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When to Plant Potatoes in Michigan? [Timing + Process]

Michigan falls in USDA zones 4-6, experiencing fiery summers and freezing winters but still enduring to plant vegetables like Potatoes and Tomatoes.

Generally, it’s best to plant Potatoes from March to April after the last frost if you belong to Michigan. You can plant early-season varieties in early spring, Mid and late-season varieties in early May to harvest before early winter.

Most Michigan regions come under USDA Zone 5, but the state has three hardiness zones: 4, 5, and 6, with different planting times.

So, if you are from Michigan, this article will be the valuable guide to provide you with the best planting time for different zones and harvest Potatoes from summer to early winter.

What Potatoes Grow Best In Michigan?

Potatoes grow in over 40 counties in Michigan as the dominating vegetable crop.

Russet, Round White, Yellow Flesh, and Red Potatoes are common Potatoes that grow best in Michigan.

Different types of potatoes
You can grow different varieties of Potatoes at different months in Michigan due to differences in climate.

Among those types, the preferred varieties are Russet Norkotah, Gold Rush, Ontario, Chieftan, Yukon Gold, etc.

Nowadays, Yukon Gold is gaining high popularity due to its excellent taste and quick harvest within 100 days of planting.

When To Plant Potatoes In Michigan?

Timing varies due to the favorable climate of northern Michigan that lets you harvest Potatoes till early winter.

Usually, the best month to plant Potatoes in Michigan is from March to April, but it’s better to plant them in late April to early May in Northern Michigan.

However, focusing on the varieties, You must plant early-season varieties like Yukon Gold as soon as the last frost passes to harvest them in summer.

Moreover, plant the mid-season varieties like Russet Burbank and late-season varieties like Cara Russet in early May. 

By doing this, you can harvest mid-season varieties in the fall and late-season varieties in early winter before the first frost.

To harvest Potatoes in the early winter, you must belong to a warmer zone, i.e., zone 6a and 6b, where you can sow the Potato seeds in September.

For the colder zones, you must wait until the soil is workable, as your Potato will eventually die below 50°F. 

So, if you plant your Potatoes too late, you may get either very small or no Potatoes. So, plant them according to your zones and varieties.

ZonesPlanting Dates
Zone 4Around April 30
Zone 5Around April 15
Zone 6Around April 7

How to Plant Potatoes In Michigan?

Commonly, the soil must be well-draining and warm to plant Potatoes. But if the soil becomes too hot during summer, amend it with organic compost to lower the temperature.

Moreover, place your seed Potatoes in a dry place to make them sprout. Only plant after they develop small shoots.

  • Select the spot with 7-8 hours of sunlight and make 4 inches deep trench and rows 3 feet apart from each other.
  • Plant the seed Potatoes in the trench with the eye upward with 12 inches distance between tubers.
  • If you are growing Potatoes in the container, fill 1/3 of it with well-draining soil and bury the Potatoes leaving 6 inches distance between each tuber.
  • Ensure to amend the soil with a balanced fertilizer or organic manure.
  • Cover the seeds with 4-inch soil and keep the soil moist. Ensure not to plant too deep.
  • For container-growing Potatoes, cover the seed Potatoes with 1-inch soil for cold climates and 4-5 inches for warmer zones.
  • Place the container in 7-8 hours of sunlight and water whenever the top 1 inch of the soil becomes dry.

After planting, you may be able to harvest Potatoes in 90-110 days, depending upon the variety.

From Editorial Team

Know The First and Last Frost Dates in different Cities in Michigan!

Although frost dates can happen anytime, the average first frost date in Warren and Sterling Heights is 23rd May.

Meanwhile, Grand Rapids, Ann Arbour, and Detroit had their first frost on October 10th, 11th and 23rd, respectively.

Moreover, the last frost occurred on April 23rd in Detroit, Warren, and Sterling Heights. But it occurred on the 3rd and 4th of May in Grand Rapids and Ann Arbour, respectively.