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Potato
Plant Care Instructions By Steve Brigham

There are many different varieties of potatoes available for growing by the home gardener, and you will be amazed at how good potatoes you grow yourself taste compared to the store-bought product. In Southern California\'s mild coastal climates, potatoes may be planted from January through May for spring to fall harvest, and you can even try planting in early fall for a winter harvest. The main thing to remember is that potatoes like loose soil, don\'t like excessive heat, and need even moisture (but never soggy soil) throughout the growing season. Whether you grow potatoes in the ground, in half-barrels, or even in stacks of tires, they produce best if you mound loose soil around the plant stems as they grow. For healthy plants and a good harvest, it is important to plant only certified \"seed\" potatoes that you buy from nurseries or specialty growers (rather than store-bought potatoes, which often produce poor crops).

Is Indoor Plant?

No

These month by month plant care tasks are for plants in the following zones :
Sunset Zones : 22, 23, 24
USDA Zones :
Web Link - For more information
Scroll down or click on any month for plant care instructions
  • Jan
  • Feb
  • Mar
  • Apr
  • May
  • Jun
  • Jul
  • Aug
  • Sep
  • Oct
  • Nov
  • Dec
  • January
    • Buy

        Buy only certified "seed" potatoes, either from local nurseries or by mail from specialty growers.

    • Plant

        Plant "seed" potatoes whole (if they are small), or cut into 2" pieces, making sure each piece has at least two "eyes". Let cut pieces callus over for a day or two before planting. Plant each piece 2" deep and 1' apart in full sun in rich, loose, well-drained soil that has been amended with composted manure or other organic amendment and 5-10-10 fertilizer. As plants grow, mound new loose soil around the main stems, which will protect developing potatoes from sun.

    • Fertilize

        Fertilize potatoes by mixing a 5-10-10 plant food in with the soil when you plant. Side-dress with a light application of 5-10-10 fertilizer monthly after planting, watering in well.

    • Water

        Water regularly and consistently throughout the growing season as needed.

    • Protect

        Protect young plants from heavy frosts, should they occur.

    • Harvest

        Harvest "new" potatoes 2 to 3 weeks after plants start blooming. Harvest mature potatoes after plants have turned brown.

  • February
    • Buy

        Buy only certified "seed" potatoes, either from local nurseries or by mail from specialty growers.

    • Plant

        Plant "seed" potatoes whole (if they are small), or cut into 2" pieces, making sure each piece has at least two "eyes". Let cut pieces callus over for a day or two before planting. Plant each piece 2" deep and 1' apart in full sun in rich, loose, well-drained soil that has been amended with composted manure or other organic amendment and 5-10-10 fertilizer. As plants grow, mound new loose soil around the main stems, which will protect developing potatoes from sun.

    • Fertilize

        Fertilize potatoes by mixing a 5-10-10 plant food in with the soil when you plant. Side-dress with a light application of 5-10-10 fertilizer monthly after planting, watering in well.

    • Water

        Water regularly and consistently throughout the growing season as needed.

    • Harvest

        Harvest "new" potatoes 2 to 3 weeks after plants start blooming. Harvest mature potatoes after plants have turned brown.

  • March
    • Buy

        Buy only certified "seed" potatoes, either from local nurseries or by mail from specialty growers.

    • Plant

        Plant "seed" potatoes whole (if they are small), or cut into 2" pieces, making sure each piece has at least two "eyes". Let cut pieces callus over for a day or two before planting. Plant each piece 2" deep and 1' apart in full sun in rich, loose, well-drained soil that has been amended with composted manure or other organic amendment and 5-10-10 fertilizer. As plants grow, mound new loose soil around the main stems, which will protect developing potatoes from sun.

    • Fertilize

        Fertilize potatoes by mixing a 5-10-10 plant food in with the soil when you plant. Side-dress with a light application of 5-10-10 fertilizer monthly after planting, watering in well.

