Growing Potatoes in Tasmania

Growing Potatoes in Tasmania

Published by Andrew Clark on 16th May 2024

Growing potatoes at home in Tasmania presents a unique opportunity for gardeners to enjoy fresh, home-grown produce. However, challenges like potato scab and the risk of acquiring poor-quality seed potatoes can hinder your efforts. Here’s a guide to help you navigate these challenges and grow thriving potato plants in your Tasmanian garden.

The Joy of Growing Potatoes

Potatoes are a versatile and rewarding crop to grow. They require minimal care beyond basic watering and fertilising routines, making them ideal for both novice and experienced gardeners. The key to success lies in starting with high-quality seed potatoes, especially in regions like Tasmania where the climate is suitable for potato cultivation.

Importance of Planting Certified Seed Potatoes

Seed potatoes aren't true seeds but rather pieces of the potato that contain "eyes" or buds that sprout into new plants. To ensure the health and productivity of your potato crop, it's crucial to plant certified seed potatoes. These are guaranteed to be free from diseases like potato scab, which can significantly affect your harvest.

What Makes Certified Seed Potatoes Special?

Certified seed potatoes undergo rigorous testing to ensure they are disease-free. Unlike supermarket potatoes, which may carry diseases from previous crops, certified seeds are specifically bred and tested for gardening use. They come with a certification from a government authority, attesting to their quality and disease-free status.

How to Plant Seed Potatoes

For best results, plant your seed potatoes in frost-free areas from late autumn to early spring. Consider using a layer of straw to protect the emerging foliage from frost. Seed potatoes should be planted about 15cm deep and 30cm apart, with a generous application of potato fertiliser to encourage robust root development.

Caring for Potato Plants

Once planted, potato plants require regular care to ensure a bountiful harvest. We have had good experience; allowing the seeds to start shooting a bit before planting. This technique ensures thicker stems and healthier growth. As your plants grow, employ the technique of "hilling" or mounding soil around the stems to encourage more root (and potato) production.

Growing Potatoes in Containers

For those with limited garden space, growing potatoes in containers is a viable option. Ensure adequate drainage and avoid high-nitrogen fertilizers. Opt for organic options like blood & bone or super phosphate to promote healthy growth. Regularly hill or mound the plants to maximize yield.

Harvesting Your Potatoes

Harvest time is a joyous occasion. Once the plant's stems and leaves start to die back, it's time to harvest. Carefully dig around the plants to avoid damaging the potatoes. Freshly dug potatoes, or "new potatoes," can be used immediately, while the rest of your crop can be stored in a cool, dry place for later use.

Beware of Poor-Quality Seed Potatoes

Recent reports have highlighted the sale of poor-quality seed potatoes in several retail outlets near Tasmania. To avoid the disappointment of disease-ridden crops, it's imperative to purchase your seeds from reputable sources. Ask to see the certification of seed potatoes to ensure they are disease-free and of high quality.


Growing potatoes in Tasmania can be a rewarding endeavour, yielding a plentiful harvest of delicious potatoes for your table. By selecting certified seed potatoes and providing them with the care they need, you can enjoy the fruits of your labour and contribute to a sustainable, home-grown food source. Remember, the quality of your seed potatoes is paramount, so always verify their certification to ensure a healthy product.

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At Harmony Garden Centre, we acknowledge and recognise that we operate on the traditional land of the palawa people. We pay our deepest respect to the Tasmanian Aboriginal Community and their elders past and present. We extend this respect to all First Nations people around this Country.