Planting, caring for and harvesting potatoes

Potato plants belong to the nightshade family and are very popular. The root vegetables can easily be grown in the home garden or on the balcony and terrace. Potato plants are not sown , but planted , as the technical term goes. Depending on the climatic region, you can start planting potatoes from mid-April . From a seed potato develops within 90 to 120 days depending on the variety and conditiona variety of new potatoes. The right potato location is important and you can harvest plenty of potatoes without any effort. Planting potatoes is also an experience for children.

Worth knowing location planting in the bucket care fertilizing

Varieties Crop Pests & Diseases FAQ

Matching products: buy potato plants

Worth knowing about potato plants

Botanical name: Solanum tuberosum
Other names: potatoes, ground pear, ground pear, potato
Use: only to be eaten cooked, salad, puree, soup, gratin, boiled potatoes
Origin: Andes
Cultivation period: April to October
Fruit colours: yellow, red, black
Harvest: June to October
Special features: In the botanical sense, the potato is not a fruit, but an underground shoot (tuber). Crop rotation is important to minimize the risk of potato diseases and potato pests. You can also grow potatoes on the balcony, it is advisable to water the potatoes here from time to time.

In which location do potato plants feel most comfortable?

Potato plants need a sunny and warm place outside. In addition to the well-known cultivation of potatoes on the bed, there is the possibility of growing the vegetables in raised beds , garden bags or planters . So you can cultivate the popular plants without a garden . A permeable and humus -rich soil without waterlogging is important for the culture . Potatoes prefer soil with a pH of 5.5 to 7. Growing potatoes on loose and poor soil is possible. Spreading manure or compost in autumn helps here to increase the humus content.

Trivia: When growing , be careful not to plant potatoes right next to tomatoes. Furthermore, you should only grow potatoes on the same spot again after 3 years. It is ideal if you plant potatoes alternately with other vegetables (crop rotation). In crop rotation , potato cultivation comes after green manure , since the tubers are so-called heavy feeders and prefer the high humus content after the fallow season .

Good neighbors

Bad neighbors


Cumin, coriander, dill, nasturtium, corn, beans, marigolds or beans

Tomatoes, peppers, cucumbers, pumpkins, celery, beetroot, onions or sunflowers Our gardening tip: In mixed cultures , plants are cleverly combined in the garden or planted next to each other. These types of vegetables and flowers have a positive influence on growth and minimize possible pests. Mixed cultures are also recommended for small gardens, as the individual cultures are healthy and easier to care for.

How are potatoes planted?

Potatoes will be offered as so-called seedlings from February. When buying, look for certified seeds to get good quality . These tubers came from a high quality mother plant that was healthy. So you start your potato cultivation with the best conditions. When growing potatoes, make sure that the tubers are sensitive to frost and that they are planted out depending on the climatic region. In the mild wine -growing climate, planting can begin from the beginning of April. Here is by coveringwith fleece prevents the tubers in the ground from suffering late frosts and the heat is stored better . A daily temperature of 10 to 15 °C is recommended as a guideline for planting potatoes. If the tubers are planted too early, there is a high risk of frost damage. Even short periods of low temperatures are unfavorable for potato cultivation.

Pre-germinated seed potatoes are placed in the ground

By so-called pre- germination in the house you will achieve an earlier harvest. To do this, lay out the seed potatoes flat in egg cartons or in crates from mid-March . Place the boxes in a bright place with temperatures around 10 °C. New shoots have already formed after 2 to 3 weeks. The advantage of pre-sprouted potatoes is that it allows you to harvest potatoes earlier and makes the tubers less susceptible to pests and diseases . Planting pre-germinated tubers needs with something Exercise caution as the young shoots break off easily. Basically, planting potatoes with previously hidden tubers is identical to planting the seedlings in April or May.

How are potato plants grown in the garden?

Potato plants are warmth-loving and can be laid from April . Make sure the soil for potato plants is loose and free of weeds. The tubers are cultivated in rows in order to be able to better carry out the necessary cultural measures. Before planting the potatoes, loosen the soil deeply and remove all weeds. Either you make one planting hole after the next or you dig a furrow with a hoe and place the seed potatoes about 35 cm apart.

distance between the tubers about 35 centimeters
distance between rows 70 to 80 centimeters
planting depth about 10 centimeters

Always put a seed potato in one spot . Make sure that the shoot or the eye is pointing upwardsis directed. Cover the bulb with loose potting soil. There is no need for you to water the newly planted potatoes. In addition, you can apply natural fertilizer directly when planting the potatoes. This purely organic fertilizer promotes soil activity and slowly releases the nutrients. On humus-rich soils, fertilization is only necessary when sprouting. It takes 3 to 4 weeks from planting the potato plants to the first visible green, depending on soil temperature and moisture. After planting, you don’t have to worry about caring for the potatoes for a few weeks. For early cultivation, you can cover the rows with fleece. This garden fleece protects against negative weather influences and accelerates growth and harvest. awayIn mid-May you can remove the fleece on an overcast day .