    • Water

        Water regularly and consistently throughout the growing season as needed.

    • Mulch

        Maintain a generous layer of mulch around plants to keep roots cool and moist and protect developing potatoes.

    • Harvest

        Harvest "new" potatoes 2 to 3 weeks after plants start blooming. Harvest mature potatoes after plants have turned brown.

  • April
    • Buy

        Buy only certified "seed" potatoes, either from local nurseries or by mail from specialty growers.

    • Plant

        Plant "seed" potatoes whole (if they are small), or cut into 2" pieces, making sure each piece has at least two "eyes". Let cut pieces callus over for a day or two before planting. Plant each piece 2" deep and 1' apart in full sun in rich, loose, well-drained soil that has been amended with composted manure or other organic amendment and 5-10-10 fertilizer. As plants grow, mound new loose soil around the main stems, which will protect developing potatoes from sun.

    • Fertilize

        Fertilize potatoes by mixing a 5-10-10 plant food in with the soil when you plant. Side-dress with a light application of 5-10-10 fertilizer monthly after planting, watering in well.

    • Water

        Water regularly and consistently throughout the growing season as needed.

    • Mulch

        Maintain a generous layer of mulch around plants to keep roots cool and moist and protect developing potatoes.

    • Harvest

        Harvest "new" potatoes 2 to 3 weeks after plants start blooming. Harvest mature potatoes after plants have turned brown.

  • May
    • Buy

        Buy only certified "seed" potatoes, either from local nurseries or by mail from specialty growers.

    • Plant

        Plant "seed" potatoes whole (if they are small), or cut into 2" pieces, making sure each piece has at least two "eyes". Let cut pieces callus over for a day or two before planting. Plant each piece 2" deep and 1' apart in full sun in rich, loose, well-drained soil that has been amended with composted manure or other organic amendment and 5-10-10 fertilizer. As plants grow, mound new loose soil around the main stems, which will protect developing potatoes from sun.

    • Fertilize

        Fertilize potatoes by mixing a 5-10-10 plant food in with the soil when you plant. Side-dress with a light application of 5-10-10 fertilizer monthly after planting, watering in well.

    • Water

        Water regularly and consistently throughout the growing season as needed.

    • Mulch

        Maintain a generous layer of mulch around plants to keep roots cool and moist and protect developing potatoes.

    • Harvest

        Harvest "new" potatoes 2 to 3 weeks after plants start blooming. Harvest mature potatoes after plants have turned brown.

  • June
    • Water

        Water regularly and consistently throughout the growing season as needed.

    • Mulch

        Maintain a generous layer of mulch around plants to keep roots cool and moist and protect developing potatoes.

    • Harvest

        Harvest "new" potatoes 2 to 3 weeks after plants start blooming. Harvest mature potatoes after plants have turned brown.

  • July
    • Water

        Water regularly and consistently throughout the growing season as needed.

    • Mulch

        Maintain a generous layer of mulch around plants to keep roots cool and moist and protect developing potatoes.

    • Harvest

        Harvest "new" potatoes 2 to 3 weeks after plants start blooming. Harvest mature potatoes after plants have turned brown.

  • August
    • Buy

        Buy only certified "seed" potatoes, either from local nurseries or by mail from specialty growers.

    • Fertilize

        Fertilize potatoes by mixing a 5-10-10 plant food in with the soil when you plant. Side-dress with a light application of 5-10-10 fertilizer monthly after planting, watering in well.

    • Water

        Water regularly and consistently throughout the growing season as needed.

    • Mulch

        Maintain a generous layer of mulch around plants to keep roots cool and moist and protect developing potatoes.

    • Harvest

        Harvest "new" potatoes 2 to 3 weeks after plants start blooming. Harvest mature potatoes after plants have turned brown.

  • September
    • Buy

        Buy only certified "seed" potatoes, either from local nurseries or by mail from specialty growers.

