Texas is a very large state with different USDA zones, the time to plant potatoes will vary slightly by region. Growing potatoes is very easy, but it is important to plant them at the right time. Learn all about when to plant potatoes in Texas.
As I mentioned earlier in Texas there are different USDA zones, the coldest being zone 6B. The remaining USDA growing zones in Texas are 7a, 7b, 8a, 8b, and 9a. It will not be the same time to plant potatoes in North Texas as in South Texas. Continue reading to find out when to plant potatoes in Texas.
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When to Plant Potatoes in Texas
When to Plant Potatoes in Texas? In South and Central Texas, the best time to plant potatoes is from February through mid-March. Generally, some gardeners plant their potatoes in Texas on February 14, Valentine’s Day. At the time of planting the potatoes, there must be no longer a risk of frost. Check the frost calendar with the local forecast.
On the other hand, in South Texas where the weather is slightly warmer, and the frost ends earlier than in North Texas, it is possible to start planting potatoes in January. Again, I recommend checking the frost calendar with the local forecast to get an approximate date of the last frost.
The most important thing to do when planting potatoes in Texas is to check when the last frost will occur in the region you are in. It is important to check with the local forecast because each year the dates vary a little bit.
Below is a table of average frost dates for the year 2024 in different cities in Texas:
|Last Spring Frost
|First Fall Frost
Above all, potatoes cannot withstand frost and require soil temperatures that are at a minimum of 50 °F (10 °C). In some areas of Texas, potatoes are also replanted in August and September to provide potatoes before winter.
Planting Potatoes in Texas
It is not only important to consider the frost date for planting potatoes in Texas. The soil must be nutrient-rich and well-drained. Irrigation of the potato is another important factor that can affect the development of the plant.
Potatoes thrive in a wide variety of soils; soils should be rich in nutrients and well-drained. Also, ideally, the soil should have a pH between 5 and 5.5. To know what is the pH of the soil I recommend you to read our article on how to measure soil pH.
For optimal growth, potatoes require soil that is loose and well-draining and is abundant in organic material. Adding compost or thoroughly decomposed manure to the soil can enhance its structure and fertility. To ensure healthy growth, it is advisable to loosen the soil to a depth of about 12” (30 cm). It is not recommended to plant potatoes in soil that is overly saturated with water or has standing water, as this can lead to the plant rotting.
Irrigation is very important for the development of potatoes; a lack of irrigation can cause small or deformed potatoes. Keep the soil always moist but never waterlogged as this could lead to the appearance of diseases such as root rot.
To maintain humidity you can use mulch, this will help the soil to retain humidity. Water very early in the morning or late in the afternoon to prevent the midday sun from quickly evaporating the water.
How Long Does It Take to Grow Potatoes in Texas
How Long Does It Take to Grow Potatoes in Texas? The time it takes to grow potatoes in Texas can vary depending on several factors, including the variety of potatoes being grown, weather conditions, soil fertility, and growing conditions.
On average, it takes about 100–120 days from planting to harvest for potatoes to mature. However, it is recommended to check the specific growing conditions for the variety of potatoes you are planting for a more accurate estimate of the growing time.
What Potatoes Grow Well in Texas
What Potatoes Grow Well in Texas? Several varieties of potatoes grow and develop very well in Texas soils. According to the University of Texas, these are some potato varieties:
- Yukon Gold
- Red Pontiac
- Irish Cobbler
- Kennebec White
Tips for Growing Potatoes in Texas
Here are some tips for planting potatoes in Texas:
- Choose a suitable variety: Select a potato variety that is well-suited to the growing conditions in Texas. Some popular varieties include Kennebec, Red La Soda, and Russet Burbank.
- Soil preparation: Prepare the soil by adding organic matter, such as compost or well-rotted manure, and work it into the soil to improve its structure and fertility. Potatoes grow best in loose, well-drained soils.
- Watering: Water the potato plants regularly to keep the soil moist but not waterlogged. Be careful not to over-water, as this can cause the plants to rot.
- Harvesting: Harvest potatoes when the foliage begins to yellow and die back. Carefully dig up the plants and allow the potatoes to dry in a cool, shady place for a few days before storing them.
By following these tips, you should be able to successfully grow potatoes in Texas.
Growing potatoes in Texas is very easy and in some regions of Texas, you can plant potatoes twice a year like in South Texas. I hope this article about when to plant potatoes in Texas clears up all your questions, and you have an excellent planting. I recommend our articles on when to prune crepe myrtles in Texas and when to prune roses in Texas.