9 Suggestions for Rising A great deal of Potatoes in Raised Beds

From selfmade french fries to buttery mash to sour-cream-smothered baked potatoes, spuds are a staple crop within the kitchen. Chances are you’ll marvel, what’s the purpose of rising potatoes in your raised backyard beds if they’re so low-cost and readily stocked in shops? The reply lies in variety, shade, texture, and taste! 

Most specialty spuds will not be obtainable in supermarkets, and rising them your self gives way more culinary exploration. Higher but, rising this crop produces a whole lot of low-cost, calorie-rich meals in a small area. If you happen to’ve struggled to reap ample high-quality tubers prior to now, I’ve acquired some worthwhile commerce secrets and techniques that I discovered as a business natural potato farmer.

Let’s dig into the greatest ideas for rising spuds in your backyard!

How Do You Develop Potatoes in Raised Beds?

Potato plants grow on a wooden raised bed featuring sturdy, upright stems with large, broad leaves that are dark green and deeply lobed.
Develop potatoes in raised beds or containers for a profitable harvest.

These tubers thrive within the deep soil of a raised mattress or container. Select an early, midseason, or late selection and “chit” the tubers by leaving them in a cool, overtly lit space to sprout. Plant three to 4 inches deep with the eyes or sprouts going through upward. Present constant moisture and start hilling soil over the crops when they’re six inches tall. Except you’re working with a determinate selection, hill repeatedly to make sure that all of the tubers stay buried. 

Observe the planting date in your calendar and pull up a check plant after the estimated days to maturity have handed. Early and new potatoes might be harvested after they begin flowering. For foremost crop and storage varieties, the leaves could flip from inexperienced to yellowish-brown within the fall, indicating that the tubers are prepared to reap. 

9 Suggestions for Prolific Potatoes

Potatoes are very easygoing crops that don’t ask for practically as a lot upkeep as their tomato kinfolk. Nonetheless, pulling up a giant leafy plant to seek out pathetic little tubers might be fairly disappointing. The following pointers will guarantee prolific spud harvests with large, starchy (or waxy) tubers that put grocery retailer potatoes to disgrace!

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Decide the Finest Varieties

Close-up of a pile of ripe freshly harvested potatoes of different colors and shapes in the garden against a blurred background of dug up bushes.
Selecting the best potato selection ensures optimum yield and culinary delight.

Like most veggie crops, each potato selection has its personal performance. There are over 4,000 varieties grown worldwide, a lot of the variety concentrated within the Andean mountains of South America. Selecting the best cultivar is a very powerful first step to ample yields and scrumptious meals. The genetics of a spread decide the way it will carry out within the backyard, how lengthy it’ll take to reap, and what it’ll style like within the kitchen.

If you happen to love large baked potatoes smothered in fillings, you don’t wish to develop tiny spherical spuds. However when you crave mini potato roasts or potato salad, you shouldn’t plant a spread that yields huge starchy tubers. 

Determinate vs. Indeterminate

Close-up of dug up oval shaped potato tubers with smooth light brown skin in a garden bed.
In potatoes, determinate vs. indeterminate defines development habits and harvest occasions.

We’ve heard of determinate and indeterminate tomatoes, however do you know that these classes apply to potatoes, too? Tomatoes and potatoes are carefully associated cousins, each belonging to the Solanaceae (nightshade) household. However within the potato world, determinate vs. indeterminate doesn’t imply bush versus vine. It really refers to seasonality, underground development behavior, tuber measurement, and days to maturity.

Right here’s a fast chart evaluating the 2:

Determinate  Indeterminate
1st early or 2nd early Fundamental crop
10-12 weeks (1st early) or 13-15 weeks (2nd early) to mature 16-22 weeks to mature
Smaller tubers Bigger tubers
Wealthy taste, excellent for roasting and salad potatoes Extra versatile, excellent for baking, mashing, and making french fries
Develop tubers at single layer within the root zone Produce tubers at a number of ranges within the root system
Faster yields for brief seasons Highest yielding in raised beds and containers

Early Varieties

'Red Pontiac' potatoes on a green lawn features oval tubers with smooth, thin, bright red skin.
1st and 2nd early potatoes supply fast maturity and uniform tuber measurement.

Determinate potatoes are also referred to as “1st early” or “2nd early” varieties. 1st early varieties usually take 10 to 12 weeks to mature. They’re smaller in measurement and excellent for roasting. ‘Crimson Pontiac’ is a well-liked 1st early selection with distinctive taste and brilliant pink skins. 

2nd early varieties are additionally determinate, however they develop barely bigger and take 13 to fifteen weeks to mature. The ‘Charlotte’ selection is golden, wealthy, and buttery. These determinate crops solely produce tubers at a single stage within the soil. In different phrases, the basis system will produce one layer of harvestable spuds. 

