These starchy tubers are delicious and an excellent addition to any kitchen garden.The best time to plant your potatoes when living in zone 7 is between March and April.Allow them to form a callous over the cut end before planting, or else you risk them rotting in the ground.Potatoes do not like to grow in compact soil or places that are too wet or too dry.Plant them in rows that are at least three feet apart, and be sure to heavily mulch to protect them from unexpected frosts.Potatoes are heavy feeders, so you’ll want to ensure the soil is amended with organic compost.Potatoes are a great addition to the garden for the amount of product you’ll get and the little care they need.You can either use a wide forked rake to dig up your potatoes or use your hands to lessen the risk of bruising or damaging your harvest.No matter what variety of potato you decide to grow, you’ll have plenty to add to your meals, even with a single container. .

How to Plant, Grow, and Harvest Potatoes

Grow potatoes in fall, winter, and spring in hot summer southern regions.Plant potatoes as early as 4 to 6 weeks before the average last frost in spring or any time after the soil temperature warms to 40°F (4.4°C).Potatoes need 75 to 135 or more cool, frost-free days to reach harvest depending on the variety.Harvest late winter or spring-planted potatoes before daily temperatures average 80°F (27°C).Loosen the soil to 18 inches (45cm) deep or grow potatoes in raised or mounded beds.Do not grow potatoes where the soil is compacted, heavy with clay, or constantly wet.Potatoes need 75 to 135 or more cool, frost-free days to reach harvest depending on the variety.Potato varieties are classified according to the number of days they require to come to harvest.Grow a variety that can come to harvest in cool to mild, not hot, weather.Early potatoes are the best choice for southern regions where summers become very warm or hot.“Midseason” varieties require 90 to 135 cool days to reach harvest.“Late-season” (also called long season) varieties require 135 to 160 cool days to reach harvest.Late-season potatoes are a good choice for northern regions where the weather stays mild all summer.In mild summer regions, you can plant early, mid-season, and late-maturing cultivars in spring for an extended harvest season.If you live where winters are mild and summers are hot, plant late-season potatoes in winter for harvest in mid to late spring before the weather turns hot, or plant early-season potatoes in late summer for a fall crop.In tropical and subtropical regions potatoes can be grown all year round, although they are best planted in summer and autumn for harvest before the rainy season.Potatoes are highly productive and can yield 6 to 8 pounds (3-4kg) of tubers per square yard (meter).Potatoes need 75 to 135 or more cool, frost-free days to reach harvest depending on the variety.You can plant seed potatoes whole, or cut them to about the size of a medium egg, with two or three buds apiece.Two or three weeks before planting, set seed potatoes in a bright, 65° to 70°F (18-21°C) place to encourage sprouting.When seedlings (developing sprouts) emerge, add the remaining 2 inches (5cm) of soil to the hole or trench.Potatoes also can be planted on top of the ground if they are covered with a 12-inch (30cm) thick mulch of straw or hay.Don’t grow potatoes where any of these vegetables have grown in the past four years.When plants grow from 8 to 10 inches (20-5cm)all, add enough soil to cover all but the top 2 or 3 sets of leaves.Continue this process until the maturity date for the variety you are growing then harvest.Avoid planting potatoes near cucumbers, pumpkins, squash, sunflowers, tomatoes, or raspberries.Keep potatoes evenly moist but not wet; water before the soil dries out.Protect the tubers from light by “hilling up” soil when the green shoots or stems are about 4 to 5 inches (10.12.5cm) tall.Surface-planted potatoes can be filled by piling mulch deeply around the plant; you can use straw or composted leaves rather than soil.Handpick both adults and larvae Colorado potato beetles and destroy them.Potato stems and leaves turn brown and flowers fade as tubers below ground mature.Lift potatoes gently to avoid bruising or damaging the skins.To harvest mature tubers, wait until the tops of the plants die back.Leave the tubers in the ground for a few weeks after the tops die back; this will allow the skins to toughen and the potatoes will store better.Use damaged potatoes immediately and store the rest in a dark, dry place, with good air circulation.Set tubers in a single layer in a dark place at 50° to 60°F (10-15°C) for two weeks to cure.Potatoes will also store well in the ground as long as the weather is not too wet or warm.Potato flesh may be white or match the skin color: red, yellow, or blue.Dry potatoes are good for baking and mashing (varieties include ‘Russet Burbank’ and ‘Butte’).Moist potatoes fall apart when cooked; they are a good choice for soups.‘Red Norland’: early season; use boiled, steamed, mashed, or in salads. .

Growing Potato in USA

Before planting expose seed potatoes to light to start shoots growing.Let the cut pieces dry for a few days before planting or else they will probably start rotting.As potato shoots start to appear, cover them up with soil from either side of the trench.'Hill up the crop' this way a few times in the first four or five weeks of growth, which gives the potatoes an nice loose mound of soil in which to grow.Using container growing you can produce potatoes in any handy space, even on balconies.Spread your seed potatoes on top of the newspapers about 30cm apart, trying to get the shoots pointing upwards.As the potatoes start to grow through, add more layers of mulch material and keep watered.As the potato shoots start to grow through, cover up with more compost and mulch mix and keep watered.For both no-dig and container growing, keep the mulch well watered - wet enough to stick to your fingers but not sopping. .

