Potato Plant spacing:  Expert Tips & Tricks 2024

BY Khushvinder Dagar
Last Update:

Welcome to the Potato Plant Spacing blog

Do you often wonder how far APART your potatoes should be spaced? Maybe you’ve been PONDERING what would happen if there were a Potato-Planting Competition. 

How would people figure out AFTER WHAT DISTANCES to plant? Don’t worry. Whether it’s for curiosity or practicality, we’ve got you covered!

Our team has years of experience providing solutions to gardeners. We help them get the MOST OUT OF their plants. We know HOW FAR APART potatoes should be planted, ensuring they don’t run away! Hahaha!

We understand the importance of PROPER Potato Plant Spacing. Our TIPS allow you to MAXIMIZE YOUR YIELD. We explore HOW TO GET THE MOST OUT OF YOUR POTATO PLANTS.

So STAY TUNED for all you need to know about growing potatoes!

potato plant spacing

Potato Plant Spacing by Garden Type

Knowing the correct spacing for your garden type is important. It helps ensure you have enough room for each potato. This way, they don’t start TALKING ABOUT POLITICS! Hahaha!

Square Foot Garden

Square Foot Garden

TUBER SEED POTATOES should be 6 inches apart in all directions. If you’re growing SMALLER TYPES, leave 4 inches of space around them. 

Examples include FINGERLINGS or SALAD VARIETIES. This gives each plant its area so roots can spread out and air can move around better. That way, they will be HEALTHIER and give a BIGGER YIELD!

In-Ground Gardens:

In-Ground Gardens

TUBER SEED POTATOES should be spaced 12 inches apart. SMALLER ONES should have 8 inches of room around them. Their roots won’t compete with other plants for NUTRIENTS or SUNLIGHT. This is ironic because potatoes are known for being such close friends!

Grow bags:

Grow bags

Grow Bags or Buckets are good if you have little SPACE TO WORK WITH. TUBER SEED POTATOES need to be 4 inches away from each. SMALL TYPES need 2 inches of distance between them. 

This way, the SOIL TEMPERATURE will stay pleasant, and the roots can get enough air to be healthy. This leads to a BIGGER YIELD!

Planting potatoes too close together is like squeezing many people into an elevator. THINGS WON’T WORK OUT THE WAY YOU WANT THEM TO!

Suggested reading: What Do Potato Plants Look Like

Potato Plant Spacing by Plant Type

Potato Plant Spacing by Plant Type

The TYPE OF POTATOES you are planting is an essential factor when spacing out potato plants.

Smaller-sized potatoes should be planted 6-8 inches apart from each other. Examples include BABY POTATOES or SEED POTATOES. 

These plants need less space for their growth and more soil and DIRECT SUNLIGHT to thrive. They like staying socially distanced! Hahaha! [**Gloomly remembers Covid]

But, LARGER POTATOES such as Yukon Gold should be spaced 12-18 inches apart. This extra space is suitable for these AGGRESSIVELY ROOTING PLANTS. It will allow them to grow without blocking the sun or overcrowding the soil.

Remember that the RIGHT SPACING goes a long way for your HOMEGROWN potatoes!

How to Grow Potato Plants?

Grow Potato Plants

Planting potatoes is simple. However, trying to grow them on your couch is not recommended! That is NOT what a couch potato means. Hahaha! The KEY to success has the RIGHT knowledge, supplies, and environment.

  • Get some good-quality potatoes

Get CERTIFIED seed potatoes from a REPUTABLE source. It’s best to use LARGE seed potatoes. These give you LARGER plants with BIGGER yields. You want to plant MORE than one variety of potatoes. 

Label them PROPERLY so you don’t mix them up later on when harvesting. Otherwise, your mashed potatoes could end up TASTING like french fries! Just kidding!

  • Get your soil ready 

You need to PREPARE the soil for planting the potato tubers (potato seeds). Make sure the soil has GOOD drainage and is LOOSE enough. This allows the roots of the plant to SPREAD quickly through it. 

If necessary, add COMPOST or other organic material to the garden soil. This will help LOOSEN up clay soil or INCREASE fertility in sandy soil. Your spuds won’t get STUCK in the mud! Aim for a NICE crumbly texture when preparing your soil surface.

  • Plant you tubers 

Now you are ready to PLANT your potatoes. Follow the INSTRUCTION we provided earlier on SPACING before planting potatoes begins. They have enough ROOM to grow without overcrowding one another’s vines. 

This ENSURES each plant gets its SHARE of nutrients. Those taters also have plenty of BREATHING room underground! Think about how UNCOMFORTABLE airplane seats can be if there’s NO legroom available!

  • Maintain your crop

It’s also important to KEEP an eye out for pests like potato beetles. These pests can QUICKLY decimate an ENTIRE crop if left unchecked! You usually SPOT them by looking CLOSELY at your plants’ leaves.

If they’re present, take IMMEDIATE action by REMOVING any affected foliage. Then SPRAY your potatoes with an APPROPRIATE insecticide as INSTRUCTED on the label. 

