How Far Apart To Plant Potatoes? Every Gardener Should Know!
Potatoes are an easy-to-plant garden, but it doesn’t mean they can thrive without proper gardening methods. While you have some experience, you may still find it difficult to determine how far apart to plant potatoes.
Generally, large tubers will require more space than small ones. The general rule is to place each seed 12 inches apart so it can have enough room to grow.
That’s the brief answer. For more information about potato spacing to maximize production, stick to this guideline until the end!
Why Is It Important to Space Potato Plants Properly?
This tuber grows differently from regular plants. They go up instead of going down deeper into the soil.
New seed potatoes develop from other ones’ eyes. As they become bigger, the tubers underground spread out.
When planting potatoes, appropriate spacing is imperative since they might not reach the maximum girth and become deformed. Fewer tubers might develop on one plant if they don’t have enough room underground.
Besides, you’ll have to finish a routine known as hilling when the vegetables grow. This routine requires some extra soil to ensure that mature plants are safe from harsh weather conditions and sunlight.
If you don’t provide enough distance between your crops when planting them, you may fail to hill them adequately.
How Far Apart To Plant Potatoes In 3 Types of Gardens?
The correct distance to plant seed potatoes is two feet minimum between rows if you place them in rows.
Ensure to keep each seed eight inches or 20cm (for mini tubers that provide early harvesting) and 12 inches or 30cm (for larger tubers) apart.
To make your potatoes grow to the maximum maturity, ensure the optimal distance of 15 inches or 28cm. Increase the distance if you want to produce larger-sized tubers. You can apply this strategy when planting baking potatoes.
Growing In Buckets and Bags
If you grow your plants in bags, plant no more than two seeds
Those with no room for a big garden can still grow potatoes with this method. Buckets or bags work, too, and you can even yield a bountiful harvest.
Those grow bags’ materials will let the moisture drain out thoroughly. Ensure to use permeable and breathable containers.
Add soil and compost of two to three inches at the bucket or bag’s bottom. Remember to use a high-quality potting soil mixture and certified seed potatoes.
And more importantly, don’t plant more than two seeds in one container.
When the tubers develop, you can take care of them using any typical method and provide them with more soil. This way, the tubers, and plants will stay covered.
In-Ground or Farm-Style Gardens
Baby variations require less space
The in-ground planting technique will require more garden space than the buckets and bags method.
Here’s how to space your potato plants:
- Create a trench on your farm. The trench length depends on how large your farm is and how many potato seeds you plan to raise. The trench will be eight inches in depth and six inches in width, providing enough room to improve the soil.
- After that, at the trench’s bottom, add some compost for draining and nutrient purposes. If you are growing potatoes of large sizes, it’s possible to cut them if there are multiple potato sprout eyes. Yet, remember to leave the sides dry for several days to prevent rotting.
- Dig your seeds in the trench with 12 to 15 inches spacing. Add compost of two to three inches over the tuber seeds. Reducing this distance is OK if you intend to raise only baby potatoes or have limited space.
Square Foot Gardens
This gardening type helps save a lot of room for the plants
If you have a compact gardening area, go for this strategy. Applying the square-foot setup for your home farm will help maximize the limited space.
This method can house up to 16 tuber seeds in a 4×4-inch garden.
We also suggest growing fingerling varieties since they can effortlessly fit into a space of 12×12 inches.
If you raise your vegetables in a large garden bed, they might harvest smaller potatoes that are still good to consume.
If you wish to grow potatoes (full-sized varieties) on your square-foot farm, it’s advisable to ensure that you have quality soil of ten to twelve inches at least to provide to the bed.
After placing your large seed potatoes, cover them with the soil of one inch. When the vegetables get mature, hill them up with some reserved soil.
Remember to avoid exposing your tubers directly to strong sunlight since it could cause them to produce green splotches, which are inedible.
How Far Apart Should Each Variety of Potato Plant Be?
The correct distance depends on each specific variety
Now that you’ve known the general potato spacing for different gardens, it’s time to pay attention to the suitable distance for each specific potato plant.
Small Varieties and Fingerlings
The rule of thumb for spacing smaller-sized potatoes is that the gardener has to plant them in duet rows in one trench and 12 inches apart for optimal productivity.
If you plan to raise baby potatoes, it’s possible to place the seeds eight inches apart.
However, this measure can vary depending on the fingerlings’ sizes and varieties. Some may require more room than others.
For instance, Red Thumb seed potatoes can reach max growth and thrive best when you place them 12 inches apart from each other, not in double rows, and rows are 3-4 feet apart.
Larger or Standard Size
For standard-sized or large tuber seeds, the typical distance between the two ones should be around 12 inches. Still, main crops are often larger and require more room to thrive.
For example, Sarpo Mira, a seed potato main crop, typically grows during the mid-season timeline.
At maximum maturity, it can carry a plant 24 inches wide, requiring a space of 18 inches for each seed potato plant to get full growth.
Meanwhile, Russet seed potatoes, popular larger potatoes for baking, are common across home gardens in the US. The recommended spacing for this variety is around 12 inches between each seed.
This strategy can yield Russet vegetables of about 10-15 pounds. But remember to prepare a gardening space of three feet at least between rows of Russets to ensure maximum production.
How To Measure The Right Distance Between Seed Potatoes?
People usually measure the garden’s size to determine the proper spacing strategy for their plants. To know the correct size of your farmhouse, prepare a measuring stick or tape.
You can use the two measuring methods below.
- Square feet blocks
Many farmers use these blocks to house as many crops for each garden as possible, saving gardening room significantly.
First, mark off every foot of soil using a string. Remember to place each crop slightly apart to keep it away from overcrowding.
During measurement, it’s advisable to use tracing lines in your soil. This way, you can mark the spots before continuing with other blocks.
- Traditional row garden
We love this ordinary old-fashioned garden since it doesn’t have many limitations.
With this gardening type, you’ll need to measure the width and length of the region you intend to plant potatoes in to determine how far apart each crop should be.
After noting it down, calculate the number of rows you can fit into the area. Apply the rules in the above sections to figure out the correct distance.
What Happens If You Plant Potatoes Too Close Together?
If you house too many crops closely, it can severely affect your vegetables’ development and deter them from reaching their max potential.
Pests and weeds, like potato beetles, always search for chances to attack when greens grow closely.
Should you overcrowd your garden, harmful invasive weeds will come and absorb extra moisture from the soil, and pests can shelter above thick clusters.
Tips For Planting Seed Potatoes
Potato tubers always thrive with adequate sunlight. Also, you can harvest the best crops if you raise them in well-drained, loose, and light soil.
But don’t worry much about that since these greens are pretty adaptable. They can yield respectable crops even though the growing seasons and soil conditions are not perfect.
Besides, remember to always remain in mildly acidic soil that features a pH level of 5.0-7.0.
More to read: 5 Best Tips To Increase Potato Yield
Experienced potato gardeners will know how far apart planting their crops is crucial for the vegetables’ development.
Without proper spacing and adequate room for growth, your tubers will suffer from pests and diseases.
After a hard-working crop season, you don’t expect to harvest small, unhealthy potato plants, alright?
If you want to read further information about gardening, please check our site to see more helpful guides and tips!