Skip to comments.Potatoes: A Complete Planting Guide
Posted on 01/18/2012 10:52:44 AM PST by orsonwb
A complete planting guide for potatoes including state specific varieties, planting dates, days to harvest, nutrition facts, fertilizing, watering, insect and disease information.
(Excerpt) Read more at howdogardener.com ...
bookmarked, and thanks for posting.... i’ve been curious!
A general question for the assembled multitude:
If you’ve got a bad growing season - cold, cloudy, rainy, etc, are root crops (carrots, potatoes, beets, etc.), which seem not to “ripen” like above-ground crops, generally edible/nutritious when half-grown?
If anyone is an experienced potato gardner, I have a question. I planted potatoes in a couple garden plots, with other root crops (beets, Jerusalem artichokes, and carrots), and never got around to digging some sections up (I was all gardened out). I live in zone 4/5, and am not sure if I should try and dig them up when the ground thaws, leave them in, or till them up and throw them away. Does anyone have an idea from their experience. Would they be mushy, rotten, etc? The soil is very good and drains well, but is snow covered. So in may mucky by the time the snow thaws. I suppose I could go dig throught the frozen ground, but wanted to ask someone before I got out the shovel.
Absolutely. In the case of all 3 plants you just named. Baby carrots, baby beets, and “new potatoes” are all eaten, and all popular. I’ve eaten all of the above. I wouldn’t eat a potato that’s neon green or anything, but I have never seen an inedible carrot. They start off as a tiny taproot and are orange and edible from the start (same with beets, just that they’re purple). All of the above are sold in stores.
Not sure about beets, but carrots and potatoes can be harvested and eaten while fairly small (ex. “new potatoes”). Just make sure they have not rotted from too much rain.
One they freeze they’re toast unfortunately and just mush out.
I don’t know about the beets but the potatoes and carrots are very edible and nutritious when picked young - Red potatoes when picked young are usually called “new potatoes” and are coveted by cooks.
A lot of people over the centuries ‘stored’ their potatoes in the ground, and dug as needed. Haven’t tried it myself; and I also don’t know if that was for human use or as animal feed.
Need to get them out after it starts to warm up, before they sprout themselves into unusability.
Haven’t done it on purpose myself, but here (Z-4) I usually find some I missed digging in the fall, when I do spring tilling.
Sunken Civ mentioned this to me a few years ago during a discussion on spuds. I believe articles were cited, so probably has something on this in the archives.
Thanks for the info.
I suspected that was the case, but was looking for confirmation.
Darn, ok. Well, they may be still frozen, maybe I can wash them and bake them, lol. Probably not. While digging up a previously used, but unmaintained (for years) section of the garden last year, we found the mother of all carrots that had been growing for years there. It’s was giant, gnarled, and woody. It gave me hope that they might have survived the winter, since I once hear that you can plant potatoes in fall so that you don’t have to in the spring. I guess not if they freeze!
Thanks for that information. That was my intention, was to dig them up as needed, but I waited too long and it got really cold. (We planted early, and they were fine, but the tops had died out by July, out of sight, out of mind). We’ll still be in very cold weather for about another month, so I guess I’ll have to get out in the snow and start digging. Thanks for giving me some hope at least, lol. I’ll let everyone know what happens. (If I remember that, too!)
Yep, my caroot tops were very big this year, and fast, and I had to dig many up for trial and error. I still ate them though, and they were great. Also, baby beets are good for pickling. You can buy them whole in cans, also. Very good, as they get harder/woodier with size.
Living in Alaska with the short growing season, I’ve found that it works better to sprout your potatoes by taking them out of the cellar about a month or two before actual planting.
Bump for reference. Thanks
Thanks; I’m adding this to my gardening links.
The also have other veggies & veggies related pages via their search & side bar.
When you take them out of the cellar, where do you put them? In water, in the light inside, or outside, or just anywhere? This (last) year was my first year planting potatoes as an adult. I tried with my dad once as a kid, but had no luck because of the soil. He preferred to pay the 50 cents for the sack of potatoes from the store, lol. Not so with the good stuff like tomatoes, squash and watermelon. Those I had to slave in the hot Las Vegas sun for. But I wouldn’t give up working with my pop for anything!
What’s taters, Precious?
*Po-tay-toes!* Boil ‘em, mash ‘em, stick ‘em in a stew... Lovely big golden chips with a nice piece of fried fish.”
can’t you wait until the things grow eyes and legs, cut them into pieces and toss them in the ground?
Seems pretty straightforward.
Then again, I’ve never done it but, I do know it all. /S
In this Obama Recovery, the home garden is going to be critical!
