Potatoes are one of these vegetables you can’t imagine your life without. From hashbrowns for breakfast and french fries to beat your evening cravings to baked potatoes and mashed potatoes to compliment your dinner, potatoes are a vital ingredient of several dishes you cook. Instead of running to the store each time you’re out of your potato supply, wouldn’t it be easier, cheaper, and satisfying to grow your own potatoes at home!
Growing potatoes at home is a simple project that you can even start with your kids. A single seed potato planted in a large container, grow bag, or directly in the garden to grow several potatoes out of each plant! So how many potatoes grow from one seed potato? What are the high-yielding varieties you should know about before starting a potato crop? Continue reading to find out how to grow a heavy yield of potatoes in a limited space.
How Many Potatoes Grow From One Seed Potato
So what’s the average yield per plant? You can typically expect to harvest between 5 to 10 tubers from a single plant. So if you plant a single seed potato as an individual plant, that is how many potatoes you can achieve at the end of the growing season. However, this is just an estimate. The actual yield won’t just depend on the variety you plant, but also on the growing conditions that the plants get.
Ensure moist soil with consistent watering, hill the plants to support the stems and promote the growth of more tubers and an optimal supply of nutrients through suitable fertilization can help increase yield.
Choosing Seed Potatoes
The actual number of potatoes for every seed potato also depends on whether you plant that seed potato whole or in pieces. You know that you can expect 5 to 10 tubers for every plant but you can even grow multiple plants out of a single seed potato, depending on the size of the seed potato and the number and placement of eyes on them.
Grocery-store potatoes aren’t the best varieties to plant in your garden since they’ve been treated to diminish sprouting. Instead, get “certified” seed potatoes from garden centers. Smaller seed potatoes can be planted whole. If they’re bigger, you can cut them into smaller pieces, making sure each one has one or two “eye” buds on them.
Each of these “eyes” will grow into an individual potato plant. So if you want to figure out exactly how many potatoes you grew out of a single seed potato, you’ll need to keep track of the number of pieces of each seed potato you planted and the number of plants that successfully grew out of those pieces.
Typically, you can harvest around 25 pounds of potatoes for each pound of seed potato planted in the ground. With the right care and weather conditions, a 10-foot row can yield between 10 to 20 pounds of potatoes. Each seed potato should be spaced 10 to 14 inches apart in trenches spaced at least 2-foot apart for optimal yield. If the spacing is smaller than what’s recommended, the plants won’t have sufficient room to grow plenty of spuds.
High-Yielding Potato Varieties
Different potato varieties will yield differently. Potatoes are generally classified as early, late and mid-season varieties, based on the time they take to reach maturity. These categories are sometimes also referred to as first earlies (early), second earlies (mid-season) and maincrop potatoes. Maincrop potatoes typically give the highest yield.
Here are some of the popular potato varieties you can grow for high yields:
- Daisy Gold (second early) – 1 seed potato with 3 to 5 eyes yields 5 to 8 lbs
- Kennebec (second early) – 1 seed potato with 3 to 5 eyes yields 5 to 8 lbs
- Potato ‘Maris Bard’ (first early)
- Agria (main-crop)
- Almera (second early)
- Cara (maincrop)
- Celine (first early)
- Hermes (main crop)
- Kondor (main crop)
- Maris Piper (main crop)
Yield By Growing Technique
The potato cultivar isn’t the only thing that impacts yield. Yield will also vary with how you grow the plants. When soil temperatures rise above 75°F, the plants stop producing tubers. Above-ground containers tend to heat up in summers and yield diminishes as a result. Also, when growing in restricted space, such as pots or grow bags, the plants tend to produce small but numerous tubers. When grown in bigger spaces such as a garden bed or raised bed, the tubers that you harvest are going to be fewer but larger in size.
Here’s the average yield you can expect from each plant with the following growing methods:
- Raised bed – 2.4 lbs
- Wire bin – 0.7 lbs
- Pot – 0.62 lbs
- Grow bag – 0.58 lbs
Tips To Increase Potato Yield
Here are some handy tips to increase your potato yield:
- Grow potatoes in light, friable, well-draining soil.
- Since potatoes grow underground from the base of the stem, planting them in hills helps support the stems, assists the development of tubers and increases yield as a result. Continue hilling the potato plants by bringing the soil up around the base of the plants as they grow, leaving only a few inches of the plants exposed.
- They’re shallow-rooted plants, which means potatoes will require consistent moisture to increase yield. Water before the soil dries out and mulch around the plants to retain moisture.
- Any plants that show signs of pests and diseases should be removed and destroyed immediately so that the problem does not spread to other plants and diminish yield.
- Fertilize the soil with 5-10-10 fertilizer once before planting and again at mid-season.
Now you know how many potatoes grow from one seed potato. You also have some handy tips to ensure a greater yield for each variety. Follow all the tips to ensure you have enough potatoes in the kitchen to cover all your cooking needs.