If you live in Arkansas and are thinking about planting potatoes in your garden, you’ll want to make sure you do it at the right time and then have a great harvest. Planting potatoes in Arkansas can be a great way to add a delicious and nutritious crop to your table. Continue reading to find out when to plant potatoes in Arkansas.
When to Plant Potatoes in Arkansas
Potatoes are a cool weather crop and, in Arkansas, are best planted in late winter or early spring. In Arkansas, the majority of gardeners typically plant their crops in March, although the recommended period for planting is from the end of February to the beginning of April.
If you plant the plants too early, the cold could damage the potato plants. On the other hand, if you wait too long and the weather starts to get too hot, the potatoes will not develop properly.
Below is a table of average frost dates for the year 2023 in different cities in Arkansas. This way you will know the right time to plant potatoes in Arkansas and have a successful harvest.
|City||Last Spring Frost||First Fall Frost||Growing Season|
|Little Rock||28-Mar||4-Nov||220 days|
|Fort Smith||3-Apr||1-Nov||211 days|
Please note that the dates provided are estimates and may vary slightly depending on weather conditions. I recommend checking with the local weather service. Frosts are sometimes delayed or advanced.
When planting potatoes in Arkansas, the most important thing is to make sure that the soil temperature is 50 °F (10 °C). Potatoes do not tolerate frost very well. If you want to start growing potatoes earlier, you can start them in a sheltered place in potato planting bags. Learn more about how to plant potatoes in bags.
- These grow bags are made of sturdy material, allow roots to breathe and grow healthier, and make plants have really thick stems and healthy roots. You can also observe the growth of roots and seeds from the flap.
- Ventilated holes on the bottom and side improve aeration, provide better drainage and air flow. But importantly air prunes the roots and helps branch root system out.
- The size is large enough to create a stable growing environment for veggies and flower. The strong handles make them easy to move around as your needs.
Planting Potatoes in Arkansas
In Arkansas, it is not only important to consider the temperature when planting potatoes, but also the type of soil and how you water the potatoes to ensure proper growth. The following information will provide details on the best soil for potatoes, how to properly water them, and additional tips for optimal potato development.
According to a report from the University of Arkansas, potatoes grow in a wide variety of soils. For example, Irish potatoes grow at a pH of between 5 and 6.5. Most potatoes need the same pH, so check the variety of potatoes you are planting.
You can measure the pH with a digital tester that can also be used to measure soil moisture. I recommend our article on how to measure soil pH. These types of testers are very inexpensive and are used to measure the moisture and pH of all plants.
Potatoes do very well in well-drained soils rich in organic matter. You should add compost or other organic matter to the soil to help it retain moisture and provide the nutrients potatoes need for growth.
When watering potatoes, it is important to provide adequate watering without overwatering. Potatoes need well-drained soil.
Water potatoes in the early morning or late afternoon to prevent the hot sun from evaporating the water before the plants can absorb it.
Always apply water directly to the soil rather than spraying the plant. Water on the leaves of the plant could encourage fungus growth.
Always avoid shallow or intermittent watering, as this can make potatoes less productive and more prone to disease.
Check the soil moisture before watering by using a moisture test stick or by simply poking the soil with your finger. If the soil is moist to a depth of a few inches, watering is not necessary.
Use a layer of mulch around the potato plants to help retain moisture and prevent evaporation. Mulch also helps prevent weeds from growing.
Tips for Growing Potatoes in Arkansas
Here are some tips for growing potatoes in Arkansas:
- Water the potato plants regularly but without waterlogging. Check soil moisture before watering.
- Make sure the soil is rich in organic matter and has good drainage. This way the potatoes will develop better and will be less prone to pests and diseases.
- Choose a sunny place to plant the potatoes. Potato plants need the sun to grow properly.
When to Plant Fall Potatoes in Arkansas
Fall potato varieties should be planted between July 15 and August 1 in Arkansas for fall production. Fall potatoes are ideal for winter storage. Some fall potatoes you can plant in Arkansas are as follows:
- All Blue
- Canela Russet
- Fingerling Salad
- Purple Peruvian
- Russet Burbanks
- Russet Norkotah
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Planting potatoes in Arkansas is very easy and if you have the right soil for growing potatoes, you can get a very abundant harvest. Remember to select the right potato to plant, some potato varieties are ideal for fall and some are not.
I hope this article about when to plant potatoes in Arkansas will be helpful and that you will have a bountiful harvest. If you want to know more about potato harvesting I recommend our article about when are potatoes ready to harvest.