Different plants need different amounts …

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what to spray potatoes with to control weeds

What To Spray Potatoes With To Control Weeds

Your potato plot should be sprayed with broad spectrum herbicide 6 weeks before ploughing or digging and tilling. The planted area should be sprayed again with a broad spectrum herbicide before the potato plants come through the ground -this is known as pre emergence. The spray should have residual activity – meaning it continues to …

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the best tasting potatoes to grow

The Best Tasting Potatoes to Grow: variety selection

No matter how you slice, dice, or mash them, potatoes are delicious. A staple food for many cultures across the globe, they are a vegetable which would be difficult to live without. Although store-bought potatoes are tasty, nothing beats the flavour of a freshly-unearthed tuber from your own garden. I will help you pick the …

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Equipment Used By Farmers To Grow Potatoes

How Do Farmers Grow Potatoes: their machines

Have you ever wondered how do farmers grow potatoes? Many farms use the following equipment when growing their potatoes: A crop sprayer – used to protect the crop from diseases. A plough to begin field cultivations. A rotovator/rototiller used to make the soil fine before planting. A seed potato planting machine to position the seed …

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homemade potato blight spray

Homemade Potato Blight Spray: make your own

In this article, I will show you how to make two homemade potato blight sprays. One is called Bordeaux formula– made with lime and Copper sulphate. The other is called Cornell formula– made with dishwashing liquid and oil. Over 150 years ago, a fungal disease unknown to scientists invaded Ireland. Potato blight destroyed crops throughout …

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