Potatoes in Fall


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I had planted some sprouted potatoes this morning because I knew that they would get to big for the container they were in so I put them in a growbag. Will they make it through the Fall and Winter?
 
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@gary350 comes to mind as planting potatoes this time of year but I think he planted his a week or two ago. Maybe he will respond.
By the way, no one knows where you are located. A general location usually helps.
 
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Growing conditions vary in North America. Do you live in Alaska or Hawaii or somewhere in between? Please update your profile
 
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@gary350 comes to mind as planting potatoes this time of year but I think he planted his a week or two ago. Maybe he will respond.
By the way, no one knows where you are located. A general location usually helps.

I planted 40 potatoes Sept 15. Plants are up and looking good.

2 weeks later I see more potatoes have eyes growing so I planted another row I think that was Oct 1st.

I use my small home grown new potatoes as seed potatoes when eyes start to grow. I need to keep an eye on these I only covered them with 2" of soil. When temperatures get below freezing I need to rake more soil up on the seed potatoes to keep them warm. Soil is warmer than the air temperature. Date to dig up the first row is Jan 15 and Feb 1st for 2nd row. Last year was an exceptionally cold winter for use we had 12° F several times. We don't usually get frost until Nov 4 and we already had frost 5 days ago and freezing weather coming next week. Potatoes plants above the soil never freeze until 28° F. Even if plants freeze and die on the surface they still grow new potatoes below the soil. I live 30 miles south of Nashville TN longitude 34° elevation about 600 ft. We get too much rain in winter 37" last winter Feb to May potatoes need to be planted 2" above the swamp so they don't rot in mud. I use a string level to make sure rows are up high enough. Our soil seldom freezes deeper than 1". White potatoes grow here better in winter than summer. Red Pontiac potatoes grew excellent in our HOT 100° summers 4 lbs of new potatoes per plant but we like white potatoes much better. Here is the winter swamp picture. We are zone 7a. We have a lot of 40° and 45° F day temperatures all winter. Our summer weather is hot & dry as desert, we had 3 minutes of rain yesterday, after no rain in 31 days. Grocery store potatoes make excellent seed potatoes no one puts chemicals on potatoes anymore to stop eyes from growing, buy them 2 months before you plant them.

17972095_208954496270501_7123080664211484687_o.jpg
 
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Meadowlark

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... Will they make it through the Fall and Winter?
Probably not without protection...but yes with good protection.

My experience says that every time the tops freeze back it reduces production by about 1/3.

In zone 7a, you will get several freezes and some of them hard...certainly enough to reduce or even eliminate production.

The good news is you can easily give them protection in grow bags.

After many years of NOT planting spuds in fall, I'm giving it a go again in zone 8 this fall/winter. I have some great containers and have my protection ready to deploy.

Home grown potatoes just can't be beat, IMO.
 
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Will they make it through the Fall and Winter?

That probably depends on what type potatoes you are growing, your soil, your weather, several things. Potatoes are a 4 month crop keep track of time and dig into the soil in 4 months to see what you have. The colder your weather is the more soil you need to put on your potato row to keep then warm.

One year I planted 25 cutting with 1 eye on each cutting then covered them with 8" of soil Nov 28. NO plants every grew. There was nothing all winter. May 1st I decided to check to see if there are any new potatoes and I found 28 lbs of new potatoes. This was grocery store Russet potatoes.

Every year I put 8 cuttings with 1 eye each on the soil surface then cover them with 4" of potting soil. Then I put a 5 gallon fish aquarium upside down over the 8 cuttings. The glass fish aquarium fills up with a solid bunch of green plants. If it gets too cold plant die then grow back several times. 4 months later there is about 12 lbs of new potatoes inside there.

I have tried all kinds of crazy experiments potatoes are easy to grow if you grow cold weather potatoes in cold weather and hot weather potatoes in hot weather. Red potatoes always out produce white potatoes 4 to 1.

