Fortunately potatoes are very adaptable and will almost always produce a respectable crop, even when the soil conditions and growing seasons are less than perfect.Potatoes may be planted as soon as the ground can be worked in the early spring, but keep soil temperatures in mind.A week or two before your planting date, set your seed potatoes in an area where they will be exposed to light and temperatures between 60-70 degrees F. This will begin the sprouting process.A day or two before planting, use a sharp, clean knife to slice the larger seed potatoes into smaller pieces.A good rule of thumb is to plant potatoes whole if they are smaller in size than a golf ball.Plant each piece of potato (cut side down, with the eyes pointing up) every 12-15 inches, with the rows spaced 3 feet apart.During this flowering period the plants are creating their tubers and a steady water supply is crucial to good crop outcome.When the foliage turns yellow and begins to die back, discontinue watering.Gently dig around the plants to remove potatoes for fresh eating, being careful not to be too intrusive.If the weather during harvest is wet and rainy, allow the potatoes to cure in a dry protected area like a garage or covered porch.If you are looking for maximum yields it is best to start with fresh, USDA Certified Seed Stock every year.

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Grow Potatoes for a Christmas Crop

The seeds are exactly the same as those sold for spring planting, only these ones have been held back in a cold store to stop them developing any further; they’re literally in suspended animation.First, the warmth of late summer means that second-crop seed potatoes do not need to be pre-sprouted – they’re primed to get growing without delay.Set the seeds onto a layer of compost or potting soil about 10cm (4in) deep, or deeper if your container is particularly tall.If time allows you to grow your spuds in the ground, pick a warm, sunny spot to ensure the quickest growth and the best chances of success.Containers have the obvious advantage of being portable, so when cold weather threatens it’s easy enough to move plants completely under the cover of a greenhouse, polythene tunnel or conservatory.Potato foliage can be kept snug with an insulating layer of fleece, removed during the day to allow maximum sunlight penetration.Whether or not you choose to leave potatoes in the ground depends on how cold early winter is in your part of the world.In temperate regions, little more than an extra pile of earth strewn over the top of the rows should be enough to provide an additional layer of defense against occasional frosts.If winters are severe or your soil is wet and heavy, then you’re safer lifting all of the potatoes to pack them into boxes of coarse sand kept in a frost-free place. .

What to sow and grow in June

With the longest day bringing extra hours of warmth and sunshine, and you can start planting in earnest.Here are our top picks of seasonal things to sow and grow in the garden this month:.Sow winter-flowering pansies in seed trays so they’ll be ready for your winter containers.Sow perennial seeds such as aquilegia , bellis, Canterbury bells , delphiniums and lupins indoors for flowering next year.Sow perennial scabiosa in pots or trays for bee and butterfly friendly flowers.For flowers that bridge the gap between spring and summer try growing forget-me-nots , foxgloves , Dianthus plants (sweet Williams) and wallflowers in seed trays now, for colour next year.It's not too late to direct sow calendula , Candytuft 'Dwarf Fairyland Mixed' , clarkia (Godetia ), larkspur and limnanthes for a show of flowers later this summer.Grow the tallest sunflower from direct sowings — great fun for the kids!Start winter cabbage seeds off in a greenhouse or cold frame now as they require a long growing season.There’s no need to refill the hole with soil — this method will ensure a good blanch on the stems.There’s no need to refill the hole with soil — this method will ensure a good blanch on the stems.Plant out cucumbers in the greenhouse or in grow bags outdoors in a sheltered, sunny position.Plant out squashes and pumpkins into rich, fertile soil — they are heavy feeders!Charlotte and Maris Peer potatoes can be planted from mid June to late July.No chitting is necessary as the warmth of the compost and the summer temperatures will quickly entice growth. .

