when to plant potatoes?

kawaiineko_gardener(5a)October 2, 2012

I have never grown potatoes and I don't know when to plant them. All the gardening catalogs say in regards to planting dates is 'plant in early spring', however they don't give any specifics in regards to the months/dates to plant them.

What is considered early spring for my zone? I live in northern MI in the upper part of the lower peninsula. The main growing season starts at the end of May (May 28th).

Unfortunately seed potato doesn't keep well, so I can't just store them like a seed pkt and hold off planting until the weather gets better.

The varieties are early to mid maturing and are Yukon Gold, Russet, Red, and Blue.

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jomuir(z5 detroit)

according to thegardenhelper.com, the best time to plant potatoes is when your soil has warmed to 45 degrees. You can lay black plastic on the soil & warm it a week or two early, but would need to protect the seedlings if they've come up. The thing to really watch for is too much moisture, esp. while it's still cool weather.

At this website on the right side, you can select Gaylord (or there may be a town listed that's closer to you, I just picked a northeastern Mich city) & click to see the current weather conditions, they include soil temp. Maybe could check it next spring. No-frills website packed with info.


If you're trying to decide when to request shipping of your seed potatoes, I'd consider mid-May. This website says they're a warm weather crop, so plant when you can put annuals out.


This website breaks them down by variety & best time to plant, they also have a cool grow in a box/bag thingy that interests me (tho I've had awful luck with tomatoes in huge pots so I shy away from container veggies).


Or just drive through Posen, the Potato Capitol of Michigan & when you see the tractors running you'll know it's time!

Good luck! I grew potatoes years ago in my tiny garden & they were great. If I had space, I'd grow them again. And please post next year with your harvest & when you ended up planting. I pray we don't have another crazy spring next year, the loss of apples, cherries etc has been tough on growers & consumers. I love apples & can't believe I'm paying the same price for apples as I do for meat. Some meat's cheaper then fruit nowadays.

Here is a link that might be useful: potato growing tips

    Bookmark   October 4, 2012 at 9:29AM
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I am in the middle of Minn. and planting from April first to May first works fine depending on the year.

You can plant later as long as they are in the ground before it heats up too badly.

    Bookmark   October 6, 2012 at 10:59PM
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After reading an article in an old Organic Gardening magazine, I planted potatoes this fall for spring. The article said you could plant potatoes and let them overwinter in the ground. So, about 30 ft. of potatoes are planted in the ground, to be covered with more compost and leaves as they grow out of the ground in the spring. Will let you know if it works out.

Nes zone 6a

    Bookmark   December 24, 2012 at 9:36AM
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Luckynes Where did you find that article? I have been looking for it.

    Bookmark   December 31, 2012 at 11:03AM
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I still have the old magazine around here. I will find it and let you know.

    Bookmark   December 31, 2012 at 1:22PM
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Found it in Organic Gardening 1980 November, Called Fall Planted Potatoes and Garlic by Lewe Greene of Brooklyn, New York.

I didn't have garlic, so I just planted the potatoes.

    Bookmark   December 31, 2012 at 1:28PM
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Thanks luckynes13. I remember reading that article years ago.

    Bookmark   January 6, 2013 at 8:35PM
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Well I have approx 3 lbs of seed potatos to plant in the spring, very excited as these are my potatos from my garden last fall. wish me luck.

    Bookmark   January 6, 2013 at 9:25PM
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I collect old Organic Gardening magazines. You can get them for $0.25 at thrift stores. So much information for so little.

    Bookmark   January 7, 2013 at 7:57AM
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samhain10(5a - MI)

Here in my Zone 5 garden, I always get volunteer potatoes springing up from tubers I missed digging in the fall. This is especially true of the Russian Banana fingerlings, which seem to have little problems with anything, including scab. Tasty little potatoes, too - buttery and good for sauteeing and stir-fry. Some of the other varieties will volunteer, also - the larger russets and reds, but they typically have trouble with scab unless they're rotated. I also plant in late April or early May, but keep blankets or rowcovers and straw close by to cover the emerging plants if frost is predicted.

    Bookmark   February 20, 2013 at 9:21AM
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