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Fall planting potatoes....zone 4?

 
                            
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Just curious... anyone try fall plantings of potatoes? Any suggestions for making things work?
I'm in Zone 4 in a snow hole about 3000 ft elevation. Normally celebrate Cinco de Mayo with patchy snow on the ground. I was just reading about fall plantings, wondering if anyone does it and how well it works?
 
                              
Posts: 19
Location: Alberta, Canada
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I think the potatoes would freeze and not be viable in the spring, but I am in zone three and am about to find out.  I planted potatoes earlier this year and more than half didn't even sprout, and no they weren't from a store or sprayed with anything, they were from my aunt's seed garden.  I have dug some of them up and they look just like the day I planted them.  So I am just going to leave them where they are and see if they come up next spring.
 
Brenda Groth
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Posts: 4434
Location: North Central Michigan
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go ahead and do it but wait until fall to put them in the ground..

i have lived in zone 4/5 my entire life and I always have volunteer potatoes that grow from those missed when we harvest in the fall..the got moved around but never pulled out of the ground..the strays with the harvest

i have also had potatoes grow from those thrown in the compost pile..generally..these are the best potatoes that you would ever get..seriously

so give it a try, it certainly can't hurt..and while you are at it throw out a lot of other seeds, like peas, lettuce and other greens, coles (those that are frost tolerant) , perennials and some herbs, frost tolerant types..

you should have a nice early garden..but remember to wait to do it really late in the fall..you  don't want things to start growing TOO early and just get killed off by the freezing and lose it all.

i have done a lot of reading on fall planting and it only makes sense.

also when you harvest..leave the stumps in the ground of a lot of your plants..i have cabbage ready to pick from last years stumps, and i ate swiss chard all summer from last years stumps..so you gotta plan ahead when you live in our cold areas and also remember..self seeding !!!
 
Suzie Browning
Posts: 48
Location: Southwestern Ohio
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I think the key to a strong crop next year would to make sure that the area drains well, as they might rot if your spring is really wet.  I'd mound the soil up, plant, and then cover with 6-12 inches of straw.  When things start to warm up, pull the straw back so the soil can warm up too.  Then as the potatoes sprout, start pulling the straw back around the plants. You won't have to dig them up with a nice thick layer of straw.

Brenda is spot on about waiting for the cooler weather.  You want to mimic a plants natural life cycle, which is dropping seed for the next season, as the days grow shorter and cooler.

 
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