Knowing when to plant potatoes in Georgia is important if you’re a garden-lover. The ideal planting time is in late winter or early spring. The favorable soil temperature is around 50°F to 60°F.
Yet, the incubation time depends on temperature, potato kind, and location. I will give you the details below.
When To Plant Potatoes In Georgia?
February to mid-March is the best time to plant potatoes. The weather in Georgia now is mild. The temperature fluctuates from 45 to 60 degrees Fahrenheit.
The geographic location also affects incubation time. People on the Northern side can start planting in midwinter, while the Southern side should incubate potatoes in early April.
Different potato kinds need other times to get planted. Let’s explore the details in the next part of this article.
How Many Types Of Potatoes Are In Georgia?
There are 10 popular potato varieties in Georgia. They are:
- Russet Potatoes
- Yukon Gold Potatoes
- Red Potatoes
- Purple Potatoes
- Fingerling Potatoes
- Sweet Potatoes
- White Potatoes
- All-Blue Potatoes
- Yellow Finn Potatoes
- Kennebec Potatoes
Their names show their typical features, from shape and color to taste. They are also different in growing times, classifying them into three main groups.
Group 1 – Early harvest: The earliest time to harvest potatoes in Georgia is in late summer. This group includes Yukon Gold and Red Norland, which can grow well anytime.
Yet, it would be best to grow them as soon as possible.
Group 2 – Mid-harvest: Potatoes kinds in this group love high temperatures. They start in late April or early May and mature in the fall.
Two typical members of mid-harvest are Russet Burbank and Kennebec, which need 85 – 95 days to develop.
Group 3 – Winter harvests: This group has the same incubation time as Group 2. Yet, it matures in early winter. Cara Russet and All Blue belong to this group with 95 – 105 days of growing times.
How To Take Care Of Potatoes Properly?
Potatoes need proper care to get a bountiful harvest. Focusing on water, temperature, and soil are the top 3 vital things.
Potatoes are leafy plants. They love humid soil. Watering potatoes and maintaining moisture is important, especially after the flowers bloom.
Potatoes need 1 to 2 inches of water per week. Yet, these plants don’t need much water right after the plant. They need water when the plants start to form.
If the plants live in the garden, it requires less care. If growing in containers, the plants need extra care to keep them watered to achieve a good crop.
It is important to keep potato spuds in darkness to improve their flavor. Mounding soil and compost around the plant after every 6 to 8 inches of growth (15 – 20 cm).
Only the top leaves stick out of the ground.
You’d better avoid exposing the spuds to sunlight. They turn green and produce a toxic chemical called solanine. Solanine causes some symptoms of nausea, diarrhea, stomach cramps, etc.
Hilling should take place in the morning. Growing in a smaller raised bed may make it easier to top up with organic matter around the whole area.
Protecting From Frost
The young foliage is vulnerable and afraid of frost. Although the ice doesn’t kill the plants, it causes the leaf’s death. Potatoes spend more nutrients to recover or develop new burgeons. It leads to the slow-down of potato formation.
It is necessary to protect the potatoes from the beginning. Farmers also need to follow the forecast and prepare for cold weather protection. Save your potatoes with a few fleece, straw, or cloth layers.
A fun fact: The plants will generate potato berries in cool weather and water-sufficient conditions. These inedible potato berries look like tomatoes and cause different symptoms, like spuds.
When To Harvest Potatoes In Georgia?
It’s harvest time when the potato’s foliage turns yellow! The plants spend nutrients on their potatoes, so the leaves have to die away.
Yet, yellow leaves can be a symptom of frost damage or other diseases. If it happens after the flowering cycle, it is ready to get harvested. Otherwise, it isn’t.
The best way to determine whether your potato plants are ready is to count the day. Each variety of potato requires a different growing period.
- Russet, Yellow Finn, and Kennebec potatoes need 85-95 days.
- Yukon Gold and Purple need 90-110 days.
- Fingerling and Sweet potatoes prolong up to 120 days.
- Red potatoes only need 90 days at max.
Before harvesting, it would be best to skip watering the plants for a few days. The dry soil surface makes it easy to collect potatoes. A garden fork is necessary to fasten the collecting process.
After harvesting, it is vital to rinse potatoes and check for their status. If there are any damages, remove them.
If there is any green dot in the potato skin, it tells us to get rid of the potatoes immediately. It’s a symptom of toxins.
How To Store Potatoes?
Cooked potatoes don’t expire in 4 days in the cool refrigerator compartment. It keeps the nutrients for a month in the freezer.
Fresh potatoes can keep their good condition within a few months with proper storage.
Fresh potatoes love dark, cool, and humid places and hate direct sunlight. The favorable temperature to store potatoes is 38 to 40 degrees Fahrenheit.
A refrigerator helps maintain fresh potatoes. Leaving them in the fridge without wrappers may generate sonaline.
It’s not a good idea to use airtight containers to preserve potatoes. A dark bag with holes will work to keep the potato’s flavor.
Can You Plant Potatoes In Winter In Georgia?
Yes, you can plant potatoes in winter in Georgia. Georgia has mild winters. Some potato types in the North can develop well at cool temperatures.
This cool-season crop requires more care. Watering and protecting it during frost dates is vital. Offering some straw or fleece layers will work. If the plants are in pots, put them inside to keep warm.
What Are The Best Conditions For Potatoes To Grow?
Potatoes thrive in cool, well-drained soil with good drainage. The ideal temperature is between 50 and 60 degrees Fahrenheit.
They need at least six hours of sunlight daily. Yet, too much direct sunlight can cause the tubers to turn green and produce toxic solanine.
Thus, keeping the potato plants in partial shade or covering them with mulch is important.
The soil should have a pH between 5.0 and 6.0. Potatoes also love regular watering, especially during the growing season. Yet, overwatering can lead to tuber rotting.
Planting potatoes in well-draining soil free of rocks and debris is best. Rotating potato crops every few years will prevent the buildup of pests and diseases in the ground.
By providing these optimal growing conditions, you can ensure a bountiful harvest.
When to plant potatoes in Georgia? The ideal time is in early spring, around March or April. The soil temperature is around 50°F – 60°F.
The frost in winter or hot summer months can lead to poor growth and disease.
Choosing a location with good drainage and plenty of sunlight would be great. It’s important to provide regular watering and fertilization throughout the growing season.
After harvesting, potatoes should live in dark and cool places. It could be a refrigerator or a storage cellar.