Potatoes are easy to cook with. Whether you use them as a main ingredient or a side addition to your recipe, these spuds taste wonderful in casseroles, pies, and salads, so there’s no shortage of dishes to put them in.
If you want to know when to plant potatoes in zone 8, the ideal gardening time is around April 15 in spring and August or September for zone 8 fall planting. Read below for more details.
O = plant outdoors
I = plant indoors
When to Grow Potatoes in Zone 8
There are two seasons for growing potatoes in zone 8: spring and fall. Of these periods, spring is the better option, as the hot summer in zone 8 doesn’t bode well for cool-season crops like potatoes.
In Jackson, Florida or zone 8b, for example, August temperatures may reach a height of 33℃ or 91.4℉, way beyond the limits of what potatoes can tolerate. Still, it’s not impossible to plant our tubers here, since the heat may very well measure under 75 degrees, enough to facilitate crop development.
With that said, it’s up to you to decide the best time to plant potatoes.01 If you pick spring, you can seed them indoors four to eight weeks before the last frost. This time frame allows for an earlier harvest, though it’s not necessary to start your crops that early.
The reason is: compared to cooler areas in the US, zone 8 has a longer growing season, so potatoes here don’t really need a head start to mature before frost arrives.
As a result, you can seed potatoes outside two weeks after the last frost. For indoor seedlings, this would also be their transplant time.
So, given zone 8’s average final frost of April 1, we can start seeds indoors on February 4 to March 4 and grow them outside on April 15.02 As for planting potatoes in the fall, give them enough time to finish growing before the first frost.
If we use an average fall frost of December 1 and 100 days as the maturation period for our crops, zone 8 planting should occur in August, by August 23 at the latest.
Fortunately, some varieties will need less time to get ready for harvest. Irish Cobbler potatoes only require 80 days, for instance. If you grow these, seeding may happen as late as September 12.
Best Potatoes to Grow in Zone 8
Before we get into the varieties for zone 8, you should know that there are three types of potatoes: starchy, waxy, and all-purpose.
Starchy types have a crumbly texture and a thicker skin. Meanwhile, waxy types are firmer and suit recipes where you want your veggies to retain their shapes.
In the middle of these two types, we have all-purpose potatoes. Unlike the other two, which have either little starch or little moisture, all-purpose varieties offer moderate amounts of both.
So, consider what you want for your cooking and select your potato from the list below:
- Starchy – Katahdin
- Waxy – Red Pontiac, Caribe
- All-purpose – Irish Cobbler, Yukon Gold, Cranberry Red, Norchip, Kennebec
Can I plant potatoes in May in zone 8?
Yes. You can grow potatoes in May. If you pick this month, you’ll likely get a fall harvest. Just make sure to look up the last frost date where you live and seed potatoes after it.
For instance, Medford, Oregon in zone 8a and 8b will experience its final freeze around April 28 or May 19, so a May planting here makes sense.
Aside from May, growing tubers in June is also possible, and the same applies to gardening in July. Just pick a variety that matures before the first frost and give it a minimum temperature of 45 to 55℉, with the optimal range being 61 to 66 degrees.
At what temperature do potatoes stop growing?
Potatoes will cease growing at 85 degrees Fahrenheit or more. On the lower end of the temperature range, seedlings won’t develop if their surrounding measures under 44.6℉ or 7℃.
How to grow potatoes in a greenhouse?
If you want to grow potatoes year round, having a greenhouse offers great help, since it gives plants protection against adverse weather. Here are some basic tips for cultivating spuds in a glasshouse:
- Prepare two-gallon bags and seed potatoes (as many as you want). You can go for rubble or Hessian sacks. Then, cut the potatoes into small pieces, but ensure each one has an eye left; put them into egg cartons next to a window.
- You may wait for green shoots to appear from each eye, but it is unnecessary. As soon as the cut potatoes are dry, they are ready for planting.
- At this point, fill the prepared bags with compost – around three inches of it should suffice. Then, place one seed tuber into each bag and cover it with more compost until only an inch of the container is empty.
- Give the potatoes an inch of water per week, maybe two if the planting medium is very dry. Check the top one inch of the compost to be sure.
- Last but not least, give your crops six hours of sunshine every day.
When to plant potatoes in zone 8? We hope this article gave you the answer. With disease-free seed potatoes, you can produce tubers vastly superior to what’s available in supermarkets.
So, mark your calendar now and prepare to garden next spring. Should you have any questions on this topic, we’ll be happy to help.
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