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planting potatoes in the fall in the Southwest

We've had a heck of a summer here in Albuquerque with temperatures in the high 90s and some hundreds with no rain for weeks. Anyway, I have never planted potatoes let alone tried to do this in the fall. If I want to try planting a potato in a container in my back yard which is full sun all day, when would I do this and still have time before a freeze? Mid-August?

I have the same question for snow peas, although those I would be planting from seed in the ground. I would be most grateful for help from you experienced gardeners who have tried these crops, not in the Spring but in the Fall. Thanks.

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Super Green Thumb
Posts: 6670
Joined: Mon Mar 23, 2009 1:59 pm
Location: TN. 50 years of gardening experience.

Re: planting potatoes in the fall in the Southwest

When is your first frost and last frost?

I know Albuquerque is mile high city and the Plato to the east is higher and your as far north as Flagstaff so your summer must be not very hot with winter snow. The problem I have found trying to plant fall potatoes, I can not find seed potatoes to plant unless I plant my own potato crop. If you have 3 months before first frost potatoes might be ok to plant now except for the days are getting much shorter I'm not sure what only 10 hours of sunlight will do to potatoes. It is probably best to plant in spring about 2 weeks before the last frost. Soil in that area is 8 ph you need to check see what potato plants like. You will need to fertilize and water your plants too. I know very often the Plato east of town has 3 feet of snow and Albuquerque has no snow, do you live in town? Potatoes are an interesting plant, frost will kill what you see on the surface but will not kill what is below the soil. If you plant early enough in the fall your ok but if frost kills the tops weather will just get worse and potatoes will not grow pack until spring. If you plant in the spring a frost or 2 might kill the tops a few times but weather is getting better and days getting long so plants do fine.

I planted potatoes once in the fall about 30 days before frost and cold weather the plant s froze off and did not grow back until April I had potatoes in June. But TN weather is crazy we often have 85 degree weather for 3 or 4 days in Jan and Feb and March potatoes keep trying until spring finally arrives. Try a fall crop and spring crop see what works best for you.

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Super Green Thumb
Posts: 7447
Joined: Sun Jan 18, 2009 10:20 pm
Location: Northern Utah Zone 5

Re: planting potatoes in the fall in the Southwest

If your ground freezes it will kill the potato. If your ground does not freeze a frost may kill the tops, but the tuber will send up more growth. Though I am an experienced gardener, I grow at 5000 feet elevation, and the ground always freezes here, so fall planting of potatoes here is out of the question. Although I have at times had volunteer potatoes come up. A tuber manages to survive the winter frost and grows come spring. Happens when we get deep lasting snow early and the ground doesn't freeze. I am going to say: Try it!

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