I LOVE new potatos. Bake baby russetts (about 1 to 1.5 inches in size) sprinked with sea salt. Yummmmmeeeeeee!
I guess my potatoes won’t be any good then. I decided to try an experiment. I live in zone 5. Temps are around 20 - 35 degrees. In November, I planted some potatoes that had eyes. I planted them about a foot deep in a raised bed. First I put leaves, compost and dirt in the trench, planted the potatoes, then put more leaves and compost and covered them with dirt. Now covered in a dusting of snow. Is there any chance they will grow? I figure, if they don’t, I haven’t lost anything! I was going to put straw on them. Will that make a difference?
As Gollum says, "Taters, precious!"
Tuber or not tuber.
That is the question.
I’ve had good luck using grow bags I got from Gardener’s Supply
Very easy to harvest
I think it depends on your freeze depth.
Anything below the freeze line may be just fine.
One of the video’s that I watched had a guy in upstate NY, he put a ton of mulch over his beds and then burlap and let them store in the earth.
Dug them up as needed..
The ones that froze will likely got to compost.
The ones that didn’t will sprout and your potato bed will be a lot bigger than last year.
Potatoes are a pretty easy-to-grow calorie crop. We’re planning on planting them in barrels this year.
My soils tend to be heavy clay - not the potatoes favorite soil. We lighten with compost and humus builders and try to deep dig with a U-bar before tilling. After the furrow is in, I add a fair amount of peat to what will become each hill. Stock is prepared by shaded light exposure in the house (brought up from the cellar) to let eyes develop. If I cut the tuber, I tumble it in a bag with peat moss to stick to the wound and let them scab over for a day or two before going into the ground. When the stock is planted, I amend with a little ag sulpher thrown into the usual fertilizer blend to help drive down the pH. Soil soaker hose down the row and gradual burial with a mulch/soil alternating top dressing to give greater room for potatoes to stretch out as they develop.
Even with all this dinging around, my yields are smaller than I greedily hope for every year and I’m not really sure what I should realistically expect in my conditions. By NO means am I a potato expert and I dream of the day when I magically transform my Minnesota clay into fertile Idaho loams heaped with beautiful piles of dee-licious potatoes.
Oh well, the German Butterballs and the Finnish Gold made for some darned fine eating last year. This year, though, is the year of the perfect potato chip (fried in lard, of course).
Hey, now there’s an idea. We have had to dig a few holes in the winter here, and I don’t remember the ground being really tough in the garden, so maybe it didn’t freeze to deep. I never thought of the mulch, so I appreciate the mention. I’ll have to look into that. We were thinking of burying buckets, etc, and putting the potatoes in them, with mulch on top, but decided it was more work than we wanted to try. Maybe the method you described could work. Now if only I could get tomatoes year round! (We do pick them green before the frost, and let them ripen, so I get garden tomatoes into November, but this year the frost hit them early, and only about 1/4 of the ones we picked for winter ripened before they rotted. I was very sad.)
Thanks. I loves me some potatoes and I have always wanted to learn about planting them.
LOL.. you need a little hoop house..you can move.
Here’s a big example
You could pull it over your tomatoes as late fall approaches..Could give you another month to 6 weeks of growing time.
Hey now, I do need a hoop house. I was very fascinated by his little underground green house. I have really have to look into that one. He was 25 degrees overnight in November, we’re about 10-15 degrees colder than that, but I like some of the ideas I just saw. The best was the little dog with a sweater, haha, that made my day! I’m excited that we’re getting into the 30’s in the day time. I’m so sick of winter, lol. I keep thinking one day I’ll get out of this cold Northern climate, but we’ll see. I’m originally from Las Vegas, and moved from one extreme to the other. I must be a glutton for punishment, lol.
As long as the ground doesn’t freeze, I’m not sure what will happen. Curious if they’ll stay in stasis or not that way. If you got some straw or leaves to cover it that might help.
We had a bed of self propagating Jerusalem artichokes that came back for many years.
Growing Potatoes Under Hay/Straw
His little underground thing is an extreme cold weather cold frame.
Most cold frames sit above ground..Still have the 30-40 degree elevation to the winter sun to catch maximum sunlight.
His makes use of the natural insulation properties of dirt.
He has a video of how he made it.
Problem with cold frames is in the spring..those occasional warm days can bake the stuff inside. You can get automatic lifters to vent them.
You did go from the furnace to the ice box..
BTW. regular gardening thread on Fridays.
JustadumbBlonde to get added to the ping list.
Thanks! My husband and I are going to try to grow 100 lbs. of potatoes in 4 square feet. I figure it doesn’t hurt to give it a try! Found it here:
I think the kids will enjoy the process if it works! We’re pretty new to gardening and are just going to jump in with both feet.