One experiment that works very well for me is grow potatoes in a stack of 3 car tires. Wait until warm weather May 1 for me 75°F every day. I put 7 Russet grocery store cuttings on the soil surface inside 1 tire. Cover cuttings with 4" of soft potting soil. Soon as green plants grow 6" above the first tire put on another tire. Sprinkle another 4" of mulch down around the plants. Soon as plants are 6" above the 2nd tire add a 3rd tire. Plants grow straight up out of the tires. Plants start growing tubers the 3rd month, once a week sprinkle in about 1/4 cup of 15-15-15 fertilizer then pour in 5 gallons of water. 4 moths later plants die. Remove the tires and there is 25 lbs of potatoes in there. Go figure??? I have no clue why this works so well. Tires make me black as a coal miner wife won't let me in the house. I got rid of the tires. LOL. Crazy thing about gardening, what works for you might not work for me and what works for me not not work for someone else. It has to do with your soil, weather, temperatures, rain, etc. Experiment to see what works best for you.

I have a friend that places a soaker hose on the soil then puts potato cutting 4" apart along the side of the hose & 6-12-12 fertilizer. . Then he covers them with 6" of soil. When weather get 85°F or hotter he turns the soaker hose on for 2 minutes every day. 30 plants gives them 120 lbs of RED potatoes. I am going to try this with White potatoes.
 
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Meadowlark

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...One year I planted 25 cutting with 1 eye on each cutting then covered them with 8" of soil Nov 28. NO plants every grew. There was nothing all winter. May 1st I decided to check to see if there are any new potatoes and I found 28 lbs of new potatoes. This was grocery store Russet potatoes.
The above is contrary to what I have always believed about potatoes...which is that you must have the tops to grow the new potatoes. The tops enable photosynthesis and without it, tubers will not grow.... or so I thought.

This belief is confirmed by many reputable sources on the net in some quick research.

New potatoes without ever having tops are something I would not have believed possible...but lots of things happen in gardening that don't seem possible. I'm going to try to find out for myself this winter.

In my own experience, I have experienced significant reductions in production when the tops are frozen back. Tops reappear yes, but production is reduced by about 1/3 each time a hard freeze kills the tops back. This experience is with red potatoes where I average 10 pounds of new potatoes per plant. One hard freeze killing tops and the yield is reduced to about 6 pounds. A second hard freeze and the yield drops to less than three pounds. I have experienced two hard freezes on one crop once in my 40 plus years of growing potatoes....and the reduction was as stated. Perhaps white potatoes are different.

I fully intend to find out this fall/winter. I'm planting russett, kennebec, yukon gold, and German butterball each with a plant in a HK container and with inground plants in partial rows. I hope to learn the following:

1) what is the effect of my HK containers on white potatoes productivity? I count those above as white. Too much N2? not enough? or?
2) can white potatoes produce without tops? (Requires several hard freezes without any protection which may or may not happen here)
3) which white potato is best suited for my area?

I'm well versed in red potatoes and the spring crop having done that for many decades. However, white potatoes have always had very poor production here. Perhaps the combo of HK containers and fall/winter growing will overcome some of this poor production.

Regardless, I'm expecting to learn a few things and that is always great fun.


 
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Can I ask why? I don't mean this in a disparaging way - genuinely looking to learn.

Why not just wait until late winter or spring if you aren't going to get a crop until late spring?
I'm in Scotland, UK. Cold, wet winters - yet Ayrshire is potato growing country I believe.

My approach has been to

  • start a very early crop of 'first earlies' in the polytunnel in Feb (and I consistently get a harvest by May).
  • The bulk of my potatoes go out in late March which *usually* means they're underground until after the last frost.
  • I start a late crop of 'first earlies' (charlotte) in July for autumn harvests.

    What is the benefit to planting in Autumn?
 
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The above is contrary to what I have always believed about potatoes...which is that you must have the tops to grow the new potatoes. The tops enable photosynthesis and without it, tubers will not grow.... or so I thought.

This belief is confirmed by many reputable sources on the net in some quick research.

New potatoes without ever having tops are something I would not have believed possible...but lots of things happen in gardening that don't seem possible. I'm going to try to find out for myself this winter.

