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Old November 9, 2016   #1
Tracydr
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Default Can I plant potatoes now?

In the southernmost part of NC. Zone 8a I believe. I'd like to get my potatoes in the ground as soon as possible so maybe at least the new potatoes can be harvested before I plant next season's warm stuff.
I have seen where people plant in the fall in colder climates but I'm wondering if this would work here. I have an unlimited amount of good mulch,just need to know about how much mulch would be the right amount to protect baby seedlings if it is warm enough to start growing.
I think my produce stand right down the road plants the first of Feb,which is two months before last frost date.
Any thoughts?
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Old November 9, 2016   #2
brownrexx
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I don't know the answer to your question because I am unfamiliar with your climate but I will tell you that my potato plants will definitely turn black if they get frost on them and they will not germinate if the soil is too cold. Seed potatoes sitting in cold soil can rot instead of grow.
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Old November 9, 2016   #3
AlittleSalt
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Tracy I'm in zone 8A Texas. We usually wait until February to plant potatoes here. Around Valentines day.
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Old November 19, 2016   #4
pecker88
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I live in SE Nebraska, zone 5b. I have a double poly hoop house with a heater set at 40 deg. mostly only runs at night.

I planted potatoes a month ago in the greenhouse, and I just dug one up, the sprout was about 1/8" long.

At that rate, they will rot before they actually grow! I was an experiment, but now I know, plating potatoes on Oct 1st in Zone 5b is a no-go, even in a heated hoop house. Also to add, most of Oct was record setting heat, 70's outside, inside greenhouse was 90+. Seems like it didn't matter, still too cold.
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Old November 19, 2016   #5
MarianneW
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I'm planting mine today! Granted, I don't have this "winter" you speak of.
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Old December 21, 2016   #6
Tracydr
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I think I'll try around Jan 15.
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Old December 23, 2016   #7
greenthumbomaha
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Tracy, unless you have your own seed potato source (or buy at the organic grocery and chit), when you plant may hinge on where you purchase your starters. I was looking at Burpee, and they have an April 10 ship date for potatoes. Gurneys is even worse, you can order in the fall and without any notice have your items show up in late spring. Late April is pushing the end of my plant date.

Last summer I saved two bags of onion sets to stagger thru the winter for indoor scallions. The sets looked dried up when I got my planter out last week but I had already opened the soiless mix. To my surprise they sprouted up yesterday.

I wonder who supplies merchandise this early for you southerners zone. I'd buy moreonion sets if I could get them now.

- Lisa
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Old December 23, 2016   #8
PhilaGardener
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Last year for the first time I tried planting potatoes in the Fall and about 50% came up this Spring and yielded early and well (yes, in SE PA). Fingerlings did the best with this treatment. YMMV, but I am doing it again this year.
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Old December 24, 2016   #9
meandtk
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Zone8B near MS Gulf Coast here. I planted Jan 20,2016 and had a great harvest of 10+ lbs yield per lb of seed.
I would hesitate to plant earlier than that,especially seeing your temps get a bit colder than ours do.
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Old December 24, 2016   #10
brownrexx
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PhilaGardener don't forget that we had a relatively mild winter in 2016. Why plant in Fall and lose 50% of your seed potatoes instead of just planting in early summer when you can have 100% germination?
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Old December 24, 2016   #11
PhilaGardener
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I don't have a good place to store them, so take a lot of losses trying to overwinter out of the ground. There were always a few "escapees" coming up in the beds the next year, so I thought it worth trying out. Even though I did lose half, the ones that came through were early and robust and yield was better than Spring planted ones in an adjacent bed. We will see how consistent it works, but for folks South of me it could be an (even better) option.
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Old December 24, 2016   #12
pmcgrady
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I plant around Saint Patrick's Day
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Old March 14, 2017   #13
Gardeneer
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I was a planting guide from our cooperative extension in Whitevill , NC.
Let me check potato:
Plant Feb 5 to March 22.

I have planted a few 2 weeks ago and found few in the kitchen that have sprout. I will plant them this Friday. The guy in the extension office told me ( 2 weeks ago ) "if you plant them now you can harvest in April. But I found it to generalized. Potatoes like tomatoes have different maturity. In general it take 85 days to 110 days, depending on the variety.
Potatoes shut down when the sol temperature get to 75F and higher. I think down here we can also do fall planting.
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Old March 14, 2017   #14
Durgan
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Zone 5 about 15 April. But it can be cold and they will rot. Ground temperature at root level should be about 18 C. Below ~15 the potatoes don't grow.
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Old March 14, 2017   #15
AlittleSalt
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Quote:
Originally Posted by PhilaGardener View Post
I don't have a good place to store them, so take a lot of losses trying to overwinter out of the ground. There were always a few "escapees" coming up in the beds the next year, so I thought it worth trying out. Even though I did lose half, the ones that came through were early and robust and yield was better than Spring planted ones in an adjacent bed. We will see how consistent it works, but for folks South of me it could be an (even better) option.
I just saw this, and yes, I always have potato plants coming up around the garden in spring from potatoes I missed.
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