Potatoes are relatively easy crops that you can grow and harvest twice a year in most regions of Texas.
Although there are wide Potato varieties available, not all perform well in the gardens of Texas.
So, read on to find out which Potatoes grow better in Texas with ideal growing do’s and don’t.
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Do Potatoes Grow Well in Texas?
Potatoes need temperatures between 70°F and 80°F during the daytime and above 50°F at night for optimal growth.
In many regions of Texas, the climate is suitable for growing Potatoes, including East, North and Central Texas.
Regardless of the place, Potatoes should only be planted when the average soil temperature is above 50°F.
You should aim to plant the Potato seeds by mid-February to early March to give them enough time to establish.
In Texas, the soil is mainly clay, loamy, sandy soil and limestone, which is suitable for growing Potatoes.
So, Potatoes can be grown throughout the year in Texas with proper care amendments and greenhouses with clear roofs.
That said, some Potato varieties perform exceptionally well and thrive throughout the year in Texas’s climates.
|1. Russet Norkotah
2. Norgold M
3. Century Russet
|Yellow Flesh Variety
|1. Yukon Gold
|1. Red LaSoda
How to Grow Potatoes in Texas?
Before hopping onto the steps to grow Potatoes in Texas, you must do the quality check of seeds.
Remember, the Potatoes you get from the supermarket are sprayed with growth inhibitors and can not be used to grow.
Besides, here are a few things you should remember before buying Potato seeds.
- Seeds should be free of chemicals and diseases.
- Aim for medium-sized or the size of chicken egg seeds.
- Seeds should have at least three eyes per Potato.
- Look for certified, reputable retailers to buy Potato seeds.
To quicken the harvest, aim to buy certified Potato seeds a few weeks before sowing time and allow the seeds to sprout.
Now without any further ado, let us begin a detailed stepwise guide to growing Potatoes in Texas.
Step 1: Preparing Seed Potatoes
If your seed Potatoes have no eyes, you can pre-sprout by laying them in single layers at a sunny warm spot without touching each other.
Once the seeds have at least three eyes, you can cut them into smaller pieces and allow them to form callous.
After cutting off the Potatoes, use powdered dusting sulfur to dust the pieces and allow them to dry for about 2 to 5 days.
Potatoes sown directly after slicing without allowing callous formation are more prone to develop rot.
Thus, let the cutting rest in a warm area to prevent any potential disease growth.
Meanwhile, smaller Potatoes may not have enough energy to facilitate new life. So, ensure that each cutting is more than two ounces.
Furthermore, do not damage the sprout; use sterilized pruners to slice the seed Potatoes.
Step 2: Planting Potatoes
Potatoes can be grown in raised garden beds, in the ground or in containers. So depending on where you plan to grow, soil preparation methods vary.
The majority of the gardeners in Texas use raised garden beds to grow Potatoes for better drainage.
Alternatively, another popular method is to plant the seeds in a furrow and mound the soil with progressive plant growth.
Planting in Ground or Raised Bed
Before sowing the seeds, add sterilized, high-quality compost to the soil alongside pine bark or composted leaves.
- Plow a 6-8 inches wide and deep furrow using a shovel and level the soil using a rake.
- Place the seed Potatoes cut side down (eyes up) 3-4 inches deep with at least a foot apart.
Note: Planting Potatoes crowded results in low yield with much smaller Potatoes. Therefore, at least 12 inches of spacing is ideal for efficient yield.
- Within 3-4 weeks, new growth from the soil should be visible with new leaves.
- With progressive plant growth, mound the soil around the new plant base and keep mounding until the mounds are a foot tall.
Potato roots are sensitive to cold temperatures, so to keep the soil warm even during nighttime, incorporate organic mulches on top of the mound.
Planting in Container
If you do not have enough space in your garden, you can grow Potatoes in a container or grow bags.
- Prepare loose, airy, well-draining soil or buy soilmix from reputable stores and fill it for about 6 inches of the sterilized container.
- Add low-nitrogen, high-phosphoric fertilizer or organic compost into the soil.
- Sow the seeds with the cut side facing down and gently cover them with 2-3 inches of soilmix.
- Avoid crowding the Potatoes and plant only four seeds per 20-inch wide container.
- Place the container in a sunny spot where they will get at least 6 to 8 hours of daily sunlight.
- Thoroughly water the soilmix and keep it moist but not soggy.
- Once the Potatoes grow over six inches tall, hill them by adding prepared soilmix around the plant base.
Note: Ensure to cover one-third of the plant using the soilmix without hurting the delicate stem. Repeat the process a couple of times.
Alternatively, to grow Potatoes in growing bags, follow the steps below.
- Fill a bag with multipurpose compost and plant the potato seeds at a depth of 5 inches.
- Keep it in a humid place where it gets proper sunlight.
- Regularly water every 2-3 days to keep the soil moist but not soggy.
- Add an adequate amount of compost once a week.
- Harvest the bag-grown potatoes in about 110 days.
Step 3: Harvesting Potatoes
The Potatoes that are ready to harvest exhibit telltale signs saying they are ready to harvest.
So, wait for the top vines to dry out and routinely dig up a test hill to test how mature the Potatoes have become.
On the other hand, mature Potatoes have thick skin that will not come off with rubbing, and such Potatoes are ready to harvest.
Mostly, Potatoes are ready for harvest after ten weeks or 2.5 months, but this can differ according to the climate.
To harvest the Potatoes, carefully dig them out without scraping, bruising or cutting using a shovel and spade.
Step 4: Storing Harvested Potatoes
The dug-out Potatoes can turn green if left too long in the sun and turn bitter. So, completely cut off light to prevent green pigmentation.
Also, aim for a humidity of 90% to prolong the lifespan of the stored Potatoes.
After curing the harvested Potatoes, you can store them in a cool, dark place for future use, away from direct sunlight.
Moreover, avoid washing the Potatoes if you will not use them right away and dust off the soil from the Potatoes.
Lastly, avoid eating Potatoes that have gone green, as it can cause an upset stomach and other health issues.
Can I Save My Seed From My Potato Crop?
According to the world’s top potato experts, you can grow the seed you harvested for the next year.
However, the seeds might not grow properly and fail to harvest well.
Thus, buy Potato seeds from reputed stores with high customer satisfaction reviews.
But again, refrain from using grocery Potatoes to grow as they are less likely to sprout.
Tips to Care for Potatoes in Texas
For ideal growth of the Potatoes in Texas, first and foremost, aim for ideal sunlight and watering followed by other basic care.
|Bright sunlight for at least six to eight hours
|65-80°F during the day
55-65°F during the night
|6.0 to 7.8
|Well-draining, sandy loamy soil
|Fertilizer Ratio (N-P-K)
(Use 120 lbs Nitrogen per acre)
|1-2 inches of water per week (Either from rainfall or self irrigation)
|100 to 120 Days
From Editorial Team
Beloved Global Staple With Easy Care!
Also known as Pommes de Terre, a ground apple, Potatoes are loved worldwide for easy growth and flavor.
Plant them in a sunny spot with moist soil and protect them from cold temperatures. Also, aid them with subtle fertilization to make them more delicious.
All The Best!