Potatoes in north Texas?

yrdling(U:7B A:9 S:33)June 17, 2008

I'm in zone 8A, DFW area of north Texas. Is it too late to plant potatoes? Will potatoes even grow here? I have read somewhere that the tubers won't grow when soil temps are over 80 degrees, which is almost certainly the case here, although I have not measured it.

If I can grow potatoes in DFW area, will it work if I buy organic potatoes (Yukon, Red, Russet) from a store like Whole Foods? I wonder if they have been treated with chemicals to retard sprouting. Hopefully that's not allowed for organic produce.

Or should I really buy seed potatoes that are certified disease and pest free? And if so, can they be bought already sprouted?

I'd be growing these in a container (20 gallon tub), not in my SFG beds. But I won't even bother if it is true that potatoes won't grow in north Texas during the summer.

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sinfonian(U8b A2 S5 SeaWA)

Can't help you with the climate part, but you can try to buy seed potatoes, they're certified disease and chemical free. You'll get one out of two buying organic and they should work in a pinch, but you can't be certain of diseases.

If you do grow them, keep them well watered and use a well draining medium. They need moist but hate waterlogged.

Here is a link that might be useful: Sinfonian's garden adventure

    Bookmark   June 17, 2008 at 11:00PM
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yrdling(U:7B A:9 S:33)

sinfonian, thank you for your response.

This is off topic to the thread, but it's my thread, so what the heck...

I notice you list your zone as U:8B A:2 S:5. The U:8b is almost assuredly USDA hardiness zone 8b. What are the others?

    Bookmark   June 17, 2008 at 11:09PM
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lillians_daddy

I think you can still get some potatoes in. If nothing else, it's definitely not too late to get some sweet potatoes in the ground.
I've had luck in the last couple of years growing a variety of sweet potatoes here in Fort Worth, and I was at a pick-your-own farm in Arlington this past weekend and saw they were growing a variety of potatoes, purple skin, yukon, russet.

    Bookmark   June 18, 2008 at 8:59AM
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shebear(z8 NCentralTex)

According to the planting dates I find for North Texas, you can plant around September 1st. That gives you plenty of time to find seed potatoes.

It's late for the spring planting of regular potatoes but if you can find some sweet potato slips, I'd go for them.

    Bookmark   June 18, 2008 at 12:26PM
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sinfonian(U8b A2 S5 SeaWA)

Yrdling:
sinfonian, thank you for your response.
This is off topic to the thread, but it's my thread, so what the heck...

"I notice you list your zone as U:8B A:2 S:5. The U:8b is almost assuredly USDA hardiness zone 8b. What are the others?"

Hehe I put those in there so long ago I had to look them up myself. First off, you're right, U is USDA Hardiness zone 8b. I used to think this was how to determine climate. Unfortunately a great garden buddy of mine is also in 8b, but in Alabama, where her climate couldn't be any different than mine.

A better determination of how different our climates actually are, the American Horticultural Society Heat Map determines the number of days above 86 degrees. Seattle is a 2, or an average of 7 days and Coastal Alabama is closer to 100... BIG DIFFERENCE! You can find your zone here AHS Heat Map (PDF) or Heat zone Zip Code Finder

The third zone type is the Sunset Climate Zone, which measures total climate: length of growing season, timing and amount of rainfall, winter lows, summer highs, humidity. You can find your zone here... Sunset Clickable US Map

Together they can pinpoint specific climate differences and if you are trying to help someone out (like me) you know a lot about a person's growing potential. That's why I have them in my signature.

Here is a link that might be useful: Sinfonian's garden adventure!

    Bookmark   June 18, 2008 at 11:46PM
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yrdling(U:7B A:9 S:33)

Sweet potatoes sound interesting too. Hmmmm. And I could still plan for a fall planting of potatoes.

Where do I find planting dates for North Texas? That would be an invaluable resource.

    Bookmark   June 18, 2008 at 11:49PM
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shebear(z8 NCentralTex)

Planting dates info

Collin county master gardeners--http://www.ccmgatx.org/Plants/Vegetables.asp

Parker county--http://www.pcmg-texas.org/vegetable_cultivars_for_north_central_texas.pdf

Tarrant county--http://tarrant.tamu.edu/garden/vegdate.htm

You can probably find more for specific counties if you google the county name and planting dates.........ex. collin county planting dates

Texas has a pretty good extension service and most have web pages so even if you're out in the boonies, you can probably find local info. The master gardener program is associated with the extension service so if you want a little individual help, you should be able to find out about local master gardeners at the extension site. That is if they have them.

And don't forget about A&M.......aggie-horticulture site has links to lots of info. You just have to spend some time surfing to find all the back alleys and local hideouts.

    Bookmark   June 19, 2008 at 8:35AM
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yrdling(U:7B A:9 S:33)

shebear, thanks for the info. I'm in Denton county, and I found the Denton County agricultural extension service web site. Those other sites you listed work well for me too.

sinfonian, thanks for the links. My climate is much different from yours, even though not that much difference in terms of USDA Hardiness zone. I'm USDA hardiness zone 8a, AHS heat zone 9, and Sunset climate zone 33. U:8A A:9 S:33

    Bookmark   June 19, 2008 at 7:44PM
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sinfonian(U8b A2 S5 SeaWA)

Exactly, We're in one of the coldest years ever with no spring at all. My A2 and S5 are very very different from your 9 and 33, hehe.

    Bookmark   June 20, 2008 at 9:27PM
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Rick_e-conc_com

Potatoes grow great in dfw I live in Parker (city) I have planted mine around this time for several years. I dig a trench about 8 inches deep. The potatoes go in the bottom and then I just cover them with dirt about an inch or 2. When the plants stick up a couple inches cover them again. Keep doing this until you have a 8 in ch or so mound. The looser the soil the better. The plants will flower in April then the potatoes start forming. Once the plants start to die they are ready if the ground is dry I leave them in the ground and harvest over a couple weeks. Much better than store bought and no insect problems. Good luck!

    Bookmark   February 16, 2011 at 7:26PM
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