Learn how to grow winter potatoes with these easy step by step instructions.
I enjoy fresh potatoes but really don’t have the space to store a year’s worth of potatoes, so I’ve begun planting potatoes three times a year. This approach allows me to avoid digging so many potatoes in the heat of the summer, another great benefit.
Materials needed for this project:
- Chitted Potatoes
- Fertilizer and Compost
- Digging Fork and Shovel
- Tiller (optional)
What is a Chitted Potato?
A chitted potato is a potato that has sprouted. You have probably seen potatoes in your pantry that have begun to sprout, this is the same concept. In order to chit a potato you want to encourage the potatoes to grow strong, healthy sprouts.
You can easily chit regular store bought potatoes by looking for they eyes on the potato, and placing them face up under a grow light. Give the potatoes about two weeks of grow time and you will have nice sprouts.
How do you Plant Potatoes in Winter?
- The first thing that needs to be done is to chit your potatoes. I am using organic potatoes that came from the produce section of our local grocery. The potatoes sprouted under a grow light in a back bedroom without any fuss. Allow about two weeks for the sprouts to develop.
- The ground will need to be at least 40 degrees Fahrenheit before the potatoes should be planted. I used my Compost thermometer to make sure Mother Earth was ready. January 18th everything was good to go.
- The soil was a little wet but since the temperature was good, I decided to proceed.
- Since we were planting in January, we decided to plant the whole potato eight inches deep to ensure that the tubers would not run out of energy before they break the surface.
- We bedded the potatoes in a generous amount of compost.
- We got four inches of snow on February 18th that was accompanied by single-digit temperatures that stayed on the ground for a week. We aren’t accustomed to weather like this.
- The potatoes were a little slow to make their way above ground, on April 4th we gave them another dose of fresh compost.
- May 4th the winter potatoes were growing well, The compost has now become buried within the hills.
How do you Harvest Potatoes?
My potatoes were ready to be harvested 128 days after planting. Carefully use a shovel or garden spade to dig around the plant, as to not damage the potatoes. Simply separate the potatoes from the plant to harvest.
How do you store Fresh Potatoes?
Before storing the potatoes, check each one for damaged or soft spots, they would not store well. The unwashed potatoes are stored in an old communications cabinet in the garage. The small ones will be saved for seed potatoes, the others will be eaten.
How many Potatoes did this Yield?
The ground dug easily and the yield was 22 pounds from the original 3 pounds planted.
Other Garden Projects
Easy Potato Recipes
- Crispy Pesto Smashed Potatoes
- Instant Pot Mashed Potatoes
- Cheesy Potato Soup
- Air Fryer Baked Potatoes
- Scalloped Potatoes with Ham