Fundamental Crop Varieties

Close-up of freshly harvested oval-shaped potato tubers with smooth, thin, brownish skin with a pinkish tint.
Fundamental crop potatoes produce massive tubers for versatile culinary makes use of.

Indeterminate varieties are also referred to as “foremost crop” spuds. These varieties yield the biggest, most versatile tubers. They’re greatest for baked potatoes, french fries, potato wedges, and mashing. They’ve an extended development interval, usually taking 16 to 22 weeks to mature

The beauty of foremost crop varieties is that they develop on a number of ranges all through the basis system. In distinction to determinate varieties’ single layer, indeterminates develop tubers at a number of ranges within the soil.

When selecting a cultivar, verify which class it suits into. Early varieties will yield earlier within the season, and foremost crop varieties are normally higher for storage.

Experiment with A number of Varieties

Close-up of a woman's hands with a bunch of freshly harvested round-shaped potato tubers with thin, smooth skin in light brown and pinkish shades.
Potatoes permit for numerous planting with out worrying about cross-pollination.

Texture and shade are the opposite key traits to contemplate earlier than you choose your varieties. Fortunately, you’ll be able to develop as many differing kinds as you’d like in a single mattress. In contrast to corn or squash, there’s no want to fret about cross-pollination. Potatoes are vegetatively propagated (cloned) with their tubers, so an awesome variety of crops can develop in the identical space with out challenge.

Waxy Sorts

'Yukon Gold' potatoes in a wooden box in a sunny garden feature thin, smooth, light yellowish-brown skin and golden-yellow flesh.
‘Yukon Gold’ potatoes are prized for his or her buttery texture and golden flesh.

Waxy varieties have increased moisture content material and a “shiny” really feel in your mouth. They’re nice for boiling or roasting and including to a salad. Most waxy-textured varieties are determinate varieties, however there are some exceptions.

Some glorious waxy varieties embody:

  • ‘Norland Crimson’: Fairly burgundy skins with yellow, waxy flesh, nice for salads and boiling
  • ‘Adirondack Blue’: Vivid bluish-purple skins with waxy, agency texture
  • ‘French Fingerling’: Buttery, earthy taste with knobby, waxy texture and indeterminate development.
  • ‘Yukon Gold’: Semi-starch, semi-wax sort could be very versatile and preferrred for roasting.
  • ‘Superior’: Rectangular rubbers with flaky pores and skin, golden flesh, and 85-90 days to mature

Starchy Sorts

'Russian Blue' potatoes are distinguished by their deep purple-blue skin and vibrant purple flesh.
‘Russian Blue’ potatoes are identified for his or her putting blue-purple pores and skin and creamy texture when cooked.

Starchy fashion spuds, just like the basic ‘Russet,’ are perfect for french fries, baking, and mashing. The tubers are fluffier and better in starch, making them extra amenable to absorbing fat and oils. These spuds are normally “foremost crop” indeterminate varieties with longer days to maturity. They’re usually bigger in measurement and harvested later within the season.

The perfect starchy varieties embody:

  • ‘German Butterball’: Late-yielding yellow starchy spuds with superior taste and longer storage time.
  • ‘Russian Blue’: Heritage selection with vibrant blue skins and high-starch flesh for baking or mashing, high-yielding and indeterminate.
  • ‘Amaraosa’: Fingerling-style rectangular spuds with mid-to-late season harvest.
  • ‘Russet Burbank’: The enduring roasting potato with additional starchy flesh and impartial taste.

Pre-Sprout (Chit) Your Tubers

Close-up of chitting potatoes in a green plastic tray with young shoots consisting of small oval green leaves.
Chitting potatoes can jumpstart development, yielding an earlier harvest benefit.

To chit or to not chit? That’s the query! Chitting is a bizarre phrase for pre-sprouting potatoes. Many gardeners insist that it’s worthwhile to sprout seed potatoes earlier than they go into the bottom. Whereas it isn’t completely needed, it’s one of the best ways to hurry up development and guarantee a powerful crop. Chitted spuds can yield as much as two weeks earlier!

Whether or not you’re ranging from an natural grocery retailer tuber or bought seed potatoes (which had been particularly grown for planting), chitting is nice for reinforcing vigor and productiveness. Pre-sprouting is especially advantageous for cold-climate growers with a brief rising season.

The advantages of pre-sprouting embody:

Chitted potatoes are sometimes prepared to reap 1 to 2 weeks earlier.

Chitting the tubers offers them a head begin indoors to allow them to take off extra rapidly as soon as the spring frost threat has handed.

The sprouted buds are much less more likely to decay as soon as within the soil.

How you can Chit Potatoes

Sprouted potatoes exhibit elongated, whitish sprouts emerging from their eyes, accompanied by wrinkled, slightly shriveled skin.
Pre-sprouting in egg cartons protects potato sprouts throughout transplanting.

