If you have begun your potatoes in a greenhouse or if you need to move your potatoes to another spot in the garden , your potato plants can be safely transplanted by following a few simple steps. Potato plants should be transplanted at least three weeks before harvest on a cooler day.
Prepare the soil where the potatoes will be transplanted. The soil should be dug up, cleared of rocks and mixed with compost in the fall. Choose a location that is sunny and that is rotational--i.e., not the same place you grew potatoes last year. Rake in fertilizer two weeks before transplanting. The soil's pH level should not be higher than 6.
Harden the soil of potatoes to be transplanted from a greenhouse by placing them outdoors. Start hardening a week before transplanting. Place them outdoors for about one hour the first day, then gradually set them out for longer each day after.
Dig transplant holes in the ground. The holes should be approximately six inches wide and eight inches deep, varying depending on the maturity of the plants and the size of containers they were pre-grown in. The top of the soil of the plant being transplanted should sit at surface of the ground when planted. Make the holes far enough apart that the potatoes will not be overcrowded. Give room to transplants that still have growing to do. Moisten the soil evenly before transplanting.
Dig out potato plants to be transplanted by slicing the soil around the plant with a garden trowel. Dig far enough away from the plant so as to not hit or cut the potato in the ground. Use your hand shovel or a hoe to carefully and gently pry up the plant. Keep it packed in as much soil as possible. Promptly move the plant to its transplant hole.
Remove potatoes grown in a container by placing one hand on the soil and around the plant, turning it upside down and tapping on the bottom of the container. Promptly move them to the transplant holes.
Fill in any gaps in the holes with soil and smooth down the surface of the ground. Do not pack in the soil too tightly. Water thoroughly. Place a layer of mulch around the stems.