Potato Farming Guide – How to Grow Potatoes Step-By-Step Guide

Growing potatoes in containers

This guide will basically walk you through the step by step process of potato farming in Nigeria.

The process of commercial potato farming is the same even if you are growing potatoes in colder regions.

You only need to consider the temperature and soil requirement in order to succeed.

If you want to learn about a different tuber crop, you can read this comprehensive guide on cassava farming.

So, let’s get down to business. Use the table of content below to navigate easily through this potato farming guide.

Benefits Of Potato Farming 

  1. Potato farming is a good form of employment if done at the right scale.
  2. It is great food for many homes around the world. Many families fry, boil, or roast potatoes for consumption.
  3. Potatoes can serve as a major source of foreign exchange when exported to other countries.
  4. There are amazing benefits of potatoes for skin, hair, and Health. Potato juice is used to treat some ailment and remove warts.

  5. Potatoes are good for shining your silverwares e.g. cutlery. You can also use potatoes to clean windows and remove stains.
  6. It helps relieve arthritis, infections, and boils.
  7. Potato is good for absorbing excess salt from a cooking pot.
  8. Art students use potato for creating uniform patterns for stamp designs.

Watch this Video of Potato Planting Tips for Better Potato Harvest

How to Grow Irish Potatoes in Nigeria

Below are the steps you should take for a successful potato farming business;

  1. Select a suitable land for growing Irish potato in Nigeria
  2. Prepare the land for cultivating potato
  3. Select the best potato variety to cultivate.
  4. Know when to plant potato and how to plant potato
  5. Apply weed control measure in potato farming
  6. Chose the right potato fertilizer and the best method of fertilizer application
  7. Harvest mature potato from your farm
  8. Process and store potato for use.

Step 1: Select a Suitable Land for Growing Potatoes in Nigeria:

Potatoes require adequate access to sunlight, therefore, you can grow them in an open area.

You can grow potatoes in almost any type of soil, except saline and alkaline soils.

Naturally, loamy and sandy loam soils that are rich in organic matter, are the most suitable soils for growing potatoes.

This is because the soils are loose and they offer the least resistance to enlargement of the tubers.

Also, make sure the soil has good drainage and proper aeration.

You should plant your potato in slightly acidic soil with a pH range of 5.2 – 6.4.

READ ALSO: Watermelon Cultivation Guide – A Step-by-Step Watermelon Farming Process

Step 2: How to Prepare Land for Planting Potatoes:

Growing potatoes involves extensive ground preparation.

This stage of the potato planting process involves clearing the farm and ploughing the soil.

You need to harrow the soil with a hoe or plough until it is completely free of weed roots.

Most times, you need to plough at least three times, with a frequent harrowing and rolling before the soil reaches a suitable condition: soft, with adequate drainage and aeration.

You can incorporate fertilizer into the soil at this stage and also prepare seedbeds for the potatoes.

Potato Farming process- sprouting potato

Step 3: Types of Potatoes and Selecting the Best Potato Variety:

Although the potato cultivated worldwide belongs to just one botanical species, Solanum tuberosum, the tubers come in thousands of varieties.

The varieties have great differences in size, shape, colour, texture, cooking characteristics and taste.

You need to decide on the potato variety you want to plant.

There are different types to choose from, however, you have to consider some of these factors;

Factors to consider when choosing potato variety for cultivation

  1. You must consider the disease resistance of the variety
  2. The time it takes to reach maturity
  3. You must also consider the level of productivity or yield of the potato
  4. Check what is the overall quality of the potato it produces.

READ ALSO: How to Grow Ginger Plant in any Region of the World

Selecting the Best Potato Variety for Cultivation

As you already know, there are different varieties of seed potatoes available in Nigeria.

Some are local and while others come from other countries.

Some of the local varieties include;

– RC767-2

– RC7716-3

– RC7716-4

– RC777-3

Some varieties that come in through importation which are high yielding and highly resistant to diseases include;

– Nicola

– Bertita

– Diamant

– Kondor

– Famosa

– BR63-18

– Mirabel

READ ALSO: Maize Farming Procedures for Increased Yield

Step 4: When to Cultivate and How to plant potato:

While Sweet Potatoes is grown by planting stems from matured plants, Irish potatoes require seed propagation.

