Row by Row Episode 134: Growing Different Potato Varieties — Tips & Tricks

Guide to Categorizing Potato Varieties

When deciding on which potato varieties to grow there are a couple of different factors that can play into your decision. There are three different categories that are based on maturity dates — early-maturing, mid-maturing, and late-maturing. However, like most other crops the maturity date is just a suggestion because weather conditions can play into how fast they will mature. The early maturing varieties will on average mature around 85 days. While the mid-maturing varieties will be mature around 100 days and the late-maturing potato varieties will mature around 115 days.

Early Maturity Varieties:

Mid-Maturity Varieties:

Late-Maturity Varieties:

Potato Planting & Fertilization Schedule

When it comes to planting potatoes, every zone has a different planting time. The general rule for planting seed potatoes is to plant them two weeks before the last frost date. For us in South Georgia, zone 8b, our planting time is anywhere between late February to early March. Another factor that can affect when you plant potatoes is depending on how much rainfall you get in your garden. When it comes to fertilizing potatoes you need 5 lbs. of a balanced fertilizer (Nitrogen, Phosphorus, Potassium) per 1,000 square feet. Also, 0.5 lbs of balanced fertilizer per 30′ row assuming you have 3′ row spacing. We recommend using 10 lbs of Complete Organic Fertilizer per 30′ row and 2.5 lbs of 20-20-20 per 30′ row. You should apply potato fertilizer half prior to planting and apply the other half at first hilling. We recommend hilling potatoes because it will reduce weed suppression, better root development, and overall will have better success with planting potatoes.

Last Frost Dates:

  • Zone 10 – no freezes
  • Zone 9 – mid to late February
  • Zone 8 – early to mid-March
  • Zone 7 – mid to late March
  • Zone 6 – early to mid-April
  • Zone 5 – mid to late April
  • Zone 4 – early to mid-May

Show and Tell Segment

On the show and tell segment this week, Travis has some carrots that he harvested from the garden. Now it’s time for Greg to taste test the different varieties to see which variety has the best flavor profile. The four different varieties that they are taste testing are Purple Haze, Bolero, Envy, and Yellowstone. Ranking them based on their flavor profiles — Envy was 1st, 2nd was Yellowstone, Bolero was 3rd, and in 4th place was the Purple Elite. The guys also share some new varieties that have been added to the site this week. We’ve added four new hybrid sweet corn varieties that are all excellent for planting with our Hoss Garden Seeder. The Glacial Sweet Corn is a supersweet variety that produces bright white kernels and is considered one of the best tasting white corn varieties. The G90 Sweet Corn is a standard sugary (su) variety that is an old homestead staple to grow in the vegetable garden. While the Serendipity Sweet Corn is a triplesweet that is widely-adaptable and can grow well in many different zones. The last new sweet corn variety is Kandy Korn which is one of the first sugary-enhanced hybrids ever developed and is still known for being one of the best tasting sweet corn to date. We also have two new hybrid carrot varieties, Hercules and Olympus which are both great new varieties to try on the homestead this year.

Viewer Questions

For the Q & A segment this week, the guys answer some viewer questions such as how to fertilize carrots, adjusting the watering schedule based on weather climates, and advice about gardening. When fertilizing carrots we suggest using 20-20-20 and Micro Boost to make sure we have solid carrot tops and roots. The next question was wondering if we change our watering schedule when we have cool weather vs. warm weather. We do change our watering schedule based on the weather climates. With cooler weather, we haven’t had to water as much and have been experiencing a lot of rainfall lately. During the warm weather, when it is really dry and hardly any rainfall the guy’s water almost every other day in the vegetable garden.

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