Pro Tips: Pay attention to row spacing . If the planting is too dense , it is difficult to ‘ pile up’ the potatoes , since there is not enough soil that should be pulled onto the plants with a hoe . Large seed potatoes can be divided with a sharp knife. It is important that each piece has at least 1 eye.

Potato plants in the garden bag and potato plants in the pot:

How are potato plants cultivated in raised beds, in plant bags or in tubs?

Potato culture in raised beds and planters is analogous to cultivation in the ground. Even if you don’t have a garden, you don’t have to give up growing potatoes. It is important that the soil in the containers or in the raised bed is well drained , never waterlogged or completely dry. The vessels must have a water drain and ideally a drainage layer is filled at the bottom. Special potato pots are ideal for growing potato plants on balconies and patios. It is important that the tuber is always covered with soil after planting is and you water evenly. When growing potatoes on the balcony, make sure the location is warm and sunny.

Fact: The rule of thumb is 25 liters volume per potato plant. That means you can put 4 to 5 seed potatoes in a 100 to 120 liter garden bag .

How do I properly care for my potato plants?

Potato plants grow in the optimal location without much care. Regular chopping and the so-called piling up are the only jobs necessary for success. Use the hoe to pull the loose soil towards the plant and cover the base of the plant . Piling up prevents the newly forming tubers from turning green and encourages tuber formation . It also loosens the soil and prevents weed growth. Start piling up the potato plants as soon as the first greens appear and repeat this work every 3 to 4 weeks. When piling up, make sure that the herb is not damaged, but that the tubers are always covered with soil. Green spots on the tubers are a sign of too much light and a higher level of poisonous solanine. Watering is not necessary if the soil is humus-rich. However, if the drought lasts a long time, watering will encourage tuber formation and the size of the potatoes.

How do I fertilize my potato plants properly?

Like all other Solanaceae, potato plants belong to the group of heavy feeders . A lack of nutrients will result in reduced growth and lower yields . It is optimal if you supply the tubers with natural fertilizer directly when planting. This organic fertilizer releases the nutrients throughout the cultivation period and promotes soil life . Do not use complete mineral fertilizers, this form of fertilizer is not necessary when growing vegetables in the home garden.

What types of potatoes are there?

Breeding and selection have resulted in a large number of potato varieties . The variety is enormous and there are more than 5000 different types of potatoes worldwide. In addition to old varieties, new breeds enrich the range. By growing different varieties of potatoes, you can enjoy your own harvest from early summer to autumn. The regionality of the various potato varieties is very strong and can be attributed to the climatic conditions, among other things. For example, late species cannot be grown in areas with a short growing season. The potato planting time depends on the climatic region where you live. You can plant potatoes about 2 weeks earlier in a raised bed than in a garden bed. Older potato varieties often have lower yields, but impress with their taste, shape or color of the skin.

Potato plants are distinguished as follows:

Intended use/cooking properties: waxy, mainly waxy and floury.

Harvest timing: early varieties/mid varieties/late varieties.

The cooking properties are based on the starch content of the tubers. The more starch a potato contains, the looser it becomes when cooked . Firm-boiling types are more cut-resistant , have a finer structure and a pithy bite. Mealy potatoes are softer , drier, and lend themselves to mashing .

Subdivision according to harvest time

PlantingHarvestVegetation SeasonCharacteristics


Early Varieties

from the end of MarchJune90 to 120 days12% strength, thin skin

immediate consumption

Medium grades

Aprilmid-August120 to150 daysThe skin is medium-strong, the starch content varies depending on the variety

Immediate consumption and storable

late varieties

April/early MaySeptember120 to 160 days14 to 16% starch, thicker skin

very well storable

Subdivision according to purpose

sticky end

Salad, fried potatoes, gratins

Mainly waxy ones

Boiled and boiled potatoes, soups

Mealy boiling

puree, stew

Potato recipesHere you come to delicious recipes. Get to know the versatility of potatoes. Our instructions are ideal for copying. Enjoy your meal!

Discover potato recipes online

When can you harvest potatoes?

The harvest time depends on the potato variety. Basically, you can get the first potatoes out of the ground as soon as the cabbage is brown and wilted. The growth of the tubers is then complete. If you have planted pre-germinated tubers at the end of March or beginning of April and it is a potato variety that only has 90 days of cultivation time, these early potatoes will be ready for harvesting at the end of June. The right time to harvest the late potatoes is from mid-September. If you harvest potatoes early, the tubers will still be small and their shelf life will be reduced. It is therefore advisable to wait until the optimal time to harvest the potatoes.