    • Plant

        Plant "seed" potatoes whole (if they are small), or cut into 2" pieces, making sure each piece has at least two "eyes". Let cut pieces callus over for a day or two before planting. Plant each piece 2" deep and 1' apart in full sun in rich, loose, well-drained soil that has been amended with composted manure or other organic amendment and 5-10-10 fertilizer. As plants grow, mound new loose soil around the main stems, which will protect developing potatoes from sun.

    • Fertilize

        Fertilize potatoes by mixing a 5-10-10 plant food in with the soil when you plant. Side-dress with a light application of 5-10-10 fertilizer monthly after planting, watering in well.

    • Water

        Water regularly and consistently throughout the growing season as needed.

    • Mulch

        Maintain a generous layer of mulch around plants to keep roots cool and moist and protect developing potatoes.

    • Harvest

        Harvest "new" potatoes 2 to 3 weeks after plants start blooming. Harvest mature potatoes after plants have turned brown.

  • October
    • Plant

        Plant "seed" potatoes whole (if they are small), or cut into 2" pieces, making sure each piece has at least two "eyes". Let cut pieces callus over for a day or two before planting. Plant each piece 2" deep and 1' apart in full sun in rich, loose, well-drained soil that has been amended with composted manure or other organic amendment and 5-10-10 fertilizer. As plants grow, mound new loose soil around the main stems, which will protect developing potatoes from sun.

    • Water

        Water regularly and consistently throughout the growing season as needed.

    • Mulch

        Maintain a generous layer of mulch around plants to keep roots cool and moist and protect developing potatoes.

    • Harvest

        Harvest "new" potatoes 2 to 3 weeks after plants start blooming. Harvest mature potatoes after plants have turned brown.

  • November
    • Water

        Water regularly and consistently throughout the growing season as needed.

    • Harvest

        Harvest "new" potatoes 2 to 3 weeks after plants start blooming. Harvest mature potatoes after plants have turned brown.

  • December
    • Water

        Water regularly and consistently throughout the growing season as needed.

    • Protect

        Protect young plants from heavy frosts, should they occur.

    • Harvest

        Harvest "new" potatoes 2 to 3 weeks after plants start blooming. Harvest mature potatoes after plants have turned brown.

  • Winter
    • Spring
      • Summer
        • Fall
          • Buy

            When's the best time to buy this plant? When can you buy these from seed (if you can)? When is it usually available? What are things to look for when you're buying it? Or anything other tidbit of information you can share!

            •  Jan
            •  Feb
            •  Mar
            •  Apr
            •  May
            •  Jun
            •  Jul
            •  Aug
            •  Sep
            •  Oct
            •  Nov
            •  Dec
            • January

              Buy only certified \"seed\" potatoes, either from local nurseries or by mail from specialty growers.

            • February

              Buy only certified \"seed\" potatoes, either from local nurseries or by mail from specialty growers.

            • March

              Buy only certified \"seed\" potatoes, either from local nurseries or by mail from specialty growers.

            • April

              Buy only certified \"seed\" potatoes, either from local nurseries or by mail from specialty growers.

            • May

              Buy only certified \"seed\" potatoes, either from local nurseries or by mail from specialty growers.

            • August

              Buy only certified \"seed\" potatoes, either from local nurseries or by mail from specialty growers.

            • September

              Buy only certified \"seed\" potatoes, either from local nurseries or by mail from specialty growers.

          • Plant

            When's a good time to plant this plant or bulb? Any special planting instructions?

            •  Jan
            •  Feb
            •  Mar
            •  Apr
            •  May
            •  Jun
            •  Jul
            •  Aug
            •  Sep
            •  Oct
            •  Nov
            •  Dec
            • January

              Plant \"seed\" potatoes whole (if they are small), or cut into 2\" pieces, making sure each piece has at least two \"eyes\". Let cut pieces callus over for a day or two before planting. Plant each piece 2\" deep and 1\' apart in full sun in rich, loose, well-drained soil that has been amended with composted manure or other organic amendment and 5-10-10 fertilizer. As plants grow, mound new loose soil around the main stems, which will protect developing potatoes from sun.

