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How Far Apart To Plant Potatoes: The Exact Distance

Potatoes are easy to plant in the garden, but that 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.

The general rule is to place each seed 12 inches apart for larger tubers and 8 inches apart for mini tubers.

That’s the brief answer. For more information about potato spacing to maximize production, stick to this guideline until the end!

How Far Apart To Plant Potatoes?

The correct distance to plant seed potatoes is 3 feet if you place them in rows. Ensure to keep each seed eight inches (20 cm) apart (for mini tubers that provide early harvesting) and 12 inches (30 cm) apart (for larger tubers). To make your potatoes grow to maximum maturity, ensure an optimal distance of 15 inches, or 28cm. Increase the distance if you want to produce larger tubers. You can apply this strategy when planting baking potatoes.

Growing In Buckets and Bags

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 that you use permeable and breathable containers.

Add soil and compost of two to three inches at the bucket’s 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

The in-ground planting technique will require more garden space than the bucket and bag 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 drainage 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 into the trench with 12 to 15 inches of spacing. Add two to three inches of compost over the tuber seeds. Reducing this distance is OK if you intend to raise only baby potatoes or have limited space.

Square Foot Gardens

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 by 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 soil for 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.

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 grow bigger, the tubers underground spread out. When planting potatoes, appropriate spacing is imperative since they might not reach their 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 Should Each Variety of Potato Plant Be

Now that you know 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 maximum growth and thrive best when placed 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 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 weighing about 10–15 pounds. But remember to prepare a gardening space of at least three feet 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 space significantly. First, mark off every foot of soil using a string. Remember to place each crop slightly apart to keep it 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 maximum 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.


Experienced potato gardeners will know that planting their crops far apart 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, right? If you want to read further information about gardening, please check out our site to see more helpful guides and tips!

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Kelly Lawrence

Kelly Lawrence

Kelly Lawrence is the CEO of Swipe Garden. Over 10 years in the writing and passion for gardening, she brings a wealth of expertise and creativity to the world of gardening. Kelly Lawrence has cultivated a community of plant lovers, making gardening accessible and enjoyable for all.