Optimizing Your Potato Harvest: The Art of Cutting Potatoes Before Planting

Growing potatoes in your backyard can be a rewarding endeavor with the right approach. One key step in this process is cutting the potatoes before planting, a practice known as “seed potato preparation.” This technique not only boosts the yield of your potato crop but also helps control diseases and manage potato size effectively.

Why Cut Potatoes Before Planting?

  • Maximizing Yield: Each cut piece of potato, or ‘seed,’ can sprout into a new plant, multiplying the number of plants from a single potato.
  • Disease Control: Allowing the cut surfaces to callous over before planting reduces the risk of soil-borne diseases.
  • Size Management: Cutting larger seed potatoes helps regulate the size and uniformity of the harvest.

Step-by-Step Guide to Cutting and Planting Potatoes

  1. Choosing the Right Potatoes
    • Select certified seed potatoes suited to your climate and soil type to avoid diseases.
  2. Cutting the Potatoes
    • Cut potatoes 1-2 days before planting with a clean, sharp knife, ensuring each piece has one or two eyes (buds).
  3. Curing the Cut Pieces
    • Lay the pieces in a cool, dry place away from direct sunlight to allow the cuts to dry and form a callous.
  4. Preparing the Soil
    • Choose a sunny location with well-draining soil enriched with compost or aged manure.
  5. Planting
    • Plant potato pieces eye-side-up, 2-3 inches deep, spaced 12 inches apart in rows.
  6. Caring for the Plants
    • Keep the soil moist but not waterlogged, and hill the soil around the plants as they grow to cover emerging tubers and prevent greening.
  7. Harvesting
    • Potatoes are ready to harvest when the foliage begins to die back; gently dig around plants to unearth the potatoes.


Cutting potatoes before planting is a simple yet powerful technique to optimize the yield and health of your potato crop. Remember to consider the specific requirements of your chosen potato variety and practice good garden hygiene for a successful harvest. With proper care and attention, you can enjoy a plentiful supply of this versatile and nutritious vegetable fresh from your garden.

Barbara Livingston: Empowering Wellness Through Accessible Insights.