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Vegetable Gardening: Are my Potatoes Done For?

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Forum: Vegetable GardeningReplies: 16, Views: 196
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idealpeggy
Lexington, KY
(Zone 6b)

March 21, 2013
10:08 AM

Post #9457011

I planted a BUNCH of potatoes on the earliest planting date for my zone last Saturday when it got up to 70. Tonight it's supposed to be 16. Am I going to have to replant everything? Does anyone know?

Solace

Solace
Monte Vista, CO
(Zone 4a)

March 21, 2013
11:04 AM

Post #9457051

This is what I would do. If today is warm, around 2 o'clock cover your bed with a bunch of straw and then old blankets. Take the cover off when the day warms up and cover it again at night as long as you need to. If potatoes come up, and get hit by frost, then trim off the leaves that are frost-bitten. They will come back.
idealpeggy
Lexington, KY
(Zone 6b)

March 21, 2013
11:39 AM

Post #9457082

Solace, alas, it is only 34 out now. None of them are up-they're all still underground. All I'm thinking is, you can't freeze potatoes with any luck, so I just wonder if they're ruined. But then again, maybe the freezing just affects the flavor/consistency of the
cooked ones-??
1lisac
Liberty Hill, TX
(Zone 8a)

March 21, 2013
12:01 PM

Post #9457103

If none of them are up I don't think you'll have a problem. But ill be interested to see what others say.
gardadore
Saylorsburg, PA
(Zone 6a)

March 21, 2013
12:54 PM

Post #9457152

Ditto what 1Lisac said. As long as they are still underground and the ground isn't frozen there should be no problem. Potatoes that I miss in harvesting come up the next year but they are below the frost line. If you are really concerned cover the soil with straw or whatever mulch you have available.
idealpeggy
Lexington, KY
(Zone 6b)

March 22, 2013
8:04 AM

Post #9458044

Wow, thanks, that's a relief. It took me almost all afternoon last Saturday to plant them. This stupid weather just kills me!!
nancynursez637
Madras, OR

March 24, 2013
10:46 PM

Post #9460845

Your taters will be fine, if they sprout before the last freeze, they will get frozen back but will resprout, happens to me all the time. I live in a mountainous zone 5, so late spring freezes can nip them back, but they recover beautifully
idealpeggy
Lexington, KY
(Zone 6b)

March 25, 2013
6:04 AM

Post #9460994

Oh THANK YOU, THANK YOU, THANK YOU!!!
grits74571
Talihina, OK

March 26, 2013
6:48 AM

Post #9462314

This year I am growing taters in a cut off barrel,they are planted on top of 4 inches of compost and covered with shredded leaves as they grow through the leaves I will add more leaves ,I think that will quit adding leaves when they are about 18" ..None have poked thru yet but I moved some leaves back and they are growing
idealpeggy
Lexington, KY
(Zone 6b)

March 27, 2013
6:37 AM

Post #9463647

Last year, when we really HAD a Spring-I planted all my potatoes, it got really warm, they all came up beautifully, and then it snowed!! You can't win around here! Anyway, all the leaves had black edges, and everyone kept saying-"what's wrong with those potatoes?" They were the best crop ever-tons of them & absolutely delicious. I'm thinking if THEY made it, when they were already up and it froze, these will be okay too. . .. I'll be anxiously awaiting that first green sprout, I know that!!
1lisac
Liberty Hill, TX
(Zone 8a)

March 27, 2013
3:19 PM

Post #9464196

Mine had green sprouts before I planted them. Lol
idealpeggy
Lexington, KY
(Zone 6b)

April 9, 2013
6:53 AM

Post #9477209

Oh no, oh no, it's been 3 wks. plus several days of warmth and still no sprouts :(
Some guy here at work said his potatoes haven't come up either and he's had them in the ground for 2 wks. We had a lot of sub-zero weather the last few weeks.
Any thoughts on how long I should wait before declaring this a "crop failure" and replanting?
Farmerdill
Augusta, GA
(Zone 8a)


April 9, 2013
7:50 AM

Post #9477316

Relax. Potatoes are very frost sensitive and while they will die back to the ground will usually regrow. However you really don't want them to emerge before your last average frost date. If you are concerned dig one up to determine if the seed tuber has rotted. Happens sometime in cold wet soil. Most of the time potatoes are smarter then we are and know when to emerge. Volunteers often do better then the ones we fuss over. Mine planted in February have not emerged yet. Nor have I seen a volunteer emerge.
idealpeggy
Lexington, KY
(Zone 6b)

April 9, 2013
8:35 AM

Post #9477398

Thank you :) That's a good idea about digging one up. . .I wondered about doing that. It's been so miserable here-cold and wet-until the last few days. I wouldn't have emerged either if I could have gotten by with it!
idealpeggy
Lexington, KY
(Zone 6b)

April 12, 2013
6:03 AM

Post #9481071

Update-Farmerdill-you were right! I dug down w/my hand and gently lifted one a little ways up-nice green sprout!! Yesterday, 3 sprouts had emerged! Spring has sprung!
happygirl345
Pleasant Hill, CA
(Zone 9b)

May 8, 2013
6:43 AM

Post #9513056

I live in the SF bay area and got a little cocky last fall. I planted a bunch of Russian Bananas just to see what would happen. They came up beautifully. When they were about 6" tall we had a "freeze" (if you could call it that!). They all froze to the ground, died and stayed gone all winter. March 3rd, I was walking around the garden inspecting and making my list, and what should I see? My Russian Bananas were about 4" tall. They are not about a foot tall - doing great. Lesson: they make it through a freeze so long as the soil doesn't freeze.
idealpeggy
Lexington, KY
(Zone 6b)

May 15, 2013
7:27 AM

Post #9521320

We have had really crappy weather this Spring (cold & wet), but thankfully that's apparently what potatoes love! Mine are so big that I've already hilled them once, and I'm getting ready to do it again. I even have potatoes coming up in the compost pile. Once they got going, they really took off! Glad your's came back happygirl!
On the flip-side I have tomatoes that are almost 3' tall still waiting to go in the ground. We actually had a freeze Mother's Day night-first ever. What a challenging gardening year!

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