Pre-sprouting spuds could be very easy and fast. A very powerful half is the transport and transplanting course of. As soon as the tubers have sprouted, you have to be very cautious to not knock the sprouts off as a result of the tuber simply used a whole lot of its vitality to provide them. One of the best ways to keep away from knocking off sprouts is to chit your potatoes in egg cartons or one other simply moveable container.

Each potato has a number of “eyes,” that are the buds that develop on the pores and skin. If you happen to go away a potato on the kitchen counter for too lengthy and it begins sprouting, these sprouts are rising from the eyes. Every eye will produce a sprout.

You may chit your whole potato varieties directly, however remember to label them if they appear comparable. To begin the method:

  1. Begin chitting 4 to six weeks earlier than you intend to plant in your raised beds.
  2. Unfold newspaper over a tray or field, or collect previous empty egg cartons.
  3. Unfold the potatoes an inch or so aside, or place one potato in every carton gap.
  4. Hold the facet with essentially the most eyes going through upward.
  5. Place them in a comparatively cool space with dappled gentle, like a kitchen counter or patio.
  6. Wait till sprouts seem and develop a number of inches lengthy.

Keep in mind, you don’t should chit your potatoes! They may nonetheless sprout when you plant them instantly within the floor! This tip is most respected for cold-climate gardeners who wish to pace up the method.

Lower Bigger Seed Potatoes in Chunks

Close-up of a man's hands cutting potato tubers into chunks using a sharp knife.
Slicing seed potatoes into chunks boosts yields and saves cash.

If you wish to benefit from your seed potato funds, reduce bigger tubers into chunks earlier than planting! Slicing the seed tubers will multiply your yields and the general quantity of crops. Any chunk of potato can develop right into a plant so long as it has a number of eyes (buds) and it’s a minimum of the dimensions of a golf ball. This tip is nice for gardeners on a funds.

About two to 3 days earlier than planting, reduce your bigger seed potatoes with a pointy, sanitized knife. First, verify that every facet has a minimal of two to 3 eyes. In the event that they’ve already sprouted, deal with them very rigorously.

Lower the tuber into chunks, making certain every chunk is bigger than a golf ball. Most seed potatoes ought to simply be reduce in half. Keep in mind, if there aren’t any eyes, the chunk is not going to develop right into a plant.


Close-up of potato tubers cut into chunks for planting.
Slicing and callousing seed potato chunks earlier than planting ensures success.

Depart the chunks within the chitting trays to callous over for a number of days earlier than planting. This mini-curing course of promotes the reduce portion to type a protecting pores and skin coating that makes it much less more likely to rot as soon as you set it within the soil. Callousing isn’t at all times needed, however it’s the most useful strategy to stop rotting. As soon as the seed potatoes are correctly reduce and calloused, you’re able to plant!

Chances are you’ll fear that reducing the seed potatoes may result in smaller harvests. Luckily, this isn’t true! Generally, an outsized seed tuber really bears tons of tiny spuds. Creating extra uniform chunky starter potatoes ensures that the plant funnels its vitality into an abundance of recent tubers later within the season.

Save Your Finest Beds for Different Crops

Close-up of a plastic bucket filled with freshly picked potato tubers on a bed of growing potato plants.
Potatoes thrive in numerous soils with minimal fuss and care.

One wonderful thing about this staple crop is that it’s not tremendous choosy about soil. For limited-space gardeners, it’s greatest to avoid wasting your greatest beds for different crops. There is no such thing as a have to plant them in your highest-quality soil. The tubers will develop abundantly in medium to poor soil, and so they don’t want a ton of compost to do it. So long as there’s correct drainage and moisture, the crops will yield with no ton of additional fertility or natural matter. You may even develop some varieties in develop baggage or containers.

These tubers are an iconic staple crop for a motive: They’re tremendous resilient and rugged! That is why they’ve fed everybody from peasant farmers to kingly rulers for hundreds of years. Save your greatest soil for crops like tomatoes, peppers, salad greens, and strawberries.

Don’t High Off the Raised Mattress With Soil

Close-up of a wooden raised bed filled with fresh soil and amended with compost.
Planting tubers in settled soil simplifies the hilling course of.

It’s a widespread apply to add a layer of compost or topsoil to our raised beds within the spring. This helps refill the mattress after some soil settles by way of the winter. However topping off the soil stage just isn’t needed for potatoes! It’s really simpler to plant the tubers in a mattress with a decrease soil stage, which makes the hilling course of even faster.

This crop is commercially grown in mounds. Hilling or mounding the soil ensures that the tubers keep buried underground for the whole lot of their development cycle. Solely the leaves and stems ought to emerge above the floor. Any portion of a potato tuber uncovered to the solar will flip inexperienced and produce solanine, which compromises the flavour and security of the basis. 

