Would you plant potatoes yet?


#1

Central Maryland, with the following forecast. Soil temp today was well over 60, but has been averaging in the upper 40s to 50ish at planting depth.


#2

I would. We have different climates, mine is 8a. Mine are all in the ground as of today. I was taught, plant potatoes and peas on St Patrick’s day.

Also.

In previous years, I’ve had them nipped by frost, and they did ok, I also get some potato volunteers from ones that hid from me while I was digging them, and they overwintered and survived.

Hopefully someone in your actual area will advise.


#3

Potatoes and tomatoes are related. Seems potatoes are cold hardier, but they don’t like the cold that much. Frost will damage foliage. You can cover them if frost hits. I would rather just wait till no chance of frost. I’m in no hurry and I plant them about the time I start acclimating my tomatoes. Looking at your weather, you could plant now. Or wait, they don’t take that long to mature. For me I have not even started my tomatoes yet.

Ideal time is when soil reaches 50F. Don’t plant in wet sticky soil, let it dry some. Potato seeds like any seed will rot if too wet.

Currently my soil temp is 37F
http://www.greencastonline.com/tools/soil-temperature


#4

If I were going to plant potatoes this year (and I probably should…given Corona virus related food shortages) I would ideally have already done so.

(If I could have gotten the ground tilled with all the rain we’ve had…I think the only way that would have happened this year was with a turning plow last November).

Have had potatoes 6 inches high out of the ground and get totally blackened by freezes…and they still produce more shoots and recover (although that may reduce the crop yields).


#5

I planted potatoes nearly 3 weeks ago. Now is just about the right time up into parts of KY.


#6

In Kansas the best time is on Saint Patricks Day


#7

The issue here is HOT soil. Tubers don’t bulk well at soil temps over 80. My sandy soils get HOT in summer. So earlier is an advantage in that case.


#8

We planted our potatoes earlier this week. I’m not sure where you are located in Maryland but you are obviously at least a little south of us. My experience is that early potatoes produce better then later ones.


#9

Then for sure plant now. Soil here only become hot in plastic pots (I use fabric). I often grow potatoes in fabric containers. This year it’s in a raised bed. I’ll plant in about 6 weeks.


#10

Earlier varieties might help…varieties with a quicker maturity date.


#11

I usually do fine with even later potatoes, but I have found that if I don’t get them planted before April 1, they don’t do as well. I planted them today.


#12

I’m in CT and usually wouldn’t plant this early, but I put in a bunch of potatoes today and will put in more tomorrow. The farmer’s almanac says you can put it in as soon as the ground can be worked, 6 to 8 weeks before the last frost. So that’s super early. We’re supposed to get some lows in the mid-20s this weekend before it warms up a bit more.

I’m concerned about supply chain disruption and potential food rationing. Hopefully I am satisfied with the crop. I planted Dark Red Norland and Kennebec potatoes.


#13

The ground was workable all winter here. It is t always, but this year. It was.


#14

here in maine potato land we usually plant in mid may, 50f soil temp. if a unusually wet spring, we plant a little later.


#15

We once planted a bunch in late March one year ('16), just about all the seed taters sprouted, and the greens were about a foot tall. Then, in early May we had a freeze, and the greens got bit hard, and we never got much of a crop that year.

Because of that we’ve usually planted them in May, but for a couple years, we got too much rain and they rotted. Last year was pretty dry and warm, but we still only got maybe 20-25lb. Our best year was our first one, in 2014, we had normal weather and a very good crop.

I’ve just about decided to skip them this year, it seems to be an exercise in futility. But, if things get bad related to the CV, we probably should try anyway. We should try and grow as much food as we can.

To answer your question, it probably would be okay in your location to plant now. It’s still too cool here and the ground is way too wet to plow anyway.


#16

Somewhere maybe late 1960s…planted Feb. 15th …. but they got frozen. Can’t recall just how much it reduced the crop…it certainly didn’t keep there from being a crop. Put tomatoes out about March 20 I think…and some of them got frozen, but some didn’t (placed gallon milk jugs with bottoms cut out over them).


#17

They usually plant taters around here around Good Friday, which is still a few weeks away this year.

The earliest we have planted out tomatoes and peppers is first week of May, but because of two freezes in May, and because the ground’s usually to wet to plow/till, that usually is pushed back until Memorial Day.


#18

The way you get ground ready to plant early is to do a turning plow in fall.
(Yes, it sometimes creates erosion).
Even plowing in the mud in December usually ends up OK…freezing/thawing cycle of winter restores friable soil.