In my own experience, I have experienced significant reductions in production when the tops are frozen back. Tops reappear yes, but production is reduced by about 1/3 each time a hard freeze kills the tops back. This experience is with red potatoes where I average 10 pounds of new potatoes per plant. One hard freeze killing tops and the yield is reduced to about 6 pounds. A second hard freeze and the yield drops to less than three pounds. I have experienced two hard freezes on one crop once in my 40 plus years of growing potatoes....and the reduction was as stated. Perhaps white potatoes are different.

I fully intend to find out this fall/winter. I'm planting russett, kennebec, yukon gold, and German butterball each with a plant in a HK container and with inground plants in partial rows. I hope to learn the following:

1) what is the effect of my HK containers on white potatoes productivity? I count those above as white. Too much N2? not enough? or?
2) can white potatoes produce without tops? (Requires several hard freezes without any protection which may or may not happen here)
3) which white potato is best suited for my area?

I'm well versed in red potatoes and the spring crop having done that for many decades. However, white potatoes have always had very poor production here. Perhaps the combo of HK containers and fall/winter growing will overcome some of this poor production.

Regardless, I'm expecting to learn a few things and that is always great fun.



Red potatoes are easy to grow I do almost no work and get 4 lbs of new potatoes per plant. I get a terrible crop of white potatoes sometimes 3/4 of a lb per plant. If I work at it I can get 1 lb of new white potatoes per plant. We have 95°F temperatures about May 20 then dry as desert all summer. One year I gave potatoes lots of nitrogen things photosynthesis will make lots of potatoes being planted in full sun, plants were 6 ft long and potatoes were the side of tiny marbles. I am about to give up on white potatoes. My grandfather in central ILL use to say, if you don't plant potatoes right you won't have any potatoes. He made cuttings and left them to dry for 1 week then planted them 8" apart 4 rows side by side 40 ft long. When his plants were totally dead he pulled up the plants and most of the new potatoes pulled out of the soil with the plants. He get 400 lbs of new white potatoes. If I had not seen him do it I would not believe it because I have not figured out how to do it. If I pull up my dead plants no potatoes pull up with the plants I have to dig for them. I think our hard dry soil is the problem we get about 1" of rain per month June to Sept. I have better luck growing potatoes in fall when there is rain & cooler weather.
 
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Red potatoes are easy to grow I do almost no work and get 4 lbs of new potatoes per plant. I get a terrible crop of white potatoes sometimes 3/4 of a lb per plant. If I work at it I can get 1 lb of new white potatoes per plant. We have 95°F temperatures about May 20 then dry as desert all summer. One year I gave potatoes lots of nitrogen things photosynthesis will make lots of potatoes being planted in full sun, plants were 6 ft long and potatoes were the side of tiny marbles. I am about to give up on white potatoes. My grandfather in central ILL use to say, if you don't plant potatoes right you won't have any potatoes. He made cuttings and left them to dry for 1 week then planted them 8" apart 4 rows side by side 40 ft long. When his plants were totally dead he pulled up the plants and most of the new potatoes pulled out of the soil with the plants. He get 400 lbs of new white potatoes. If I had not seen him do it I would not believe it because I have not figured out how to do it. If I pull up my dead plants no potatoes pull up with the plants I have to dig for them. Last year had 150 Kennebec plants April 1st then dug up 61 lbs about Aug 1st. I think our hard dry soil is the problem we get about 1" of rain per month June & July. I have better luck growing potatoes in fall when there is rain & cooler weather.
That makes sense now you explain it. I think Scotland is a pretty ideal climate for potato growing. All we need to do is give them protection from frost. So provided we wait until about a month before the last frost (usually March / April) they pretty much take care of themselves. They easily cope with our summers.

Are you familiar with Sarpo Mira potatoes? I've no idea if they'll cope with your heat, but they are very disease and drought resistant.

 

Meadowlark

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Red potatoes are easy to grow I do almost no work and get 4 lbs of new potatoes per plant.

Same here, only I average 10 pounds per plant.... some years more some years less. The worst year ever wasn't as low as 4 pounds that I recall....and I've been doing this several decades in the same location.