            • February

              Plant \"seed\" potatoes whole (if they are small), or cut into 2\" pieces, making sure each piece has at least two \"eyes\". Let cut pieces callus over for a day or two before planting. Plant each piece 2\" deep and 1\' apart in full sun in rich, loose, well-drained soil that has been amended with composted manure or other organic amendment and 5-10-10 fertilizer. As plants grow, mound new loose soil around the main stems, which will protect developing potatoes from sun.

            • March

              Plant \"seed\" potatoes whole (if they are small), or cut into 2\" pieces, making sure each piece has at least two \"eyes\". Let cut pieces callus over for a day or two before planting. Plant each piece 2\" deep and 1\' apart in full sun in rich, loose, well-drained soil that has been amended with composted manure or other organic amendment and 5-10-10 fertilizer. As plants grow, mound new loose soil around the main stems, which will protect developing potatoes from sun.

            • April

              Plant \"seed\" potatoes whole (if they are small), or cut into 2\" pieces, making sure each piece has at least two \"eyes\". Let cut pieces callus over for a day or two before planting. Plant each piece 2\" deep and 1\' apart in full sun in rich, loose, well-drained soil that has been amended with composted manure or other organic amendment and 5-10-10 fertilizer. As plants grow, mound new loose soil around the main stems, which will protect developing potatoes from sun.

            • May

              Plant \"seed\" potatoes whole (if they are small), or cut into 2\" pieces, making sure each piece has at least two \"eyes\". Let cut pieces callus over for a day or two before planting. Plant each piece 2\" deep and 1\' apart in full sun in rich, loose, well-drained soil that has been amended with composted manure or other organic amendment and 5-10-10 fertilizer. As plants grow, mound new loose soil around the main stems, which will protect developing potatoes from sun.

            • September

              Plant \"seed\" potatoes whole (if they are small), or cut into 2\" pieces, making sure each piece has at least two \"eyes\". Let cut pieces callus over for a day or two before planting. Plant each piece 2\" deep and 1\' apart in full sun in rich, loose, well-drained soil that has been amended with composted manure or other organic amendment and 5-10-10 fertilizer. As plants grow, mound new loose soil around the main stems, which will protect developing potatoes from sun.

            • October

              Plant \"seed\" potatoes whole (if they are small), or cut into 2\" pieces, making sure each piece has at least two \"eyes\". Let cut pieces callus over for a day or two before planting. Plant each piece 2\" deep and 1\' apart in full sun in rich, loose, well-drained soil that has been amended with composted manure or other organic amendment and 5-10-10 fertilizer. As plants grow, mound new loose soil around the main stems, which will protect developing potatoes from sun.

          • Sow Seeds

            When can you plant these seeds? When's the best time? Can you start them indoors and move them out? Do they have any special requirements?

            •  Jan
            •  Feb
            •  Mar
            •  Apr
            •  May
            •  Jun
            •  Jul
            •  Aug
            •  Sep
            •  Oct
            •  Nov
            •  Dec
            • Fertilize

              When should you fertilize this plant? Which kind of fertilizer do you recommend? Should you use different fertilizers at different times of year?

              •  Jan
              •  Feb
              •  Mar
              •  Apr
              •  May
              •  Jun
              •  Jul
              •  Aug
              •  Sep
              •  Oct
              •  Nov
              •  Dec
              • January

                Fertilize potatoes by mixing a 5-10-10 plant food in with the soil when you plant. Side-dress with a light application of 5-10-10 fertilizer monthly after planting, watering in well.

              • February

                Fertilize potatoes by mixing a 5-10-10 plant food in with the soil when you plant. Side-dress with a light application of 5-10-10 fertilizer monthly after planting, watering in well.