When is it Too Late to Plant Potatoes? (Plus Planting Dates

After all, you don’t want to put in the effort to plant a crop of potatoes that won’t grow well.This allows enough time for the potato plants to grow and mature before the cooler weather (and potential frost) in the fall.Of course, if you live in a very warm climate, you may be able to plant mid-season and late season potato varieties in the fall to get a second harvest later in the year.(determines time to maturity) Last Frost Date (cold temperatures in the fall will kill potato plants).The variety of potato you choose will play a big part in determining when to plant your crop.The variety you choose will determine the time to maturity for your potato plants.According to Fedco Seeds, potatoes can be classified in 3 different groups, depending on the time to maturity:.Avoid planting potatoes when the ground is still wet from heavy spring rains.The first frost date in the fall will also tell you if it is too late in the season to plant your potatoes.Before you decide whether it is too late to plant potatoes, use this tool from the Old Farmer’s Almanac to find the last fall frost date in your area.Basically, you let new potatoes grow for a bit longer so they can mature fully and get bigger.Mature potatoes will be ready for harvest 2 to 3 weeks after the foliage on the plant dies back.According to the Old Farmer’s Almanac, you can take a chance and plant potatoes 6 to 8 weeks before the last spring frost date in northern regions.These crops will mature earlier in the season, but there is more risk of late spring frosts damaging or killing the plants.Especially in cold northern regions, it is safer to plant your potatoes any time in the week or two before the last frost date.A greenhouse will help to keep your potato plants warm and protect them from fall or spring frosts.You also have the option of using row covers to protect potato plants against late spring or early fall frosts.Row covers are made from fabric, and they protect plants from cold (and insects), while also allowing sunlight to get through.If you plant your potatoes too late, you will have problems with heat in the summer or with cold in the fall.If you are in a warm climate or you have space indoors, you can learn more about growing potatoes in winter in my article here. .

How to Grow Your Own Potatoes

For centuries potatoes have been a food staple in many countries due to both their their nutritional value and their versatility in the kitchen.Growing potatoes (Solanum tuberosum) in your own backyard is healthy, inexpensive, and suprisingly easy.Plus vegetable gardeners swear by the fresh flavor that only a home grown crop can offer!A soil amendment can be added if desired, but don’t add fresh manure as it causes scabs.When potato plants begin to blossom, stop hilling the soil over the tubers.If you leave the mature ones underground for a couple of weeks their skins will “set” and they’ll store longer.This is one harvest that’s best left to the kids in your home or neighborhood — they have a blast searching for the “buried treasure.”.* When the tubers are exposed to sun, the potatoes turn green and may develop solanine (a slightly toxic alkaloid). .

Potato

Potatoes like warm, but not hot, days so usually we plant them after the last frost (March) and harvest them at the peak of summer heat. .

WCF Horticulture > Summer Planting

What is special about summer planting seed potatoes?The seed potatoes can be planted directly into gardens or allotments or they can be grown in containers.Variety Gemson General Comments A great variety for summer planting, it’s very reliable, looks and tastes great.Characteristics White skin and flesh with a short, round shape – perfect for "baby” new potatoes Variety Maris Peer General Comments Tried and tested salad potato.Great, high yielding salad variety with a very uniform crop.Very good flavour for a modern variety.Arrival: The seed tubers, coming from our specialised, low temperature stores into the warm summer air, will start to respire.Stock Rotation: The summer planting seed potatoes will also start to sprout following delivery, due to the change from cold to warm temperatures.Let your customers know about the stock before it arrives (take pre-bookings where possible) and ensure you have a good advertising material. .

