Seed Potato 'Russet' (Solanum tuberosum)

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Growing delicious potatoes is fun and easy! Plant seed potatoes in early spring as soon as the chance of frost is past and the soil is easy to work. Dig a row 6” (15 cm) deep and place the seed potato with at least one eye facing up. Cover with a couple inches of soil, then continue to mound dirt around the plants as they grow. Potatoes can be harvested in 2-4 months.


This is the ultimate baking potato. The high starch content results in a light, fluffy texture when baked. Russets are also one of the best for mashed potatoes, French fries and potato pancakes. Wash fruits, vegetables and herbs thoroughly before eating.

Plant Feed

Feed every 4 weeks with a fertilizer low in nitrogen, higher in phosphorus and potassium (such as 5-10-10)


Water 2 - 3 times per week.


Fertile, well-drained soil.

Basic Care Summary

Grows best in fertile, loose, well-drained soil. Water plants 1" (3cm) per week, less if there is sufficient rainfall. Apply a high phosphorus fertilizer every 4 weeks through the growing season. Store potatoes in a cool dry location. A mesh bag is ideal for storage.

Planting Instructions

Select a sunny site, away from trees and close to a water source if possible.

Prepare the garden by breaking up the existing soil (use a hoe, spade, or power tiller) to a depth of 12-16” (30-40cm). Add organic matter such as manure, peat moss or garden compost until the soil is loose and easy to work. Organic ingredients improve drainage, add nutrients, and encourage earthworms and other organisms that help keep soil healthy. Give plants an extra boost by adding a granulated fertilizer formulated for vegetables or and all-purpose feed (such as a fertilizer labeled 5-10-5).

Remove the plant from the container. If plants are in a pack, gently squeeze the outside of the individual plant cell while tipping container to the side. If plant doesn't loosen, continue pressing on the outside of the container while gently grasping the base of the plant and tugging carefully so as not to crush or break the stem until the plant is released. If the plant is in a pot, brace the base of the plant, tip it sideways and tap the outside of the pot to loosen. Rotate the container and continue to tap, loosening the soil until the plant pulls smoothly from the pot.

Dig the hole up to two times larger than the root ball and deep enough that the plant will be at the same level in the ground as the soil level in the container. Grasping the plant at the top of the root ball, use your finger to lightly rake apart the lower roots apart. This is especially important if the roots are dense and have filled up the container. Set the plant in the hole.

Check the plant label for suggested spacing and the mature height of the plant. Position plants so that taller plants are in the center or background of the garden and shorter plants in the foreground.

Plan ahead for plants that get tall and require staking or support cages. It's best to install cages early in the spring, at planting time, before the foliage gets bushy. Vining vegetables can occupy a lot of space, so provide a trellis, fence, or other structure that allows the plant to grow vertically to maximize garden space.

Watering Instructions

Consistent moisture is the key to growing a great crop of potatoes. In the field potatoes do best with 1-2” (3-5cm) of water per week. In the confines of a bag or container the soil may dry out more quickly depending on the weather so it is important to actually check the soil moisture. Check the soil with your finger or gently lift some soil with a small trowel to observe how moist it is. If the top 2-4” (5-10cm) of soil is dry, or plants are starting to wilt, it is time to water. Keep in mind that the potatoes are growing underground and will not do well in soggy wet soil. Even if the plant foliage looks okay, if the soil is noticeably waterlogged this could cause problems with the development of the potatoes. Take care not to overwater as well.

Fertilizing Instructions

Plants should be fertilized every 4 weeks, ending approximately two weeks before harvest. Choose a fertilizer that is high in phosphorus and potassium and lowest in nitrogen. This nutritional balance will encourage the best root (potato) development. A granulated 5-10-10 fertilizer or liquid equivalent should do the job. Be sure to read package directions for any special precautions and information on the best method of application.

Pruning Instructions

Potato plants produce attractive little flowers, but because the focus is on root development, not flowering, it is okay to pinch off flowers. This will encourage the plant’s energy to go into the development of roots and potatoes instead of flowering and seed production. If the plant grows tall and starts to lean a stake or two can be inserted into the container. Tie the plant to the stake for additional support.

Plant Details
Category: Vegetable
Available Colors: Tan
Bloom Time: Summer
Height Range: 2-3' (0.6-0.9m)
Space Range: 9-15" (23-38cm)
Lowest Temperature: 30° to 40°F (-1° to 4°C)
Plant Light: Full Sun
Companion Plants: Beans, Corn, Lettuce, Marigold
USDA Zone: 10-12
Days To Maturity: 120-140
Fruit Size: 3.5-8oz (99-227g)

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