              • March

                Fertilize potatoes by mixing a 5-10-10 plant food in with the soil when you plant. Side-dress with a light application of 5-10-10 fertilizer monthly after planting, watering in well.

              • April

                Fertilize potatoes by mixing a 5-10-10 plant food in with the soil when you plant. Side-dress with a light application of 5-10-10 fertilizer monthly after planting, watering in well.

              • May

                Fertilize potatoes by mixing a 5-10-10 plant food in with the soil when you plant. Side-dress with a light application of 5-10-10 fertilizer monthly after planting, watering in well.

              • August

                Fertilize potatoes by mixing a 5-10-10 plant food in with the soil when you plant. Side-dress with a light application of 5-10-10 fertilizer monthly after planting, watering in well.

              • September

                Fertilize potatoes by mixing a 5-10-10 plant food in with the soil when you plant. Side-dress with a light application of 5-10-10 fertilizer monthly after planting, watering in well.

            • Water

              Is there a time to reduce or increase watering? Any special requirements? Things to avoid during certain times of the year?

              •  Jan
              •  Feb
              •  Mar
              •  Apr
              •  May
              •  Jun
              •  Jul
              •  Aug
              •  Sep
              •  Oct
              •  Nov
              •  Dec
              • January

                Water regularly and consistently throughout the growing season as needed.

              • February

                Water regularly and consistently throughout the growing season as needed.

              • March

                Water regularly and consistently throughout the growing season as needed.

              • April

                Water regularly and consistently throughout the growing season as needed.

              • May

                Water regularly and consistently throughout the growing season as needed.

              • June

                Water regularly and consistently throughout the growing season as needed.

              • July

                Water regularly and consistently throughout the growing season as needed.

              • August

                Water regularly and consistently throughout the growing season as needed.

              • September

                Water regularly and consistently throughout the growing season as needed.

              • October

                Water regularly and consistently throughout the growing season as needed.

              • November

                Water regularly and consistently throughout the growing season as needed.

              • December

                Water regularly and consistently throughout the growing season as needed.

            • Prune

              When's a good time to prune this plant? How about deadheading, pinching back, trimming or any other grooming? Any special requirements?

              •  Jan
              •  Feb
              •  Mar
              •  Apr
              •  May
              •  Jun
              •  Jul
              •  Aug
              •  Sep
              •  Oct
              •  Nov
              •  Dec
              • Mulch

                Does this plant need to be mulched? Are there specific types of Mulch which are better for this plant? How much?

                •  Jan
                •  Feb
                •  Mar
                •  Apr
                •  May
                •  Jun
                •  Jul
                •  Aug
                •  Sep
                •  Oct
                •  Nov
                •  Dec
                • March

                  Maintain a generous layer of mulch around plants to keep roots cool and moist and protect developing potatoes.

                • April

                  Maintain a generous layer of mulch around plants to keep roots cool and moist and protect developing potatoes.

                • May

                  Maintain a generous layer of mulch around plants to keep roots cool and moist and protect developing potatoes.

                • June

                  Maintain a generous layer of mulch around plants to keep roots cool and moist and protect developing potatoes.

                • July

                  Maintain a generous layer of mulch around plants to keep roots cool and moist and protect developing potatoes.

                • August

                  Maintain a generous layer of mulch around plants to keep roots cool and moist and protect developing potatoes.

                • September

                  Maintain a generous layer of mulch around plants to keep roots cool and moist and protect developing potatoes.

                • October

                  Maintain a generous layer of mulch around plants to keep roots cool and moist and protect developing potatoes.

              • Protect

                When and how should you protect this plant from birds, deer, rabbits? Does this plant need be covered, or wrapped or painted or moved?

                •  Jan
                •  Feb
                •  Mar
                •  Apr
                •  May
                •  Jun
                •  Jul
                •  Aug
                •  Sep
                •  Oct
                •  Nov
                •  Dec
                • January

                  Protect young plants from heavy frosts, should they occur.