I get a terrible crop of white potatoes sometimes 3/4 of a lb per plant.
Same here. That's why I gave up on them for many years. It's also why I'm trying again and this time in HK containers. I have had tremendous success with some other veggies in HK containers and want to see if white potatoes will respond accordingly and which white potatoes are most productive among Kennebec, Yukon gold, Russett, and German butterball.

... One year I gave potatoes lots of nitrogen things photosynthesis will make lots of potatoes being planted in full sun, plants were 6 ft long and potatoes were the side of tiny marbles.


Yes, too much N2 on spuds is way worse than not enough.

... My grandfather in central ILL use to say, if you don't plant potatoes right you won't have any potatoes. He made cuttings and left them to dry for 1 week then planted them 8" apart 4 rows side by side 40 ft long. When his plants were totally dead he pulled up the plants and most of the new potatoes pulled out of the soil with the plants. He get 400 lbs of new white potatoes.

I do the same with red potatoes and harvest well over 200 pounds each May. 200 pounds is all I want to process and store at a time. We can about 25 quarts a year and store others.


... If I pull up my dead plants no potatoes pull up with the plants I have to dig for them. I think our hard dry soil is the problem we get about 1" of rain per month June to Sept.
Interesting...most of my red potatoes pull up with the plants, only a very few have to be dug.


I have better luck growing potatoes in fall when there is rain & cooler weather.

I'm the opposite...better luck with potatoes started in Feb and harvested in May. But I'm going to give white potatoes one more try this fall this time using my HK containers.

I have always experienced significant production reduction red or white if the tops are frozen back. You seem to avoid that in an even colder climate? I don't understand that as in my experience the tops are critical to good production of tubers. I particularly do not understand the story you told of growing potatoes without any tops ever showing. I would have to see that.
 
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We have a very short spring. Our last frost is about April 20. I plant potatoes March 1st but its too cold for potatoes to grow they wait for warm weather to start growing about May 1st. Seed potatoes set in the soil 2 months doing nothing. Our spring weather is short 32°F to 95°F in 6 weeks. I think it is better for me to wait until April 20 to plant seed potatoes plants still come up about May 1st. Our summer is too hot & dry with no rain. I water potatoes but it does not soak in very deep, water never gets down deep where tubers are. I think my friends soaker hose idea is a great idea I am going to try that with Kennebec potatoes April 2023. I think potatoes might grow good here in a green house.

I need to Google search Sarpo Mira potatoes to see what I can learn about them.
 
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I either have Dark Red Chieftain potatoes or Red Pontiac potatoes because I didn't look at the store-bought name when I had gotten them. I also have some sprouted Russet potatoes.
 

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I either have Dark Red Chieftain potatoes or Red Pontiac potatoes because I didn't look at the store-bought name when I had gotten them. I also have some sprouted Russet potatoes.
Yes, the Red Pontiac is a mainstay around here to plant in early Feb and harvest late May. Excellent potato.
 
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Several years past I wanted to know the production for each potato plant. I made a test box and started to weight the potato growth. This is the result of Yukon Gold. I discoverd by weighing over a few years that weight was uually from 2 to 8 pounds, closer to 3 average.

https://durgan.org/2010/September 2010/11 September 2010 Yukon Gold Test Box Potatoes/HTML/ 11 September 2010 Yukon Gold Test Box Potatoes

Yukon Gold Potatoes were harvested. A total weight of 23.5 pounds was harvested from the 4 by 4 foot test area. The objective was to determine what quantity and quality, that could be obtained from a small area.The quality is excellent. Another plant could probably be placed in the center of the area without crowding. The average weight per plant was 5.9 pounds. From my experience anything over 4 pounds is acceptable. It is now 26 January 2011 and the tubers are still in great shape in my cold room.
 

Meadowlark

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... This is the result of Yukon Gold....
Great information. Thanks.

That is a variety I definitely plan to include in my own upcoming experiment.

How about Huckleberry Gold? Ever try that one?

Or Baltic Rose?
 
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