All About Growing Potatoes: Early, Midseason and Late Varieties

Choosing to grow delicious potatoes of unique varieties in spring can lead to great nutritious eating right from your backyard. Find out about growing potatoes: early, midseason and late varieties can be grown in spring and lead to great nutritious eating right from your backyard.


| December 2008/January 2009



Potatoes can be a great addition to any meal. An excellent source of vitamin C and iron, they provide great health benefits too.

Potatoes can be a great addition to any meal. An excellent source of vitamin C and iron, they provide great health benefits too.


Illustration by Keith Ward

Growing potatoes: early, midseason and late varieties. Native to the mountains of South America, potatoes should be planted first thing in spring, when the soil is still cool. Gardeners can tap into a deliciously diverse selection of varieties, and it’s easy to save and replant your favorite varieties from one year to the next.

(For details on growing many other vegetables and fruits, visit our Crop at a Glance collection page.)


Growing Potatoes: Early, Midseason and Late Varieties

Potatoes vary in size, shape, color, texture and time to maturity. Maturation time is the most important variable, because potato tubers grow best when soil temperatures range between 60 and 70 degrees Fahrenheit. Try to get your crop harvested before hot summer temperatures arrive.

Types of Potatoes to Try Planting

Early varieties that mature in less than 90 days are good fits for any garden. Creamy, round ‘Irish Cobbler,’ purple-skinned ‘Caribe,’ and prolific ‘Red Norland’ fall into this group, along with ‘King Harry,’ which is resistant to Colorado potato beetles.

Midseason varieties mature in 100 days or so, and include ‘Yukon Gold’ and ‘Red LaSoda,’ which is often the top-producing potato in warm climates.

Late varieties need 110 days or more of growing time, but they typically produce a heavy set of tubers that keep well in storage. ‘Butte’ is an all-purpose brown-skinned potato that performs well when grown in the Midwest; ‘Katahdin’ and ‘Kennebec’ rule in the Northeast.

sheila _2
3/14/2009 12:14:12 PM

a good bug repellent for potato beetles is to sprinkle the leaves with wood ash. Just be sure to re-apply after rain or a good watering. It doesn't kill them, they just don't like it and move on.


ken_5
3/13/2009 8:26:35 PM

Just be careful what you plant with or near your potatoes. I like to plant taller plants to shade out the texas sun. I planted sunflower seeds to help shade my plants. I later found out this doesn't work. I had great sunflowers but no potatoes. I'm told the bed will not be good for planting as sunflowers release a toxin into the soil that takes a couple years to break down. Hopefully my melons will do we this year there. Ken


claire_12
3/1/2009 7:13:28 PM

doccat, "there's no mention of growing these yummy tuber ON the ground." Can you be specific about this, I'm not familiar with the process or the article you refer to. thanks.


doccat5
12/11/2008 9:54:39 AM

Excellent article, but there's no mention of growing these yummy tuber ON the ground. Same guidelines, just much easier on one's back. And that idea came from Mother's over 20 years ago. We've been doing it that way for years with good production.






dairy goat

MOTHER EARTH NEWS FAIR

Aug. 5-6, 2017
Albany, Ore.

Discover a dazzling array of workshops and lectures designed to get you further down the path to independence and self-reliance.

LEARN MORE