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16,867 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I received this question off youtube.

Subject: potato

Date: Oct 09, 2008

i have a question about growing potatoes, how much area do you need to grow to have enough for all year? how much land did you use?
My opinion:

How big of an area you need, is just as important as how fertile your soil is. One factor compounds the other, one factor either helps or defeats the other.

Lets say you have good rich, fertile soil, then you need less land.

Lets say you have crap soil that wont even grow weeds - well, dont plan on growing potatoes, even if you have 100 acres.

2 years ago, my step son and I grew two or three rows of potatoes. The soil was fertile and produced 20 - 25 gallons of potatoes. We were using 5 gallon buckets to put the harvested potatoes in. The rows were about 60 - 80 feet long.

15 years ago, my mom and dad, myself, and my two oldest kids planted a few rows of potatoes that were about 100 feet long. I think it was maybe 4 rows we planted, it was 15 years ago so I do not remember "exactly". We got so many potatoes we were giving them away. We harvested about 1/2 a truckload of potatoes, and we stored them in a barn between layers of straw.

But the question I was asked does not specify how many potatoes you plan on eating. Will you be eating poatotes 3 times a day - breakfast, lunch and dinner. Or will they be eaten once a week, few times a week, few times a month or once a year? If you eat one or two potatoes a year, them you could grow enough in a flower bed.

Also, what kind of potato do you plan on growing? Irish potatoes out produce butter potatoes by almost 3:1. I have never grown sweet potatoes, so I dont know about them.

So, how many potatoes do you plan on eating, are you going to be growing red skin (irish) potatoes, butter potatoes or sweet potatoes? How many people will be eating the potatoes? Are you growing them just for yourself, or for a family? If for a family, how many people are in your unit?


13 Posts
This is our first year gardening, and I'm so excited to see how many potatoes we get!! That was my question with all of our vegetables, how many plants to plant, how much we'd harvest off each plant, etc. I am hoping we get a LOT! :)

1,411 Posts
I would jump in here, and say to grow as many as you can, as you can always give them away, or trade them or even sell them for now anyway.
EXACTLY RIGHT! How many you need depends on how many you eat. I say grow all you can because if the SHTF you might need them! If you don't eat them, just use what is left for seed next year. The beauty of potatoes is that once you grow them, if you have any surplus you automatically have seed potatoes for next year :)

Excuse my ignorance, but how deep do you plant the seed spud cuttings?
Traditionally you drop the whole tuber in 3 - 6 inches deep and cover it. But there are lots of options. I've had good results cutting the potatoes in quarters, let them dry before you bury them (so the wet cuts don't start rotting when buried) and planting them anywhere from 3-6 inches deep.

I've also had good results putting the potatoes on TOP of the ground then turning a shovel full of dirt over them.

Some folks just cover them with straw.

My granddad taught me that as long as the plant is covered potatoe bugs can't eat the leaves, so keep the plant buried as long as you can continue to heap dirt and compost over it.

You don't even need whole potatoes, you can just plant the peelings and grow new plants.

It all works as long as you keep them dry enough to not rot in the ground.

Never Give up
7,579 Posts
We only grow enought for seed and to have them every couple of days. But we only grow viking purple potatoes. They are more resistant to problems,there not the normal so less chances of a virus or something wiping them out along with the others everybosy else grows. They taste great and the best part is the grow in colder weather and store better then any other potato I have ever grown in the last 30 years. I have even got them to last almost 2 years if taken care of before I had to plant.
So I stick with these guys becasue I feel I can depend on them.

227 Posts
Okay, here's how I grow taters. I gave up on the in ground way, it sucks, too wet or too dry makes a crappy crop. i grow taters in old car tires now. I cut the sidewalls off so the tires dont hold water and rot the taters and I fill them up with dirt from my huge compost pile. Makes hilling them and controlling the hills super easy. I layered the tires 3 high. I put 7 seed taters the size of golf balls on the ground (whole, not cut) and covered them with around 3" of dirt in the tire. Watered them and waited for them to sprout. when they grew up around 5", I hilled them and so on until I needed to add another tire and so on until I put the third one on. I got 70lbs of taters out of the one stack, 3 high, pickup truck tires. The crop only grew for 90 days, I just took the tires off one by one and sifted thru the dirt for the tubers.
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