For centuries potatoes have been a food staple in many countries due both to their nutritional value and their versatility in the kitchen.Growing potatoes (Solanum tuberosum) in your own backyard is healthy, inexpensive, and surprisingly easy.A soil amendment can be added if desired, but don’t add fresh manure, as it causes scabs.As the plants grow, “hill” (pile) soil, leaves, straw, or compost over them to keep the tubers covered so that they are not exposed to the sun.(When the tubers are exposed to the sun, the potatoes turn green and may develop solanine, a slightly toxic alkaloid.).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 will have a blast searching for the “buried treasure.”. .
How to Grow Potatoes — Seed Savers Exchange Blog
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.
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!Sow cucumber and gherkin seeds in individual pots or modules.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.Order potted strawberry plants or cold-stored, bare rooted runners and get them in the ground straight away.Now that the risk of a late frost has passed, plant melon plugs out into a sheltered, sunny spot. .
When to plant potatoes: for a bumper crop
A cook's staple, potatoes can be grown in most soil types provided they have a sunny spot.With some planning and successive planting you can be harvesting and enjoying potatoes from June right through to Christmas.First early potatoes: plant in mid-to late March ready for harvesting in June or July.Maincrop varieties: plant in mid to late April and harvest in August for immediate use or lift in September/October for storing.Gardeners in particularly cold climates may have to wait until May to plant potatoes,' explains Mary Jane Duford.While looking at calendars can be a useful guide for planning when to plant potatoes, it is important to pay attention to the weather, in particular the temperature of your soil.Earthing up also stops the growing tubers from turning green and encourages a larger crop.Similarly, Monty Don, writing in The Complete Gardener (opens in new tab), has said of his early potatoes that he has, 'planted as late as the second week in June and still got a decent crop’.Potatoes can be grown outdoors all year round in warm climates such as in their native region of South America, but in northern latitudes with shorter growing seasons they are best planted in spring and harvested from June to October.'Even in their native growing environment, potatoes follow an annual lifecycle of growth-harvest in which growth is aligned with the longest days of the year in terms of sunshine,' says Mary Jane Duford. .
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. .
12 Vegetables You Can Still Plant in June
For many vegetables, you’ll need to sow seeds or plant seedlings shortly after the last frost, but straying from conventional timelines isn’t necessarily going to make or break your food-growing journey.We suggest growing a summer variety such as a French Breakfast, Rover Hybrid or Crimson Giant, which will mature quickly.Here’s a vegetable that a lot of people think you need to plant in early spring in order to get a harvest.Peas are typically grown in the early spring and known for being a cool-weather crop, but if you’re in the right location and choose a variety with some heat tolerance, you can add them into your garden.There’s a common misconception that peas don’t fare well in hot weather, but it actually has more to do with poor irrigation.Tips: Optimal soil temperature is 70°F to 75°F and we recommend choosing a quicker-maturing variety such as the Red Beard or Guardsman.Beans are an ideal crop because they mature quickly in warm soil and locations with at least eight hours of sun.Bush beans typically grow faster and some varieties are ready for harvest in as soon as 35 days.Tips: You should pay close attention to your summer squash because it tends to sprout up very quickly.If you’re not sure about fast-growing varieties, we suggest Orchard Baby, Golden Bantam or an Early Sunglow corn.Okra grows best when temperatures reach at least 85°F during the day and nights don’t dip below 60°F.It takes on average of about 60 days to mature and handles humidity well, making it an ideal option for gardeners in more southern regions.Tip: Okra should be harvested when it’s small to medium in size, around three inches long.If you wait too long, you’ll be dealing with oversized pods that are tough and really chewy.But if you’re a big fan of tomatoes and you want to include them in your summer garden lineup, you can still make it work by choosing the right varieties or using seedlings instead of seeds.Tips: Look for either smaller-fruited tomatoes, determinate or early-maturing varieties so that there’s less time spent waiting for them to grow on the vine.Early Girl, Fourth of July, Juliet, Sungold or Sun Sugars are all great options. .
WCF Horticulture > Summer Planting
These government classified seed potatoes, which are grown on specialist farms, are harvested during autumn.They are held in our cool, temperature controlled stores until June the following year when they are graded and distributed to retailers, for sale to gardeners.The varieties of potatoes suitable for second cropping are specially selected by our technical team as proven winners (they have to be we don't want disappointed gardeners!).The key is to leave the seed potatoes in the soil or containers once they have finished growing, although it is vital to ensure the crop is protected from frost with a fleece, polytunnel or some sort of covering.They can then be harvested whenever the gardener wishes, providing lots of baby "new-potatoes" with that sought-after "new potato" taste in the depths of winter.Characteristics White skin and flesh, with a short, oval shape perfect for "baby new potatoes.Arrival: The seed tubers, coming from our specialised, low temperature stores into the warm summer air, will start to respire.Location: If possible, place the seed potatoes near doors, as a cool draught of air really helps.Stock Rotation: The summer planting seed potatoes will also start to sprout following delivery, due to the change from cold to warm temperatures. .
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.