Plant the potatoes yet?


#1

Go ahead and plant potatoes or what?

OK – my seed potatoes are sprouting slowly indoors. All have some sprouts & look good, but they’re still ‘nubs’ ~ ¼” long, more or less. Trying to decide if I should plant them now, or wait until next weekend.

It has warmed up SOME – we hit 73°F yesterday and 71° today, but cool weather is again on the horizon. Coldest night in the forecast, as of now, is forecast at around 30°F, so I think they’ll survive (esp since they won’t have emerged yet), but I’m trying to decide if I gain anything by planting now vs. waiting a bit longer. Soil temp was close to 60 yesterday but will cool back down – most days in the next 7-10 day forecast will see highs between 49 and 58 and lows mostly in the 30s but generally above freezing, so soil temps will probably dip into the 40s at least at night (sunshine during the day may warm it back up some).

I don’t mind if they take while to emerge, but I don’t want them to rot in cold soil, yet, I don’t want to wait TOO long and have hot soil too hot for tuber development too early in the plant’s life cycle! The good news is, my soil is a fairly well-drained loam.

Would you plant or wait?


#2

My other thought was using a thick row cover to add a bit of insulation and slight solar heat gain.


#3

I planted my potatoes last week (Northeast PA). You should be fine.


#4

Tomorrow is the full moon…wait until that has passed, then plant when your ground is dry enough to not have to work in mud, or be compacting the soil.


#5

Here is my potato saga for this year. When I opened stored seeds on March 10 to start cheating I found that they already sprouted 3 inch long shoots. I broke them off and placed the potatoes on wet soil mix as they were very dehydrated as well. In few days they started growing great green shoots. Great if they would be in the ground… So I had to cover them completely and place in the garage… I checked their bed soil temperature, it was 40F - minimum needed… I covered it with clear plastic to warm up more and decided to plant in couple weeks after full moon. In 5 day all the potatoes grew out of the soil I covered it with… So they had only one way to go - their permanent location. It was on March 28 - 6 weeks before normal schedule. I thought nights around 38F will tame them down a bit. Not with my potatoes, though :stuck_out_tongue:. In 2 days I had to start hilling to keep them underground, as we will have night hard frosts several times till April 11. I planted them in tranche, will keep hilling and I have plastic ready to cover the bed when things get ugly.


#6

According to locals here, they say the time to plant potatoes is around Good Friday, so now’s the time, after the full moon as suggested.

We haven’t done any planting yet of anything, it’s way too wet, and the ground’s still a bit cold. I haven’t even turned the plots yet, as it’s too muddy to get the tractor out.

We didn’t get any taters two years ago, as we planted about this time of year, and then got a freeze in May, while the sprouts were about a foot tall. They never really recovered after that. Last year our plot was inundated right after planting the seed taters, and rotted in the ground. Hoping for better luck this year.


#7

Locals here also recommend Good Friday.


#8

We are in a mild to moderate drought and had a drier than normal March. My ground is moist but not muddy.


#9

I planted them today.


#10

Locals here say St Patrick’s Day, of course. :blush:
Mine are in and up, and I’m watching the weather closely.


#11

I planted Yesterday. This is my first garden and I’m not where it is all the time . I planted many thing among them was 20 potatoes. I’m in zone 8 b and the soil is 6-7 PH and it was 70 degrees Saturday. I’m hoping all goes well. Seems everything was well.


#12

It’s ugly here now. I’ve got tarp over the potato bed. None of the sprouts have broken ground


#13

Now we have this crap.

I can only hope after a week in the ground, they won’t be close enough to the surface to be adversely affected by the 26 degrees.


#14

Looks like it’s the last train out :confounded: :grin: sorry …


#15

Mine are under a tarp


#16

I’m with you. I planted out potatoes last week too in Woodlawn, TN. Worried about that 26 degree low zapping what fruit I may have has this year as well.


#17

I think they’ll be OK. If you just planted them a couple days ago, I doubt they’ve grown much, or will have by Saturday.


#18

No sign of emergence as of right now. Today will be warm but after this cold snap, it looks like smooth sailing, and 70s next weekend.


#19

I’ve had potatoes with 4-5" of green above ground get hit by frost/freeze and still be fine. The foliage turns black and when things warm up they begin pushing new growth and I’m back in the game. Not saying it’s optimal, just that it’s not the end of the world.

Good Friday is what folks around here say as well. Mostly I miss that by quite a bit. My garden was finally dry enough to till yesterday, but it’s snowing as we speak with 1-3" forecast and 28 degrees now and that’ll be the high for today as we head to a predicted low of 16 degrees tonight.

Looking at last years notes I see I planted a row of potatoes on 5/15/17… The FIRST thing I was able to get in the ground last year were a few Toms a couple days earlier.

I just can’t ever seem to go by the Good Friday kinda stuff :slightly_smiling_face:


#20

We have had freezes in May the last couple of years, so we haven’t set out anything until late May, especially tomatoes and peppers.

We set out taters in mid May last year, and they were ruined by heavy rains, and deer finished off what was left.

No Good Friday planting this year, the soil’s too wet to turn yet, and it’s been too cold as well.

I haven’t even started my indoor tom’s and peppers yet, because this time I’m sowing directly to the garden. No more intermediate steps of pods to cups then the garden. Takes too much time. The plants are tougher then I’ve given them credit for. As long as I gradually harden them off, they should be okay.