If you happen to go away your raised mattress soil settled, it is going to be very straightforward to mound the crops a number of weeks after they begin rising. You may add soil to the highest of the mattress, then rake it out to maintain the tubers buried.

Make Furrows and Plant Deep

Close-up of young potato seedlings with deeply lobed green leaves planted in furrows.
Use the furrow methodology for planting.

When making ready to plant your potatoes in raised beds, the furrow methodology is the quickest and simplest way to make sure the correct depth. Clearly, a lot of the magic of this crop occurs deep under the floor. Your potato crops will produce a whole lot of above-ground foliage, however they like to get established within the darkness of the soil. 

In truth, deep planting is essential as a result of spuds uncovered to the daylight can type inexperienced spots. As we’ll clarify under, hilling ensures that every one the tuberous roots keep under floor always. Inexperienced spots on potatoes develop a small quantity of a compound known as solanine, which is poisonous at excessive ranges. Keep away from consuming inexperienced or uncooked potatoes, and plant deep to maintain the roots underground the place they belong.

A 15 to 24-inch-deep raised mattress is good for rising spuds. Use a shovel or a planting auger to create furrows or holes about three to 4 inches deep. A furrow is only a lengthy valley within the soil that makes it simpler to hill them. An auger is a drill attachment that quickly digs a gap in poorer soil with minimal effort. Each work so long as there’s loads of room for the potato to take pleasure in a comfortable, well-buried begin to life.

Level Eyes Upward When Planting

Close-up of a female gardener planting a sprouted potato tuber in a raised bed in the garden.
Positioning potato eyes upward ensures faster plant institution and development.

This quite simple tip can assist your crops set up extra rapidly. A potato can technically develop whether it is simply tossed in deep soil. However when you orient the eyes or sprouts upward, it helps the plant take off extra quickly. Much less vitality is required to funnel the sprout as much as the floor. It takes an additional half-second to level the eyes upward, so that you may as properly give your crops a better begin!

Hill Often

Close-up of a gardener hilling a bed of potato plants using a long-handled hoe.
Hilling potatoes in raised beds ensures tubers keep coated for development.

The one main upkeep that potatoes require is hilling, however this step is essential to success. As we talked about above, planting in a raised mattress with a decrease soil stage makes issues even simpler. When the plant foliage is six to eight inches tall, start layering soil about 4 inches up the plant base.

Some leaves and stems ought to nonetheless be seen up high, however the backside half of the plant ought to be coated. You should use a shovel to layer extra soil. Repeat the method in a number of weeks when the crops are 10 to 12 inches tall. By this time, your crops could have good mounds of safety to maintain the tubers underground, defending them from greening.

Whereas most in-ground growers pull soil from the bottom between soil rows, raised mattress gardeners ought to supply the soil from outdoors the mattress. You should use compost or previous potting combine from one other container.

Verify for Indicators of Harvest

Close-up of a flowering potato plant featuring five white petals with a purple tint and a yellow center.
To make sure a profitable harvest, monitor potato crops for flowering.

This closing tip will assist stop some main errors newbies usually make with potatoes. You wish to harvest on the proper time; in any other case, all of your rising efforts can be wasted. One of the best ways to correctly time your harvest is by setting a reminder in your calendar and observing the crops. In case your selection takes 70-80 days to mature, place an alert in your calendar about 70 days after planting to remind you to verify the spuds.

Clearly, it’s exhausting to understand how large the tubers can be till you dig them up. Essentially the most dependable above-ground indicators of harvestability are:

Potatoes produce white or pink flowers that resemble tomato blossoms. When the blooms seem, it’s a signal that it’s best to harvest “new” or “spring” potatoes. These tubers are softer with very tender pores and skin, preferrred for consuming instantly as they won’t retailer.

foremost crop potatoes are prepared when the leaves flip from darkish inexperienced to yellowish-brown (so long as there’s no illness). In autumn, the tubers will begin dying again because the nights cool. You could harvest earlier than it frosts!

When you see the foliage drying, you should utilize pruners to chop again the above-ground foliage. Depart the storage potatoes within the floor for one more week or so to permit their skins to thicken. This “field-curing” enhances the tubers’ storability. If the climate will get too chilly, pull them and treatment them indoors as a substitute.

Remaining Ideas

Yard potatoes are a brilliant rewarding, calorie-rich, and easygoing crop. Selection choice, planting, and hilling are essentially the most main components of the method. For the remainder of the season, the crops develop vigorously with common moisture and loads of daylight. When rising in raised beds, save your greatest beds for different crops that demand high quality soil. These tubers don’t thoughts rugged circumstances so long as they’ve water and so they stay buried underground.

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