Easy Potato Planting Guide


Potatoes are fairly easy to grow in Texas. Red potatoes do better than any other kind, but last year I tried my hand at red, white and gold potatoes in The Funny Farm. I got a fairly good yield for my first try, but I found it hard to “hill up” the potatoes in raised beds. So this year, I’m trying something different and we’ll see how it works.

Hopefully I’ll be a successful potato farmer as my great grandmother was Delia Dempsey and she was born during the potato famine era on a boat that left from Ireland headed to America. Actually, that makes my great, great grandmother really something. Can you imagine having a child on a boat? I get sea sick just thinking about it!

On to the Easy Potato Planting Guide. First you need seed potatoes. I bought 5 and, when cut up, they were enough for an entire 4 X 8 bed. In Texas, they sell them in January and February all over town. Pick potatoes that have lots of “eyes” in them.

These are actually potatoes I let go past seed

Cut the potatoes into pieces with at least three “eyes’ per piece. Then dust them with sulfur and let them dry out for a couple of days. This prevents them from rotting in the ground when you plant them. It’s sort of like powdering your face so you won’t look all shiny.

Potato Pieces for Planting

Next prepare the bed. Because you will spend a lot of time “hilling up” your potatoes, start them low in a raised bed. I took my shovel and starting piling up the dirt in my bed.

I did two rows in my bed

Last year I did three rows in my bed and I think that might be why I didn’t get a higher yield.  Oh, good Lord, there’s a weed by my bed. Shame on me.

Two dug rows with all the dirt piled in the middle

Next, you simply drop the prepared potatoes in the bed about 6 to 8 inches apart. I call this, “This spud’s for you…”

I’m dreaming of French Fries

Then I covered the potatoes with a couple of inches of dirt. And watered thoroughly.


A week later looks what’s happening to the potatoes. They’re growing – just like my waistline.

Potatoes are growing next to onions

When they get about 6 inches tall, I will pull some dirt down off my hill and cover then. I’ll repeat the process until they are half a foot taller than the bed. Then, rather than hauling in more dirt, I will cover them with old hay. It’s easier to pile up.

Hay, You!

Hay needs to sit around a year before you use it, so all the grass seed dies or you’ll be pulling grass out of your beds. It makes for a great mulch. I mow it with my lawnmower and dump the grass catcher bag on top of the beds.

We’ll check back in on the potatoes in a month or so.

As healthy as my garlic is, I’ll have great garlic mashed potatoes this year! And, hopefully, no vampires in the garden. There’s my simple Potato Planting Guide.

Spreading laughter throughout the world…one chuckle at a time.

Mikie Baker

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