                • December

                  Protect young plants from heavy frosts, should they occur.

              • Pest/Disease Inspection

                What are the common problems this plant will face and when should you look for them to appear?

                •  Jan
                •  Feb
                •  Mar
                •  Apr
                •  May
                •  Jun
                •  Jul
                •  Aug
                •  Sep
                •  Oct
                •  Nov
                •  Dec
                • Treat for Pest/Disease

                  How do you treat the common problems for this plant? What products or concoctions or natural means do you use? Any special requirements?

                  •  Jan
                  •  Feb
                  •  Mar
                  •  Apr
                  •  May
                  •  Jun
                  •  Jul
                  •  Aug
                  •  Sep
                  •  Oct
                  •  Nov
                  •  Dec
                  • Transplant

                    When's the best time to dig up and transplant this from one spot to another? (This is different than planting). Any special requirements?

                    •  Jan
                    •  Feb
                    •  Mar
                    •  Apr
                    •  May
                    •  Jun
                    •  Jul
                    •  Aug
                    •  Sep
                    •  Oct
                    •  Nov
                    •  Dec
                    • Propagate

                      When's a good time to divide, take cuttings, layer or propagate this plant. Any special requirements?

                      •  Jan
                      •  Feb
                      •  Mar
                      •  Apr
                      •  May
                      •  Jun
                      •  Jul
                      •  Aug
                      •  Sep
                      •  Oct
                      •  Nov
                      •  Dec
                      • Harvest

                        When's a good time to harvest this plant? What's the best way to harvest? Are there special requirements or features?

                        •  Jan
                        •  Feb
                        •  Mar
                        •  Apr
                        •  May
                        •  Jun
                        •  Jul
                        •  Aug
                        •  Sep
                        •  Oct
                        •  Nov
                        •  Dec
                        • January

                          Harvest \"new\" potatoes 2 to 3 weeks after plants start blooming. Harvest mature potatoes after plants have turned brown.

                        • February

                          Harvest \"new\" potatoes 2 to 3 weeks after plants start blooming. Harvest mature potatoes after plants have turned brown.

                        • March

                          Harvest \"new\" potatoes 2 to 3 weeks after plants start blooming. Harvest mature potatoes after plants have turned brown.

                        • April

                          Harvest \"new\" potatoes 2 to 3 weeks after plants start blooming. Harvest mature potatoes after plants have turned brown.

                        • May

                          Harvest \"new\" potatoes 2 to 3 weeks after plants start blooming. Harvest mature potatoes after plants have turned brown.

                        • June

                          Harvest \"new\" potatoes 2 to 3 weeks after plants start blooming. Harvest mature potatoes after plants have turned brown.

                        • July

                          Harvest \"new\" potatoes 2 to 3 weeks after plants start blooming. Harvest mature potatoes after plants have turned brown.

                        • August

                          Harvest \"new\" potatoes 2 to 3 weeks after plants start blooming. Harvest mature potatoes after plants have turned brown.

                        • September

                          Harvest \"new\" potatoes 2 to 3 weeks after plants start blooming. Harvest mature potatoes after plants have turned brown.

                        • October

                          Harvest \"new\" potatoes 2 to 3 weeks after plants start blooming. Harvest mature potatoes after plants have turned brown.

                        • November

                          Harvest \"new\" potatoes 2 to 3 weeks after plants start blooming. Harvest mature potatoes after plants have turned brown.

                        • December

                          Harvest \"new\" potatoes 2 to 3 weeks after plants start blooming. Harvest mature potatoes after plants have turned brown.

                      • Special requirements

                        Any other requirement for this plant? Is there anything that doesn't fit into the other care categories?

                        •  Jan
                        •  Feb
                        •  Mar
                        •  Apr
                        •  May
                        •  Jun
                        •  Jul
                        •  Aug
                        •  Sep
                        •  Oct
                        •  Nov
                        •  Dec

                        Click This Button To Use These Plant Care Reminders

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