Ensure the tubers are always covered with soil. Light will cause the tubers to produce chaconine and solanine which can make the potatoes bitter and is poisonous in higher concentrations.
Remove a small new potato on each plant if you don't wish to reduce the overall yield. Harvest the entire plant if you want more than one potato per plant.
Harvest potatoes for storage through the winter after the tops have died. These potatoes will have a thicker skin than new potatoes that were dug before the tops died. The thicker skin is needed for a long storage and you will know the skin is thick enough if it does not slough off easily when you rub it.
Leave the potatoes in a shady spot to dry for a few hours before storing them in a dark place. Peel off all the green portions when preparing potatoes for a meal.
Like many root vegetables, potato plants can be grown from cuttings of the seed tuber, more commonly known as the potato. The tuber contains growth eyes, from which the potato plant will spring in the early summer when planted. As the plant grows, the tubers multiply underground, creating more potatoes. Most gardeners cut seed potatoes into sections that contain 2-3 eyes per seed, maximizing the possibility for a successful plant. Seed potatoes must be stored carefully to prevent rotting, which will prohibit the plant from seeding in the next planting season.
Select small potatoes from the garden, or purchase seed potatoes from a nursery or garden supply store. Clear the potatoes of surface dirt with a dry towel.
Inspect seed potatoes for discoloration of the flesh or skin, rough scars in the exterior of the potato, or abnormal bumps on the skin. Discard any potatoes with these blemishes, as they can produce a diseased potato crop.
Handle seed potatoes carefully to avoid scraping of skin or bruising the flesh, and place them into a bin for storage. Bruised or cut potatoes may rot in storage, and may not produce once planted. Place the potato container in a basement or cellar.
Take care to cover any windows or sources of light, or drape a thin, opaque sheet over the potatoes. Do not seal container completely as potatoes need adequate airflow to prevent rotting.
Store the potatoes in temperatures no higher than 40-45 degrees Fahrenheit, as higher temperatures will induce secondary growth of the potato plant. Do not allow the potatoes to freeze as this will damage the potato and may cause rotting.
Maintain humidity by storing in basements or cellars, but do not allow potatoes to get wet. Wet seed potatoes will rot or grow mold. Spread water or place water containers near the potatoes if the climate is particularly dry, as water will evaporate and keep the air in the vicinity moist.
Store potatoes for three to five months in these conditions, checking and rotating them once or twice a week. Discard any potatoes that appear moldy or rotten immediately to prevent decay of neighboring seeds.
Bring potatoes to temperatures of 50-55 degrees Fahrenheit seven to ten days before planting. Move potatoes outdoors in an opaque container, such as a trash can, once spring temperatures have reached 50-55 degrees. Temperature change will help the potatoes to heal from storage and to begin the growth process.