greenspun.com : LUSENET : Country Families : One Thread

With the weather in Ohio being in the high 50's the last few days, my mind started to wonder to the garden. I wanted to try some additional crops this year. My goal is to try potatoes. What is the best way to plant potatoes? Is it best to buy potatoes "seeds" or just raid the wifes pantry for store bought potatoes and slice them up for seeds?

I am getting mixed signals about when to plant. Some referances say cool weather and harvest in the fall, others say plant mid april . What is the best time in zone 5 (North central Ohio) to plant.

Also once planted will the potato continue to produce after havesting the first tubors?

Another thing that has always confused me. How come plants have to be planted some number of inches apart but rows must be spaced a different amount of space. The plant doenst know the difference between down a row and across a rows difference.

-- Gary in Ohio (gws@columbus.rr.com), January 28, 2002


Seed potatoes have less chance of disease but need to come from a source with simular soil and climate to yours, regular store potatoes will grow as well, choose the biggest ones that have sprouts, cut out about a marshmellow size chunk with the sprout, plant 3 inches deep and wait about 20 days, water medium until sprouts emerge about every 3 days. Once their up water heavy once a week or when the leavs start to curl, water in the evening so avoid evaporation.

You can also grow them in rings of wire or tires, just keep adding soil and mulch as the plants grow, cover all except the top four leaves. You can take potatoes any time their big enough, recover the soil and more will grow.

-- mitch hearn (moopups@citlink.net), January 28, 2002.

Gary, I plant mine staggered, the same distance apart in all directions, because you can get more plants in the same amount of space. I don't think they know the difference, and it actually seems to cut down on some of the weeds, I think.

From what I've been told and tried myself, potatoes seem to need about 12" between them to be able to spread out. My father always said you should plant your potatoes on March 15, and it sometimes takes them awhile to sprout; I think they won't sprout until the ground gets to a certain temperature.

Lance's grandpa plants his in straw. He just tills an area, puts the cut potatoes (with the eyes up, of course) on the ground spaced as he wants them, and covers with about a foot of loose straw. I tried this a couple of years ago, and the only problem I had with it was that the snakes liked my straw and seemed to congregate there. I won't do it again -- I'm not scared of snakes, but I don't want to run into them if I can avoid it! Especially since I've been told we have lots of copperheads around here!

-- Christine in OK (cljford@mmcable.com), January 28, 2002.

Hi Gary, although it might be tempting, don't plant those tubers just yet! I'm in zone 6b-7 and I'm not planting mine until March 3. First, you need to find out when your last frost is. You can get this info from a farmers almanac or there are web sites that will tell ya. USDA web site probably has it. Next, here is a really neat web site that you can type in your last frost and it will calculate what and when to plant daily, seed starting, hardening off plants etc. www.chestnut-sw.com/growform.htm It might also have a map to tell you when your last frost is. I can't remember for sure. Then, look at the top of this page and click on Lusenet, go to Countryside (right above Country Families), scroll down to the categories, under Gardening (general), there is a thread about planting potatoes that was just asked recently. Has alot of good info. Hopes this helps ya! You will absolutely love fresh potatoes out of the garden!

-- Annie (mistletoe6@earthlink.net), January 28, 2002.

ooops, Countryside is BELOW Country Families on the Lusenet list.

-- Annie (mistletoe6@earthlink.net), January 28, 2002.

Gary We normally plant potato's in mid April,depending of course how wet it maybe.Have had really good results with Yukon Gold,but instead of straw mulch we used leaf mulch,it seems to confuse the potato beetles.We put out around 150 lbs. of seed potato's about 75 of the Yukon's and 75 of kennebec.............

-- Steve in Ohio (stevenb@ohiohills.com), January 28, 2002.

Gary, Rule of thumb here in the Ozarks is to plant after the last frost date...March 20th. Old timers have told me to do this with caution as, they have seen snowstorms in late March.



-- http://communities.msn.com/livingoffthelandintheozarks (espresso42@hotmail.com), January 28, 2002.

Gary if you plant your potatoes now you won't have any due to the fact we still have a lot of winter to go and the ground is going to freeze and kill your plants....

-- Bob (snuffy@1st.net), January 28, 2002.

We experimented with this, and have found that planting earlier than the end of april does not yield any more potatoes and just requires more work weeding! I always start harvesting potatoes on the 4th of July and usually plant them the last weekend of April if the weather is fit.

-- Melissa in SE Ohio (me@home.net), January 28, 2002.

Hi Gary, I'm a little to the west of you. The best time to plant potatoes is when the dandelions are blooming good. It seems they both need the same soil temperature to grow. I read this in the Fedco Seed Catalog several years ago. I usually grow several different kinds of potatoes. My absolute favorite are a yellow variety called Carola. Also French fingerling and Red Gold and Rose Gold. Katahdin is a good storage potato. Most potatoes are planted 12 inches apart. I plant in rows so that I can hill them real well. You can snitch a few new potatoes from the plants and it won't hurt them. They are wonderful with garden peas. Yum, yum.

-- vicki in NW OH (thga76@aol.com), January 28, 2002.

I had not planned to plant now. I know its still to cold and lots of winter to come. I did see some folks talking about winter harvest of potatoes, thats what had me wondering.

I also had questions about the seeds. SOme articles have said eyes up others said to plant eyes down. does it matter?

-- Gary in Ohio (gws@columbus.rr.com), January 29, 2002.

Sprouts up for potatoes, root down for other crops, the leaves come out of the shell last.

-- mitch hearn (moopups@citlink.net), January 29, 2002.

Moderation questions? read the FAQ