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Morning. It is starting to rain, good thing the temperature is at 40 degrees but a high only of 42. Rain, snow most of the day. Low tonight of 17. NW wind coming up, and we are in a wind advisory. Wind chill will make it feel below zero tonight. Stay warm, stay safe.
Easter to me is early. It is April 9th, so that makes Good Friday April 7th. Old wives tale, and our parents and Grandparents planted potatoes on Good Friday. Now read the next section on when to plant. Will April 7th meet these requirements?
Also this is the first time I have read about planting potatoes in a container, that you add soil as the potatoes grow. Give some thought about that!
When to Plant Potatoes
Garden potatoes can be planted 2 to 4 weeks before the average last frost date. The soil temperature should be at least 55°F during the day and 45°F at night. But pay more attention to the soil than the calendar to determine planting time. The soil should not be so wet that it sticks together and is hard to work. Let it dry out a bit first. If you have a late and wet spring, you can plant later—through April (depending on location) or even June, especially in containers.
In cooler regions, the early-maturing potatoes are usually planted early to mid-April. In warmer regions, planting times range from September to February; in central Florida, gardeners plant potatoes in January, and in Georgia they plant in February.
How to Plant Potatoes
Potatoes for planting are called ‘seed potatoes’ and usually sold in bags or netting. Use certified (disease-resistant) seed potatoes from which eyes (buds) protrude. (Do not confuse seed potatoes with potato seeds or grocery produce.)
The moment you get them, break them free, lay them out in a tray (such as an old egg carton) and pop them somewhere bright and frost-free to sprout – such as an indoor windowsill. This is a process called ‘chitting’. It’s not essential, but chitting helps speed things along a bit so that by the time they’re planted they’ll be primed and itching to send out roots.
A great way to get more seed potatoes for free, is to cut them in half. But only do this if they’ve got plenty of “eyes” which appear as small dimples and are where the sprouts emerge from. You want to put the end of the potatoes with the most eyes facing upwards for this reason.
At least 2 days ahead of planting, use a clean, sharp paring knife to cut large potatoes into golf ball-size pieces, with 1 to 2 eyes each. This time allows the pieces to heal, or form a protective layer over the cut surface, improving both moisture retention and rot resistance. Do not cut up seed potatoes that are smaller than a hen’s egg; plant them whole.
Plant Potatoes in Pots: If you don’t have the garden space, plant in large containers, old compost sacks or purpose-sold potato sacks. Fill the bottom of your pot or sack with about 4 inches (10 cm) of potting mix then lay one or two potatoes on top and cover. Once the foliage is growing, add in more potting mix, a bit at a time, to hill or earth them up until the soil level reaches the top at which point the foliage almost seems to explode in size.
Watering Potatoes: Firstly, water! This is really important because potatoes are lush and leafy plants, and those tubers take a lot of effort to swell. So if it’s dry, water thoroughly. Maintain even moisture, especially from the time after the flowers bloom. Potatoes need 1 to 2 inches of water a week. Too much water right after planting and not enough as the potatoes begin to form can cause them to become misshapen. Stop watering when the foliage begins to turn yellow and die off.
If you’re growing in containers, take extra care to keep your plants really well watered, especially in warmer weather, as this really will make all the difference in achieving a good crop.
Taken from https://www.almanac.com/plant/potatoes
Till next time this is Becky Litterer, Becky’s Greenhouse, Dougherty Iowa firstname.lastname@example.org 641-794-3337 cell 641-903-9365
Hi! My name is Becky and I am a Master Gardener. I own Becky's Greenhouse in Dougherty, Iowa.