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BrianSkilton
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Planting Potatoes

I have planted potatoes a few times, however I am unsure when the best time to plant them is. I am getting a bunch of different seed potatoes in the mail: Nicola, Maris Piper, King Edwards, Epicure and Belle De Fontenay. When is the best time to plant these in zone 4b / zone 5?. Also do I need to chit them first? I usually just use the ones that have sprouted, however since these are seed potatoes I don't know if they will be sprouted yet. Thanks in advance guys :D
  • zone: 4b / 5
    sunset zone: 43
-Nick

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applestar
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Location: Zone 6, NJ (3/M)4/E ~ 10/M(11/B)

Last year, my seed potatoes came with instructions to plant when the soil temp warms up to 55ºF. Then I came across (or somebody posted) [url=https://www.ghorganics.com/Phenology.html]a link to Phenology[/url] which stated that Crabgrass germinates when soil warms to 55ºF and this coincides with when the yellow Forsythias are in bloom.

So I am personally following the Corollary to "Plant seed potatoes when the yellow Forsythias are in bloom." This year, I have noticed that this also coincides with when the neighborhood Bradford/Callery pears are in full bloom.

I (Zone 6b) planted my first two shipments of seed potatoes on Friday and Monday.

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BrianSkilton
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I suppose I could go out their with a temp probe and check to see if the soil has reached 55 degree's which I am guessing it hasn't. I've heard before mothers day for here, but not sure...

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rainbowgardener
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Or you could go around the neighborhood and look to see if the forsythias and bradford pears are blooming. They are here and my potatoes are planted!

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BrianSkilton
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True, I'll have to look out for them :shock: :D

kgall
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What if the forsythia is in bloom but the soil is still cold?

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jal_ut
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Potatoes can be planted two weeks before the average date of your last frost.

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Gary350
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The best potato crop I ever grew was in an old car tire. I put a car tire on the ground. I put the potato pieces in the center directly on the soil. I filled the tire center with a mix of mostly compost with some dirt mixed in. When the plants had grown up about 6" above the soil I put another car tire on top and filled it about 1/2 full with more compost and soil. A few weeks later I filled it to the top with compost and soil and put another car tire on top. Now it was 3 car tires tall and the vines are growing out the top. I watered it every day with the garden hose. When the vines turned yellow and started looking like they were dying I removed the tires. I had potatoes the size of grapefruits. That is the largest potatoes I have every grown. One potato was a whole meal with left overs for tomorrow and they were good.

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Zapatay
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Rock on Gary - Thanks for sharing

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applestar
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Location: Zone 6, NJ (3/M)4/E ~ 10/M(11/B)

:shock:
https://www.helpfulgardener.com/forum/viewtopic.php?p=118445&highlight=tire+leach+chemicals#118445

Canadian Farmer Guy
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How many potato plants can fit in one tire?
I might have to try this for myself...

CFG

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farmerlon
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Gary350 wrote:The best potato crop I ever grew was in an old car tire. ....
Maybe I take the whole "organic gardening" thing a bit too far (?), but I would be to "chemically paranoid" to plant veggies in car tires.
I wouldn't be able to get past wondering what substances might leach into the soil from the tires, and therefor wouldn't be able to enjoy (or eat) the potatoes.

cynthia_h
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DH's supervisor at work is a Ph.D. chemist. Said Ph.D. chemist and his wife are organic gardeners, right down to the free-range (daylight only) chickens and the feral rabbit around whom they've built a safe surround because of raccoons. They live in Davis, Sunset Zone 15 (significantly warmer summers and less winter rain than here).

You could've knocked me over with less than a chicken feather :wink: the day that DH came home last fall and said, "John and [DW] harvested their potatoes over the weekend."

"Oh, good for them! Did they use a hand fork, or ...?"

"John said he just knocked the tires over and had his little girl [daughter] hand him the potatoes. He put 'em into a couple of buckets."

Oooooh kaaaay. Here we have a Ph.D. chemist, certainly aware of the potential for toxic leaching (however much that potential might or might not be), growing his own spuds in tires and having his 6-year-old daughter messing around in the growing medium to hand him the spuds. Sounds like a fun time!

I realize that a scientist would call this "anecdotal" evidence, but I do find it "indicative" as well.

Cynthia H.
Sunset Zone 17, USDA Zone 9



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