Gardening in Zones 7, 8, 9 or 10

Northern gardeners may grumble about the long winters, but that cold weather does a lot to minimize insect and disease problems.A local plant nursery, family-owned hardware store or farm stand can be a valuable resource for practical knowledge that it would take years to gain on your own.These crops include beets, broccoli, cabbage, carrots, lettuce, onions, peas, potatoes, radishes, spinach, turnips, kale and collards.Then, in April, plant the warm-season crops: beans, cucumbers, eggplants, okra, peppers, squash and tomatoes.In places like Arizona, gardens at higher elevations should be planted later in the spring and earlier in the fall.In extremely hot weather, plants absorb and release moisture to stay cool.Mulching pathways and open spaces around plants is critical, as it minimizes moisture loss from the soil surface.Compost improves the soil?s moisture-retaining capacity, acting like a sponge to hold water until your plants need it. .

When and How to Plant Potatoes – Mother Earth News

By growing your own potatoes, you can enjoy all kinds of tasty varieties — in numerous shapes and colors — that you aren't likely to find in any grocery store.By growing your own potatoes, you can enjoy all kinds of tasty varieties — in numerous shapes and colors — that you aren't likely to find in any grocery store.If you garden in areas that have hot summers be sure to plant your potatoes early, and to play it safe, choose varieties that mature in early- or mid-season.Over the years, Stout’s deep mulching technique will help you build wonderful soil fertility plus conserve water.One final word of caution: If you have big problems with slugs or mice the deep mulch method can add to your troubles.*Browse our customized search tool, the Mother Earth News Seed and Plant Finder to find mail-order companies offering the specific potato varieties you want to grow. .

When to Plant Potatoes in Zone 7 and 7b: The Ultimate Guide -

In this essential guide, you’ll find all of our favorite recommendations for getting healthy potatoes from your garden.The key is to have them late enough so that your plant’s roots don’t get too wet and give them enough time to grow for getting a crop before the heat starts.Select a location where your plants can get full sun (at least six hours per day), and don’t forget to space your potatoes in rows about 3 feet apart.If you like to boil, bake, or fry potatoes, go for Russets: they are long and white and perfect for cooking.Other suitable options for hardiness zone 7 are Rounded White varieties and Red-skinned ones, which you can use for boiling or making potato salads.Also, before you take them out of the ground, check the skins: mature potatoes have them thick and firmly attached to the flesh.Because they are not too keen on hot temperatures, you must plant them early enough so that they can give you the delicious tubers before the warmest months of the year come.Also, don’t forget to feed your potatoes with organic matter and add mulching around them to increase water retention and ensure they get all the nutrients they need.If temperatures rise suddenly, don’t forget to keep your plants moist to ensure they will grow into healthy potatoes. .

Plant Sweet Potatoes

The plants produce lush vines that make a pretty ground cover, so they are a great crop for beds that adjoin areas that are difficult or tiresome to mow.Before planting, improve your native soil by mixing in several inches of aged compost or other rich organic matter.Plant sweet potatoes about 12 to 18 inches apart, and allow 3 feet between rows so the vines will have plenty of room to run.Thoroughly weed your sweet potatoes 2 weeks after planting by pulling them gently; if possible avoid deep digging with a hoe or other tool that disturbs the feeder roots that quickly spread throughout the bed.Deer love to nibble tender sweet potato leaves, so you may need to deter them with floating row covers.Japanese beetles and other leaf-eating insects may cause light damage, but sweet potatoes are so vigorous that they usually outgrow foliage pest problems.In Florida and some other Southern states, sweet potato weevils are a big problem, often ruining the harvest.In late summer, sweet potatoes often produce flowers that resemble those of morning glory, a close botanical cousin.Sweet potatoes are usually ready to harvest just as the ends of the vines begin to turn yellow, or just before frost in the North.Shake off soil, and then lay the unwashed sweet potatoes in a warm (80°F to 90°F), well-ventilated place for about 10 days.As the sweet potatoes cure, any scratches in the skins should heal, and the flesh inside will become sweeter and more nutritious.After 10 days, move your cured tubers to any spot that stays cool and dry, but do not refrigerate or store below 50°F.Cured sweet potatoes will keep for up to 6 months when stored at around 60°F with high humidity; a basement is ideal, though an air-conditioned storage room or pantry will do, too.In climates where summer is hot, mulching before the vines get too long will help keep your sweet potato patch moist and weed-free.Sweet potatoes are ready to dig when the vines start yellowing at the end of the season. .

Sweet Potatoes: How to Plant, Grow, and Harvest Sweet Potatoes

Just a few sweet potato plants can produce a generous harvest of this nutritious, sweet-tasting root vegetable.More commonly grown in the South because they require warm weather, northern regions can have success with select varieties.The sweet potato is a tropical plant and a member of the morning glory family.Compare a sweet potato vine’s foliage and flowers to those of a morning glory and you’ll see the family resemblance!Sweet potatoes are commonly served cooked in mashed form, or roasted whole. .


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