How to Plant Potatoes without Digging

Love eating garden fresh potatoes, but hate the digging in the dirt process?  Yeah, me, too!

Wish it was easier?  Me, too 😉

I’ve got the solution for you!

Plant potatoes without digging! #potato #gardening

So, years ago when I planted my first potato crop, I did it the very traditional way.

I planted on St. Patrick’s Day (that’s the prevailing ideal day over here in southern Kansas), and I dug holes and hilled dirt on top.

Guess what happened?

It got cold and rainy and my seed potatoes rotted in the ground!

The next year I tried again, but at a slightly later date.  I grew some potatoes, but digging them up stunk.  I was catching them on the spade, plus they were SUPER dirty and hard to wash.  Plus I had horrible clay soil, which potatoes do NOT like.  One year, my soil was so bad (I had to temporarily move my garden spot that year) that I had to dig holes with a pick ax!  Seriously.  Harvesting those potatoes was virtually impossible, ha!

So, I started researching.

Somewhere I read about laying out newspaper, setting your seed potatoes on top of that, then throwing straw over them instead of burying them in the ground.

It kind of worked, but I didn’t get a very good crop.  My question was- don’t potatoes need the nutrients in the soil to grow? Well, yeah, they do!

So, I modified that approach and I’ve been using it ever since!

Without further ado, here’s how to plant potatoes without digging!

First, you either need to start out with a clean soil bed or with a heavily mulched bed.  Since I use my weed-free gardening method, I start out with heavy mulch.

Next you lay out your seed potatoes where you want them planted.  I’m assuming you have already cut them up and let the cuts heal for a few days before this, right?

plant potatoes without digging!
Here’s my pile of cut up seed potatoes! (Ignore my shadow- it was super windy that day and my hair is a disaster! Ha!)
Plant potatoes without digging! #potatoes
This is one of my potato rows all laid out where I’m going to tuck them under the straw.

After you lay them out, you either fork mulch on top (if you are starting out with bare dirt), or you tuck them under the existing mulch.

Plant potatoes without digging! #potatoes
Plant potatoes without digging!
See my cute helper???
plant potatoes without digging!
He’d had enough and decided stealing a potato was much more fun! He’s so stinkin’ cute so I let him get away with it 😉
Plant potatoes without digging!
I’m tucking my potato underneath the straw.
plant potatoes without digging


Your potatoes are planted and that’s all you need to do!

Now, just make sure they get water until the tops are wilted over.

To harvest, just pull back your mulch and pick up your potatoes, no digging needed!  Seriously, your potatoes will just be laying there for you to grab!

Doesn’t that sound easy and fantastic?

It is, trust me!

Be patient, though, after planting because it can take FOREVER for them to sprout (think a couple weeks at least) above the straw.

plant potatoes without digging

Doesn’t that plant look so pretty??

Plant potatoes without digging! #potato #gardening
Learn how to plant and harvest potatoes all without digging!  Get cleaner potatoes
Plant potatoes without digging!

Any questions for me?  What potato planting tips do you have?


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Melinda Donley
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1 Comment

  1. I am really interested in the above ground potato garden. What about bugs? You never have to add more mulch? Gosh, I love this idea. Please tell me all you know about growing potatoes without digging. Can you do sweet potatoes the same way? Thank you, Jan

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