Potatoes may be planted as soon as you can till the land, but keep soil temperatures in mind.

Potato plants will not begin to grow until the soil temperature has reached 45 degrees F.

The soil should be moist, but free from waterlogging to avoid rotting the seed potato.

Potato farming in Nigeria - A large potato farm

Method of planting Irish Potatoes – SFGate Homeguides

After you are done preparing the land for growing the potatoes, do the following;

1. Dig a trench that is 4 to 6 inches deep.

Add fertilizer to the trench, according to the recommendation from the soil test result, prior to planting the Irish seed potatoes.

2. Place the seed potatoes in the trench, spacing them at 10 to 18 inches apart.

Cover the potatoes with 2 inches of soil and space multiple trenches 2 to 3 feet apart.

3. Water the potatoes at the time of planting.

Continue to water about every three days to keep the soil moist. Do not allow the soil to dry out, nor should it be waterlogged.

4. Cover the potatoes with another 2 inches of soil once sprouts emerge from the ground.

As the plants grow, continue mounding soil or mulch over the tops of the potato plant roots to keep the growing tubers covered. 

When you expose potato tubers to sunlight, they turn green and can be toxic, so they should not be eaten.

Step 5: How to Control Weeds on the Potato Farm:

Potatoes are broadleaf crops and very sensitive to chemicals.

So, the application of Weedicide should be done very carefully.

It can be done in the following manner – According to Agropedia. 

  1. Pre-plant soil incorporation: Use EPTC @ 1-2 kg ha-1 or Fluchloralin @ 1.0 kg ha-1. EPTC is known to increase the proportion of large-sized tubers in the harvest, quite apart from its weed control effect.
  2. Pre-emergence: Use of Alachlor @ 1.0 kg ha-1or Pendimethalin @ 1.8 kg ha-1 or Metribuzin @ 1.0 kg ha-1 or Methabenzthiazuron 1.0-1.5 kg ha-1 or Oxifluorfen @ 0.1-0.2 kg ha-1 or Oxidiazon @ 0.75 kg ha-1.
  3. Early postemergence: Use of Paraquat and Diquat @ 0.36-1.0 kg ha-1 or Metribuzin @ 0.35-1.0 kg ha-1. Apply when no more than 5-10% of potato plants have just emerged from the soil. It is the most commonly in use for the treatment of potato weeds in India.

You can apply these herbicides to combat all types of weeds in potato farming.

Get proper training for mixing these chemicals with water from an expert to get better results from using the solution.

The spraying swath should be proper.

When you incorporate the Weedicide in the soil, the moisture content of the soil should be proper for the best results.

Step 6: How to Apply Fertilizer in Potato Farming Business:

Growing potatoes (Solanum tuberosum) so they become big requires proper preparation of the soil at planting time.

While preparing the soil, adding lots of potassium and nitrogen helps them get off to a strong start.

Later in the season, the potato plants require an additional shot of fertilizer to form large tubers.

Generally, the type and quantity of fertilizer to use depend on the results of soil tests.

You can increase the fertility of the soil by using cover crops, organic fertilizers, and non-organic fertilizers.

Non-organic, fertilizers contain chemicals that may burn seed potatoes. So, the best time to apply them is before planting.

Use a combination of broadcasting and side-dressing methods of fertilizer application to apply fertilizers to your potato.

This is typically more effective than using only one of those fertilization methods.

Step 7: How to Harvest the mature Potato:

Harvesting your potatoes depends majorly on the weather conditions, the growth season, and the tuber size you desire.

However, the maturity period for growing potatoes is usually 3 to 4 months after planting.

Before you begin harvesting, wait until the tops of the vines die down and begin to wither.

Potatoes are tubers and you want your plant to store as much of that flavorful starch as possible.

Once the foliage turns brown, you should start preparing for harvest.

Usually, the harvest is done on a sunny day when the soil is slightly dry but not compact.

In the process of harvesting these potatoes, ensure there is minimal damage to the tubers before storage.

This will prevent the tubers from rotting quickly when in storage.

Potato Farming process - Harvesting potatoes

Step 8: How to Process and Store Potato after Harvest:

Temperature and tuber damage are the two most important factors in successful potato storage.

