Planting Potatoes … the Easy Way! (VIDEO)

Here in Central Texas, the rule of thumb for planting potatoes is to get ‘er done around Valentine’s Day. My TGN friends in colder climates tend to wait a little longer—say mid-April or even later—until their soil has warmed up to at least 45°F.

Since I spent this past Monday doing spring garden prep and getting my potatoes in the ground, it seemed like a good time to share this video with you:

In it, Paul Gautschi (of Back to Eden gardening fame) talks about:

  • His easy method for harvesting and planting potatoes in the same day, in the same place;
  • Why cutting potatoes before planting them is a waste of time and potential; and
  • A really cool way to get the biggest and best potato harvest possible.

He also gives his No. 1 reason why you should never buy root veggies from the grocery store.

(And, if you’ve got a little more time, you can watch Paul harvesting his potato crop without any tools in this video from Justin Rhodes’ Great American Farm Tour.)

After you watch, I’d love to know—what’s your favorite way to grow potatoes?

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This post was written by Marjory Wildcraft


  • Scott Sexton says:

    I’ve got the perfect place to try this and a big pile of wood chips. I’d love to give this a go and see what happens.

    I’ve tried growing in an old laundry basket before. That was fun to harvest, but we didn’t get results as good as we’d hoped. The soil kept trying to wash out the sides of the basket.

  • Brodo says:

    I always enjoy watching videos of Paul Gotschi at work in his garden. I liked Back To Eden so much that I bought several copies to give to family and loan to friends. He has been a big inspiration to me and I use his techniques here at home. After reading The One Straw Revolution I couldn’t help but wonder if he was inspired by Masanobu Fukuoka. Tha ks for posting this video!

    1. Marjory Wildcraft says:

      I also really love Pauls work. Glad you liked the post!

      1. Pam says:

        I also live in Canada (BC – Okanagan Valley) and was truly surprized when I had early potatoes coming up in my garden that I didn’t knowingly plant. Somehow I missed harvesting a few of the small nickel sized spuds and they grew nicely. They were randomly scattered so I dug them up and put them into the same general vicinity so they didn’t get overwatered. It seems to work here.

  • Debi says:

    I was just wondering about the potato beetle with planting in the same place every year. I am in Canada and don’t think it would work to replant while harvesting, but I love the idea of it!!!

    1. windyvalley says:

      I found the Colorado Beetle doesnèt like fresh dill; so when I planted tiny dill seedlings at the same time in the potato rows, beetle damage was much reduced. Now that I live about 100 miles north of Paul, and put multiple loads of composted wood chips on the soil, it may be possible for my soil fertility to replicate his results. If not, then I will try again later, after more loads.

      1. windyvalley says:

        P.S. Currently we are in the middle of a very cold spell; it has been down to -20C or below 0F. I wouldnèt leave my taters in the ground over winter in my locale.

        1. Debbie says:

          It gets cold here too, and we typically have at least a few days each winter when the temperature goes down to -20F or lower. I have had potatoes last in the ground over the winter, as long as there is a good snow cover to keep them from getting too cold. It wouldn’t hurt to try a couple, just to see what happens.

  • Diane says:

    I live on Long Island, zone 7. I love this idea! But how do I overwinter enough potatoes to plant again in spring?

  • Louise LK says:

    Absolutely a great short video with a lot of information that doesn’t just pertain to potatoes.
    I loved it. Very inspirational.

  • JJ says:

    He always has to push his religious crap. Not worth listening to.

    1. Dave Spade says:

      Its good news, not crap.

  • Joe says:

    Isn’t god a mass murderer that drowned his children?

    1. Dave Spade says:

      Those people that were drowned by the big flood were not his children.
      They were unbelievers that followed evil.

  • Debbie says:

    With over a foot of snow still on the ground, I won’t be planting potatoes any time soon. I usually cut them up and put them in five gallon buckets, to avoid trying to grow them in the hard, compacted soil that is on the ground. Paul’s method seems like a great idea. I have plenty of wood that needs thinning, so I just need to find a chipper I can manage to operate.

  • erivera45 says:

    I will try it.

  • Jeanette Davis says:

    I usually dig mine up and sort them then I use the smaller ones for seed next year, I’ll have to try the woodchips ? And largest ones, see what happens. 😉 I also use Epsom salt to keep the bugs out of my taters, it doesn’t work on potato bugs, I pick and kill them, I had some dill pop up in my taters last year, maybe that’s why I didn’t have as many? New thing to try, I’m always up for a healthy challenge.

  • Elle says:

    Thanks, that was informative. I wanted to see Paul’s method for potatoes. I’d watched Back to Eden videos before but hadn’t heard this: Farmers plant root veggies to clean up the soil where heavy metals are resident so the food is loaded with them. YIKES! I suppose having been reared on a sustenance dairy farm decades ago I never considered a farmer would treat the soil so badly from the beginning. But I forget–it’s commercial farming not REAL farming.

  • Joanna Newcomer says:

    I will have to try this one for sure.

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