Frequently Asked Questions About Growing Potatoes

What is a ‘seed’ potato?So, the ‘seed’ that you’ll find to grow potatoes looks like, well, a potato.So, if you like growing potatoes, don’t risk planting seed from questionable sources because there’s no way of knowing what else you’ll be planting.Can I save my own seed from my potato crop?Risks include transmitting diseases from saved seed to the next crop and losing your seed crop in storage because the tubers are not technically mature.Seed potatoes have been grown to physical maturity meaning they were cured in the ground before harvest and are able to be stored successfully to produce next year’s crop.These climates have the kind of weather potatoes need to produce high quality, disease-free seed crops.GET A SOIL TEST before adding anything to your soil.Soil testing will answer those questions and provide amendment rate recommendations based on your results.ft. __ 90-100# per acre Phosphorus: 1# per 1,000 sq.ft. __ 40-50# per acre Potassium: 3.5# per 1,000 sq.Monitor your soil health and fertility with regular soil testing and use the soil test recommendations to help you figure out what you need to add and in what quantity.How much should I plant?Small seed potatoes can be planted as-is.1 pound seed plants 6’– 8’ bed.Yield: 1:10 seed weight to pounds of crop harvested.GET A SOIL TEST to help you figure out what’s deficient in your soil so you can amend for your next plantings.How do you plant potatoes?Leave time between tillage and planting to allow green matter to break down; 2-6 weeks is a good time frame.can be cut into smaller pieces; think the size &/or weight of an egg as your goal.Once your seed pieces are cut, you’re ready to plant.Oh, the weeds… You’ll have to manage those any way, you might as well go on and hill those taters in the process.Depending on the weather and your soil type, we can provide the potato plants with better drainage by periodically pulling up soil around the growing stems.This is also why you may notice different sized potatoes on your plants at harvest; the longer the underground stem was under the ground translates to larger potato size and your preceding hilling activites.Try to hill before the stems grow too long and start to flop over.You should pull between 2”-6” new soil up around the plants each time you hill.Generally, potatoes need between 1-2 inches of water per week; this could be provided by rain events or you to make up the difference.Water needs for your crop throughout its life goes a little something like this….Planting to 30 days: Water needs not high or critical.Different varieties of potatoes have different Days To Maturity (DTM).Count the days from planting to figure out target harvest dates per potato variety.Most varieties will have good-sized tubers that are ready to harvest by 90 days.In the Southeast, soils get too hot in the summer to grow great potatoes.If you are growing on a small-scale, nothing is more rewarding than digging up your potato crop by hand.Store all potatoes in a cool dark place until you are ready to eat them or sell them.You can expect Southeastern crops to store 1-3 months, depending on variety, potato size and storage conditions.What’s eating my potato plants?!?Pest management starts before the pests show up and continues long after the crop is harvested.Don’t give them what they need _ rotate crops so over-wintered adults will not emerge to find their favorite crop waiting for them.There’s a chance that beneficial insects will help you manage your insect pests, so don’t grab the big guns until you really need them.There’s a chance that beneficial insects will help you manage your insect pests, so don’t grab the big guns until you really need them.Target problem areas and apply just what’s needed to treat that space/crop.Colorado Potato Beetles feed on potato foliage as larvae and can really do some damage on the upper parts of young potato plants, sometimes wiping out your planting if nothing is done to control them.By avoiding planting potatoes into areas recently in sod, we can effectively avoid the wire worm’s negative effects on our crops. .

Growing Potatoes in North Texas

Give the humble potato (Solanum tuberosum) a place in your vegetable garden.“A nutritional mother lode, potatoes are easy to grow as long as they have full sun, moderate temperatures, and light, rich, acidic, well-drained soil.Try varieties with colors, shapes and flavors you won’t find in the supermarket.” (Cornell University Vegetable Growing guide).A bit of powdered sulfur (antifungal) mixed with moist peat moss or saw dust, can be used for longer term storage of the cut potatoes if needed.Small seed potatoes can be left whole or cut once depending on the eyes and weight.Cuttings that weigh approximately two ounces are considered best because smaller potato seeds may not have enough energy reserve to support growth.Note: Approximately 3 pounds of seed potatoes are needed for two – fifteen foot rows.Potatoes can be grown in a raised bed home garden, in field rows and in containers.Photosynthesis for sugar to form potatoes needs mildly cool to warm temperatures to grow well.As daytime temperatures reach or exceed 90 degrees Fahrenheit (F) each day (around the first of June in North Texas), most sugar storage stops in potato plants.In the Dallas – Fort Worth and Denton areas, the average date for the last frost is the 20th – 25th of March.The 15-5-10 will move down into the soil with watering and rain as the potato grows and is better for stem and leaf production.Too much water enlarges the pores on the tubers and makes them rot easily in storage (Joseph Masabni, Assistant Professor and Extension Horticulturist, The Texas A&M University System “Easy Gardening Potatoes“).Prepare a field that is well drained and do not plant potatoes in low places where water will stand.Laying by: As potato plants reach 6 to 8 inches above the soil, side dressing can be done with 15-5-10 fertilizer and about 2 more inches of dirt can be pulled up to the growing vines while pulling the fertilizer (side dressing) to the row using a row former.Harvest: Using a row splitter, run about 10 inches deep to turnout and expose the potatoes.Irish potatoes should be air dried at a temperature of 75 to 85 degrees F. in a dark area with good humidity 75% or greater.To allow proper curing, potatoes need air circulation but no long term exposure to light.Home & Garden Information Center, HGIC 1317 Potato, Clemson Cooperative Extension.Guest contributor: Nat Mills Ph.D., is a Professor in the Department of Biology at Texas Woman’s University.He grew up on a farm in South Central Kentucky where the family raised several garden vegetables each year.

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