Very careful handling is the key to preventing damage.

Harvesting is best done when the soil is slightly moist to prevent abrasion and the tubers are lifted carefully to avoid damage.

Ideally, they should be left to dry for a few hours in the field, collected in field containers, and placed in a cool, shady place.

Potatoes for food (ware potatoes) must not stay under sunlight for more than a few hours otherwise they turn green, develop an unpleasant taste, and may become toxic.

It is important to make the distinction between ware potato storage and seed potato storage.

The objective of ware potato storage main is to obtain the maximum quantity of tubers, of acceptable quality to the consumers, at a rate to meet consumer demand.

This requires the lowest possible quantitative and qualitative losses, with no or little sprouting, kept in the dark to prevent greening and firm tubers, all at an economical cost.

In seed potatoes storage the objective is to have optimum development of sprouts prior to planting.

In both cases, the farmer requires the maximum return from his investment in time, materials, equipment, and buildings.

Processing Potato for Industrial Uses

  • Potatoes are processed in breweries to produce alcoholic beverages such as vodka
  • The flour from sweet potatoes is great for making biscuits, baking bread and cookies, and many other uses in the food industry.
  • Livestock like goats and pigs eat potatoes. You can feed your livestock with potatoes that are either too small or damaged beyond human consumption. The potatoes are first steamed and fed to the livestock, or fed to them raw.
  • Food industries use the starch from potatoes as a thickener and binder for soups and sauces. Textile companies use potato starch as an adhesive, while paper companies use it for manufacturing papers and boards.
  • Researchers commonly use potato tubers as specimens in plant research because of some special characteristics that the plant possesses.


Nothing can ever beat a first-hand experience of how to grow potatoes from a practicing farmer.

The amazing benefits of potatoes and their high demand in the market make it worthwhile to go into the potato farming business.

I am glad you’ve read this article to this point.

Was this post helpful? I like to receive feedback, so, I will appreciate it if you could leave a comment below.

If you find this article helpful, please share it with friends.


Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

  1. Can I grow potatoes from store-bought potatoes?

    Sure, you can grow store-bought potatoes in your garden. Just hold onto the sprouted potatoes until planting time in the spring. The general recommendation is to plant potatoes when the soil temperatures reach 45 degrees Fahrenheit.

  2. What month do you plant potatoes?

    The best time when to plant potatoes is in early spring. Planting potatoes two to three weeks before your last frost date will produce the most satisfactory results.

  3. How long do potatoes take to grow?

    Potatoes require between 90 and 120 days to grow into full size. Full-sized potatoes are usually ready about 120 days from planting. When the potatoes mature, you will notice a distinctive bulging of the soil around the stem of the plant. As the potato tubers grow, the soil is displaced and a soil mound forms.

  4. Do potatoes need to sprout before planting?

    Pre-sprouting potato is not necessary, however, it will get your potatoes growing earlier in the garden, and will give you higher yields.


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  1. Great information
    Please where can I see a good variety of sweet potato Anambra

  2. Hanafi kaoje says:

    What’s the best season for planting potatoes 🥔
    Rainy? Or Dry?

    1. Mbazu Chibuzor says:

      You can plant potatoes all year round using irrigation.

  3. Ada Onunze says:

    Very interesting article. Great job indeed. Can one get sweet potato flour or other flour products like unripe plantain,etc, in commercial quantity from you or a recommended source?

    1. Mbazu Chibuzor says:

      I do not know of any at the moment, but you can join our Whatsapp and Telegram groups to ask the farmers there.

  4. Cliffstan Obijiaku says:

    Hi everyone. Glad to have stumbled upon this wonderful article. Good job indeed. My question is where do get help for pest control near Owerri?

    1. Mbazu Chibuzor says:

      I’m not familiar with that area, but I’m sure you can get valuable information from other farmers near you. Cheers.

  5. Wonnie Faith Badio says:

    Can this Irish potato grow in other pasts of west Africa that has hot weather like Liberia?

    1. Mbazu Chibuzor says:

      With proper irrigation, you should be able to grow potatoes in Liberia.

  6. BEWAJI TAIWO J says:

    Thanks for the opportunity. Am new here… Looking for opportunity to empower my self in farming production. I hope you guy will help me out.

