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How to Grow Potatoes in WA


Baileys Fertiliser


9 July 2019

How to Grow Potatoes in WA

The humble spud - one of the easiest crops to grow, a verified kitchen legend and something kids love harvesting - discovering those soon to be potato gems, hidden in the soil. Potatoes are a member of the Solanaceae family, and as such are related to tomatoes, capsicum and eggplants. They're hungry beasts, which like organic-rich soil - but don't let space limitations stop you, spuds can successfully be cultivated in straw bales, wire cages, large pots or grow bags. Potatoes can be grown for most of the year in WA, except in areas prone to frost. For best results, the soil should be between about 10 - 30C so autumn is a fantastic time to plant.

Preparing Soils

Potatoes like fertile, friable, moist, slightly acidic soil (pH of approx. 6).  They don't grow well in clay, so if you live in an area with heavy soils grow in one of the straw or towering methods mentioned. 

If you've grown potatoes in beds before, rotate your crop in your veggie garden each year to help prevent soil diseases.

  • Choose a spot in full sun
  • Prepare the ground by digging in compost and manure three weeks before planting. Use Baileys Soil Improver Plus, it contains mature compost and aged chicken manure. 
  • Work the soil thoroughly, remove any sticks or rocks which may cause distortions in tubers and create furrows that are 20cm deep and 40cm apart. 
  • Apply a handful of Baileys Soil Matters Garden or Blood & Bone per metre to keep them well fed. Work in lightly.


Although store-bought potatoes will grow, you should purchase certified disease-free seed potatoes from your local nursery. They tend to be smaller and are specifically selected to be healthy stock. 
If planting in wet ground, it's a good idea to allow tubers to shoot (called chitting) by leaving in a bright area for a few days. This means they're in active growth so less likely to rot in the ground. If more than one shoot is growing, keep the strongest (longest) and knock off the other shoots, so the tuber can focus its attention there. 

Some people make their seed potatoes go further by cutting tubers, allowing a bit of the tuber for each of the shoots. Be aware this creates a wound with greater risk of rotting, particularly in humid or damp conditions and it's a good idea to seal that wound with a bit of sulphur or allow to dry out for a day before planting.