Soil Preference

Soil PH: 4.8-7.0, Ideal 5.4-5.5

Potatoes will grow in most soils, even those that are too acidic for most crops. For best results, they prefer light, deep, well-drained sandy soils. They prefer a more acidic soil than most vegetables, as it increases yield and decreases the incidence of Scab (a disease that mostly occurs in soils with a pH above 6.0). They don't like heavy wet clay, or very alkaline soil.

Potatoes aren't a fussy crop, but they respond well to any soil improvement. If the soil is heavy or compacted, deep cultivation such as double digging is very beneficial as it enables you to loosen the soil and add organic matter (use compost, aged manure or leaf mold). If the soil is too alkaline then add sulfur, pine needles or another acidifying agent. Don't lime the soil when planting potatoes.

For more information on soil pH click here.

Soil Preparation

Standard Mix, 5 pound(s) per 100 sq. ft., in top 10in of soil, 1 time

A standard mix will supply and additional nutrients and should be incorporated into the top 10" of soil, along with the compost.

at transplanting, 1 time

Potatoes are light feeders but will benefit from added potassium, phosphorus and a few micronutrients. If your soil is lacking in nutrients, sprinkle a layer of amendments (compost, seaweed, greensand) into the bottom of the trench.

Compost (N), 2 inch(es), in top 10in of soil, 1 time

Too much nitrogen results in abundant top growth but fewer (and inferior) tubers. Generally a potato rotation is scheduled to follow a heavy nitrogen user like Corn. They do need some nitrogen however, especially in the first few weeks when they are putting on a lot of leaf growth. They use 75% of all the nitrogen they need in the first 4 weeks of growth. Too little nitrogen may result in the premature production of small tubers, so use your judgment.