    1. Mbazu Chibuzor says:

      Glad to have you here.

  7. Thank you very much Mr Chibuzor. Please for how long am I to mound/mulch the potato plant root to avoid the toxicity you talked about?

    1. Mbazu Chibuzor says:

      Just enough time until the blossom can shade the roots by itself.

  8. Thank you very much Mr Chibuzor. Please how long should I continue to mound/mulch the potato plant root?

    1. Mbazu Chibuzor says:

      Just ensure that the roots are not exposed at all times.


    Thanks a lot Mr Chibuzor, for this eye opener, considering the economy of the country, remain blessed in Jesus name Amen.

    1. Mbazu Chibuzor says:

      Thank you, Esther.

  10. Agricincome says:

    What about the plant Spacing?
    Can you help us to know how to space while planting
    Or can we just plant it as we feel?

    1. Mbazu Chibuzor says:

      Thanks for spotting that. We’ll update the article accordingly.

  11. Helpful information, thanks for this

    1. Mbazu Chibuzor says:

      You are Welcome, Grandeur.

  12. Joseph Ademiju Orimalade says:

    Do you mean we can plant out of the Irish potatoes that we buy for eating? If we can, do we have to cut them into small sizes to get enough to plant after they might have sprouted?

    1. Mbazu Chibuzor says:

      Yes, that is possible.

  13. eleazar yame says:

    I farm Potatoes here in Jos plateau State. the problem is good seeds
    and disease control eg potato blight

    1. Mbazu Chibuzor says:

      How do you manage this problem?

  14. Thanks Chibuzor, I want to start Irish potato farming in cement bags in my garden in Port Harcourt. Do I just buy the potatoes & allow them to sprout?

    1. Mbazu Chibuzor says:

      Sure, you can do that.

  15. Mr chibuzor, thank you very much.Please how can I locate any potato farmer.

    1. Mbazu Chibuzor says:

      The best way to do that is to search for “potato farmers near me” on google. You may get a helpful contact that will link you with a potato farmer.

    2. Hello , thanks for the briefing . How can i start planting potatoes. I need a professional guard.

    3. Mbazu Chibuzor says:

      It will be best you find a potato farmer near you to learn from.

  16. peter owoicho ukangini says:

    Very educative for up-starting potato farmers. Please, more on other crops and vegetables.

    1. Mbazu Chibuzor says:

      Sure, more updates coming soon. Stay tuned.


    wow,what a wandeful effort.i wish i can try it

    1. Mbazu Chibuzor says:

      Just give it a shot after receiving proper training of course.

  18. Collins Milo tambe says:

    Thanks for the duccument it has inspired me to a comencial farming with potatoe

    1. Mbazu Chibuzor says:

      You’re welcome, Collins.

  19. Greg Ojuederie says:

    I am very grateful to you for the information on potatoes farming. Thanks and God bless you

    1. Mbazu Chibuzor says:

      You’re welcome, Greg.

  20. Very informative. . Thank you.

    1. Mbazu Chibuzor says:

      Thanks, Nkoyo.

  21. Betty Olukayodedina says:

    Long to see this, is my desire to have potato plant in my backyard garden thanks so much

    1. Mbazu Chibuzor says:

      You are welcome, Betty.

    2. Yinka Jeje says:

      Thanks . Am already planting potato and your perspective tallies with mine . Educative and simple

  22. Thanks alot for the contribution,

    1. Mbazu Chibuzor says:

      You’re welcome, Idris.

  23. Thanks for the information. But can I plant the stem of Irish potatoes as it is done with sweet potatoes

    1. Mbazu Chibuzor says:

      Irish potato planting is done using a sprouting tuber.

  24. Thanks for this article. It was very enlightening. Wish I could see it in practical.

    1. Mbazu Chibuzor says:

      You’re welcome, Ifunanya.
      You may find a potato farmer near you if you ask.

    2. Innocent Azih says:

      Very enlightening. I graduated in Crop Production in 1990, but out of practice a long time. This will help me to return to practice, starting with potato. This time around Lagos. What do you say to that? I mean producing in Ogun State. Thank you very much.

    3. Mbazu Chibuzor says:

      Fantastic idea. Go for it after gaining proper training from a potato farmer.

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