Important: Never store fruit and potatoes together in one room! The fruit gives off ethylene gas, which causes the potatoes to ripen quickly and reduces their shelf life.

What pests and diseases can affect potato plants?

With a good choice of variety and the right site conditions , the potato plants are robust , grow and bear fruit well. Malnourished or weakened plants are susceptible to disease and pests . In addition to pests and diseases that affect the herb of the potato plant, there are problems that affect the tuber. If the herb suffers, tuber formation is difficult or reduced.

Colorado potato beetle

The strikingly striped beetle has been a pest that can cause massive problems since the end of the 19th century. When the first infestation occurs, you should collect the beetles to avert greater damage. Control is not possible in the home garden. The first potato beetles fly from the beginning of May . They lay eggs on the underside of leaves. The eggs are elongated and usually found in groups of 20 to 80 pieces. After 4 to 12 days, larvae hatch from the eggs, which after several molts turn into pupae and finally develop into young beetles in the soil . This 2nd generation of beetles can be found from July. The complex development process makes thecombat difficult . The beetles primarily damage the leaf . It can go as far as galling . In addition to changing the cultivated area every year, strengthening with plant treatment is one way of minimizing pest infestation. The biological agent strengthens the plant ‘s own immune system and helps to curb the spread of the potato beetle in a natural way .

late blight

The leaf surface of the potato plant has yellowish-green spots that darken over time. There is white to gray fungal tissue on the underside of the leaf . The tubers themselves have large dark gray spots. The dreaded late blight is caused by a moisture -loving fungus called Phytophtera infestans . It causes so much damage that the tubers are not suitable for consumption . The spread takes place through already diseased tubers. Therefore, it is important that you when purchasing pay attention to certified planting material. Infection can also occur through infested plant remains in the soil. Fighting the fungal disease is not possible in the hobby garden. One option is preventive treatment with Kölle’s organic active agent field horsetail and oats. The special plant extract strengthens the potato plants and makes the tissue firm. The fungal pathogens thus have more difficult conditions. Optimum row spacing and keeping the foliage dry are also ways to decimate late blight.

Recognizing and fighting late blight in potatoes

The fungus Phytophthora infestans is responsible, which multiplies massively in wet and humid climates and leads to the complete collapse of the vegetable plants. We show you the possibilities of prevention and treatment.

Late Blight & Brown Blight

FAQ — Frequently asked questions about growing potato plants

When can potato plants be harvested?

The harvest time varies depending on the variety. The growing season is 90 to 160 days . Once the herb begins to turn yellow, then brown, and finally wilt, the bulbs have stopped growing.

What does the potato blossom mean?

From the flowering stage, the tubers form underground . However, there is still a long way to go before the harvest. Depending on the variety, the potato flower is white with a yellow center or purple with a yellow center.

Why is potato cultivation interesting in the hobby garden?

From our own cultivation, the organic quality of the potatoes is guaranteed during the harvest. Potato culture is important for crop rotation in the vegetable garden. After the potatoes have been planted, the soil is loose and ideal for growing lettuce, fennel or carrots in the coming year. On fresh land, potato cultivation is the best culture to make the bed arable. Regular hoeing and piling up prevents weed growth and promotes soil structure.

Mixed culture — what are good neighbors for potato plants?

For potatoes, French beans , all types of cabbage, nasturtium, corn or spinach are good partners. Eggplants, cucumber plants, peppers, tomatoes, celery and beetroot are less suitable.

What happens to the potato plants in winter?

The nightshade plant is sensitive to frost and suffers at low temperatures. In climatically favorable regions, potatoes can survive in the ground and sprout again in the second year. Large yields are not to be expected.

Can potato plants be sown?

Under good conditions , seeds develop from the blossoms of the potato plants . These are viable . However, the method of sowing is only for crossing purposes and not for growing potatoes with the aim of harvesting many tubers.

Does frost damage potato plants?

Early planting and late frosts can damage the potato tops. It is important that you protect the young shoots with fleece if there is a risk of night frost from the end of April to mid-May. Buckets or clay pots that are placed over the potato plants are also suitable for small areas.

Are potato plants poisonous?

All parts of the potato plant contain poisonous alkali odes. Also known as solanines, these compounds are primarily found in the flowers and berries of the potato plant. The tubers contain only small traces, but potatoes should only be eaten cooked.

What can be planted on the bed after potatoes?

In the case of early potatoes, lamb’s lettuce can still be sown in late summer, or autumn and winter cabbage varieties such as savoy cabbage or kale. In the following year, cauliflower, beans, kale, kohlrabi, Brussels sprouts, white cabbage or sweetcorn are suitable.

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