Otherwise, those pesky bugs might make off with all of your spuds before you even have time to HARVEST them!

Suggested reading: Growing Potatoes In Buckets

When Is The Best Time For Harvesting Potato?

Best Time For Harvesting Potato

The best time for harvesting potatoes DEPENDS ON THE VARIETY. Each potato has a unique personality! It would help if you also considered your desired outcome.

If you’re looking for NEW potatoes, you’ll want to harvest them EARLIER. This is typically when the potato vines are still in bloom. These will be good to eat in WARMER WEATHER. For LARGER, FULL-SIZED potatoes, it’s best to wait until LATER in the season. 

This helps the potato crops reach MATURITY. You have an easier time than trying to help an IMMATURE potato with adulting! Hahaha!

For example, if you have YUKON GOLD potatoes, they should be ready around MID-SUMMER. Their underground stems become WOODY, and their leaves begin to YELLOW. 

That’s when they take off their STRICT PARENTAL RULES and start acting like real grownups! So make sure you wave goodbye before they leave the nest.

At this point, they are considered “NEW” potatoes. So treat them as such, or ELSE their feelings will get hurt easily! Hahaha! They will be SMALLER than mature potatoes once harvested. 

You should wait for a few more weeks until LATE SUMMER or EARLY FALL. Then, your potato patch of YUKON GOLDS will be FULL-SIZED and give you a bountiful harvest!

Tips for Planting Potatoes

Tips for Planting Potatoes

PLANTING POTATOES is a guaranteed way to become the SPUD MASTER of your crop! Here are some tips to help you get started:

  1. Buy CERTIFIED SEED POTATOES or tubers from a REPUTABLE DEALER. Because what’s the point of being a spud master if you don’t have verified followers? Or SAVE YOUR OWN POTATOES for planting the following year.
  2. Plant the seed potatoes 4-6 inches apart in rows 12-18 inches in an area of WELL-DRAINING SOIL. This will give them enough space to get to know each other but not crowd one another out!
  3. GROW BAGS are great for saving space while growing potatoes! Just follow the instructions provided earlier. Or plant the tubers 8-10 inches apart in rows 6-8 inches apart in a SQUARE-FOOT GRID PATTERN. It’ll be like packing sardines but much more fun!
  4. SELECT VARIETIES ADAPTED TO BOTH YOUR LOCAL CLIMATE AND SEASON. Have early, mid, and late-season potato varieties. This gives you FRESH SPUDS all year long!
  5. WATER REGULARLY as needed when the soil begins to DRY OUT. But be careful not to OVERWATER as this can cause rot of the potato tubers below ground level. Or your taters swim away! Just kidding!
  6. POTATO PLANTS usually take 90 DAYS from planting until harvest time, so KEEP AN EYE ON THEM!
  7. Once you harvest potatoes, remember STORAGE. Put any uneaten or unused potatoes in a COOL DARK PLACE with HIGH HUMIDITY LEVELS. This helps keep them fresher and longer without sprouting eyes or going bad quickly!

FAQs about Potato Plant Spacing

1. What happens if you plant potatoes close together?

If you plant potatoes too close together, it can cause them to compete for resources. This makes the tubers smaller. It can also lead to misshapen tubers due to overcrowding. 
They need more space to grow properly. Leave enough space between each seed potato and between different potato varieties.

2. How many potato seeds can grow in one container?

It depends on the size of the container and the variety of potato seeds. Generally, you should space potato seeds far apart to give them more room to grow. Otherwise, large potatoes will produce smaller potatoes. 
If you use a small container, try using a different variety of seed potatoes or planting fewer seeds.

3. What should potatoes not be planted next to?

You should not plant seed potatoes next to root vegetables such as carrots, turnips, and beets. These plants all need different soil temperatures. They also compete for nutrients, resulting in a poor yield of potatoes. Therefore, it is best to grow potatoes separately. 

4. What grows best after potatoes?

After potatoes, crops like carrots, onions, beets, and turnips can grow well. Other plants, such as beans, peas, and corn, can also do well in the same area after potatoes are harvested. Planting a mix of vegetables is a great way to have an abundant harvest year-round!

What’s Next

We showed you how to plant your potatoes and space them by Garden Type and Plant Type. This way, you’ll be sure to have that perfect spud-utopia. Then we talked about how to Grow Potato Plants. 

We also answered your question on when is the best time for harvesting potatoes. No need to keep them waiting! Lastly, we topped the tater-all goodness with our sauce tips for planting potatoes. We peppered it up for extra flavor!

Are you ready to take your gardening game up a notch?

Visit AsterGardening for more helpful articles on making the most of your garden. We’ll help make sure you have all the gardening know-how you need. Whether you are a beginner or a pro, we’ve got something for you!

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Khushvinder Dagar

Hey, I'm Khushvinder. I am a marketer by profession but love the feeling of getting my hands dirty and watching plants grow and have a particular interest in native plants and sustainable gardening practices. I also enjoy sharing my knowledge and experience with others and have written articles on gardening for various publications.