Potatoes in Fall


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Last question, how do I protect my potatoes from the winter frost and cold?
Horticultural fleece does the trick for late frosts here in the UK, but typically they aren't too hard.

I've noticed that it's not the temperature that matters. My polytunnel doesn't stay any warmer at night than the outside air. But potatoes (and other plants) in there won't be affected by frost. So maybe it's windchill? Or something to do with moisture freezing on the leaves?
 
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I reckon your last suggestion about water freezing on the leaves is the answer. The damage is done when water in the cells of the plant freezes and expands, rupturing the cell wall.
 
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I reckon your last suggestion about water freezing on the leaves is the answer. The damage is done when water in the cells of the plant freezes and expands, rupturing the cell wall.
Another observation that supports that theory is that I have noticed little 'burn' marks on leaves of some plants in the polytunnel. It only happens when there's cold weather overnight (so isn't sunburn). The most likely thing is that condensation forms on the roof of the polytunnel, drips onto the leaves of the plant and if there's a freeze it damages the cell walls - but as it's only a few little spots it doesn't set the plants back noticeably. It would also explain why this doesn't happen when I fleece the polytunnel plants.
 

Meadowlark

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Last question, how do I protect my potatoes from the winter frost and cold?
I use plant cloth draped over some hoops I made. Protective plant cloth is widely available on Amazon.

With grow bags you can easily move them into a protected area. That is probably what I will do with certain HK tubs. We usually get one humdinger cold spell a year and for that I will move some tubs into protected area but for the nights when the temps are in the 20s the plant cloth works fine on potatoes. They generally don't damage until it gets below 28 and plant cloth will protect to several deg. lower.

By the way, those green sprigs(plants) pushed up by your seed potatoes are absolutely critical to tuber production. @gary350 is the only person I have ever encountered who says he can grow tubers without the plants. It just doesn't happen. The plants provide photosynthesis which fuels the growth in the tubers. Without them, no new potatoes.
 
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Meadowlark

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Something you might try for fun... Potatoes don't need much nitrogen and I find I can provide what they need generally with a companion planting of sugar snap peas. They don't take up much room...and few things better than a pot of creamed peas and potatoes.

sugar snaps.JPG
 
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My second row of 44 potatoes plants have come up. I planted 2 containers of carrots in 10 gallon pots, 13" deep with potting soil, 375 Danvers seeds in each pot. I have a tiny 24" square green house for Scarlet Nantes carrot seeds. I can't grow spring carrots our spring weather is too short, freezing weather to 98° weather in 6 weeks. Fall carrots has always worked for me but having a terrible time getting good seed germination this year. Our first frost is often Nov 5 and we are having 75°F weather. We already has frost and freeze 2 weeks ago. I need a green house for winter potatoes.
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Meadowlark

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I planted 2 containers of carrots in 10 gallon pots, 13" deep with potting soil, 375 Danvers seeds in each pot.

13 inches deep? Seriously?

My first planting of carrots (with parsley as late companion) this fall was started in late Aug. and just barely covered the seed.

carrots hk.JPG


Second planting in early Sept. again just barely covering the tiny seeds with soil...

carrot earle.JPG



Third planting late Sept. w/ buttercrunch lettuce companion, again just barely covering seed...

carrot w lettuce.JPG



Fourth planting, mid Oct companion planted with cabbage and again just barely covered seed...


carrot w cabbage.JPG



Fifth and final planting (until Feb.) just made today. We should have a continuous supply of carrots through next spring.
 
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13 inches deep? Seriously?

My first planting of carrots (with parsley as late companion) this fall was started in late Aug. and just barely covered the seed.

View attachment 93402

Second planting in early Sept. again just barely covering the tiny seeds with soil...

View attachment 93403


Third planting late Sept. w/ buttercrunch lettuce companion, again just barely covering seed...

View attachment 93405


Fourth planting, mid Oct companion planted with cabbage and again just barely covered seed...


View attachment 93404


Fifth and final planting (until Feb.) just made today. We should have a continuous supply of carrots through next spring.
I think he means the pots were 13 inches deep - not the seeds!!!
 
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