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Fall Planting for Potatoes? Anyone doing/done this?

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Fall Planting for Potatoes? Anyone doing/done this?

Postby klr650teach » Nov 08, 2011 11:20 am

Has anyone with freezing cold winters tried planting spuds in the garden over the winter like that of garlic?

Do the spuds produce anymore? Do they produce larger potatoes than those planted in the spring?

I've just started incorporating a heavy mulch on the garden with wood chips as a top dressing. With the extra insulation the wood chips will provide I'm wondering if this might work? Anyone got any ideas? Advice?

Penticton, BC in the Sunny Okanagan Valley. Zone 5a
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Re: Fall Planting for Potatoes? Anyone doing/done this?

Postby davefrombc » Nov 08, 2011 11:51 am

Potatoes will produce volunteer plants and crops from tubers missed at harvest time , but they don't outproduce plants from spring planting . You would not gain any advantage from fall planting , and I suspect just the opposite since potatoes are grown from cut up tubers. There would likely be a high loss from them rotting over winter , and if fall planted too soon , they would sprout and then be killed by the frost.
Some crops like garlic, are fall planted because of their natural life cycle requires that for best growth. It is the same with flowers like tulips , daffodils and related bulb producing flowers. They require the fall planting and initial rooting phase and dormancy to produce the best flowers and spring plants.
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Re: Fall Planting for Potatoes? Anyone doing/done this?

Postby klr650teach » Nov 08, 2011 12:11 pm

Thanks Dave. I was actually thinking of using a whole potato rather than cut up tubers. Thinking that the whole one would survive better. Anyhoo, I suspect that it is not worth pursuing. If I were living on the Island or the Peninsula it might be worth a try. Thanks Dave.

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Re: Fall Planting for Potatoes? Anyone doing/done this?

Postby hydroponics » Jan 24, 2012 9:20 am

Fall is bulb planting time, It also can be potato planting time. Flower bulbs in early fall; seed potatoes, late fall. One big difference between them though--flower bulbs should be planted before sprouting. Seed potatoes after sprouting. Besides furnishing a delicious spring vegetable, fall planting does other good things for the garden:

1) Early spring growth beats the weeds and later the spreading vines smother many spreading vines.

2) Spring months usually have the cool soil and the 1" of rain per week potatoes need and summer months often lack. The tubers grow best with cool soil conditions. This year my fall planted potato crop had many more baking size (4" and up) than the Spring planted ones I have been digging now.

Fall planted potatoes will be ready to dig in time to plant a follow-up crop in rows already dug ready to plant.

Before tilling put down 1-1.5 lbs. of acid type fertilizer and 1 lb. of magnesium sulfate (Epsom Salts) plus about 1/2 cup of sulfur per 20' row. Dig an 8"-10" deep ditch on one side. For two rows dig two narrow 8"-10" deep drainage ditches 5' apart and between them two 8" deep furrows 30" apart . Throw the dug soil onto the center area to be available to hill up around the growing stems next spring. Fill the ditches and furrows with the cuttings of your fall grass and leaves, other shredded mulch or straw .

When the potatoes sprout, ideally when sprouts are 1/4" out, you are ready to cut your seed. The pieces should be about1.5-2 ozs--about the size of a small egg. Small potatoes about that size can be planted whole. The cut pieces should be block shaped-no thin slices- with at least one eye or sprout but two are preferred. When cutting larger potatoes it is preferable to make a lengthwise cut at the top to divide the sprouts that usually cluster there, then make crosswise cuts to divide the rest into two-eye or one-eye blocks. Try to have a part of the center core of the potato in each piece. One pound of potatoes should produce 8-10 seeds.

The furrows should be about 8" deep so that the seed will have 4" of soil and 4"-6" of mulch over them .Space the seed10" to 12" apart. Gently firm 4" of soil over them, then about 6" of mulch. Put some long sticks in by the seed so when you get curious in early March you can check one without digging up the row.

When new growth reaches 4"-6" begin to cultivate and hill up around the stems. Don't cover the leaves. Continue to hill up as you cultivate . By the time the stalks are 14"-16" tall you should have 6"-8" hilled up. The stems under the earth will be sending out fine stems with tiny tubers so cultivate carefully.
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Re: Fall Planting for Potatoes? Anyone doing/done this?

Postby Eeyore » Jan 24, 2012 1:47 pm

Hi hydroponics and welcome to our site! Please note, when copying and pating information from another website that you should identify the source of the material. In this case it appears you have copied and pasted from Wisegeek. We don't mind you sharing information but please give credit where it is due.

Thanks! :D
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