When To Plant Potatoes In Idaho

If you are not familiar with when to plant potatoes in Idaho, it starts early in April until the middle of May. After all, this is the leading potato producing state, and it makes sense for a lot of people to get interested in potato farming. Knowing when is the best time to plant in Idaho is the first step before getting involved with Idaho potatoes.  

Many states grow potatoes, but there’s no doubt that Idaho comes to mind when you think of these tubers. The best location is Idaho if you are genuinely interested in becoming a potato farmer. In fact, Idaho potatoes became the embodiment of high-quality russet potatoes. 

When To Plant Potatoes In Idaho

What Is The Best Time To Plant Potatoes? 

The best time to plant potatoes is to start in early April until the middle of May. The majority of the planting in Idaho will also be in the last two weeks of April to the first two weeks of May. Depending on the potato varieties and areas in Idaho, one can start and harvest earlier, or plant lesser crops. 

For example, one can plant in bulk if the farm is in a cold region. On the contrary, you can start planting earlier if you are from a warmer location. And then, Idaho usually harvests in the last two weeks of September until the first two weeks of the following month.  

While Idaho offers the best conditions for potatoes, you can also consider growing the crops in a greenhouse. This way, you can harvest year-round without worrying about the varieties, or damage from frost. Refer to Krostrade.com to know more about the advantages of greenhouse farming. 

 

When to plant potatoes in Idaho

In Idaho, you can plant potatoes in April until May. The reason is that the tubers would grow well during cold weather. For northern locations, they start early to mid-April before the last frost date. 

Remember that while potatoes thrive in cold conditions, frost can be damaging to the crops. Therefore, remember to plant up to 8 weeks earlier than the average last frost date. You may even start planting earlier as soon as the soil is workable. 

Ideally, the soil should be at 50°F and not overly wet. This will dictate you that you can start planting potatoes without the risk of rot. However, it’s a common practice in southern locations to grow tomatoes from September to February.

Potatoes can be a winter crop in these regions because their winters are mild. Still, offer some frost protection in your garden using a greenhouse. Always be on the lookout for a late-season freeze. 

 

How Do You Grow Potatoes In Idaho?

Growing potatoes in Idaho is straightforward as you would with russet potatoes. It includes planning the date, soil preparation, planting, caring, and harvesting. The University of Idaho Extension is generous in sharing different publications and resources to study potato farming. 

However, it is worth emphasizing that there are laws governing potato cultivation. Everyone must abide by these rules and requirements to prevent agricultural diseases. Therefore, only use certified potato seed tubers at garden centers in Idaho

 

Step 1: Planning the date

Knowing the last frost date in your area will let you know when you can start planting potatoes. Mark your calendar and aim to start eight weeks before the frost date. If the soil is ready, you can even begin planting 21 days before the frost. 

 

Step 2: Soil preparation

The next step is to cultivate the area and prepare rows that are 3 feet apart. This will also help you loosen the soil and ensure proper drainage. Afterward, mix in fertilizer, water, and add organic mulch. 

 

Step 3: Planting

Use certified seed potatoes from Idaho. Cut them into pieces with at least an eye each. Before planting, store the pieces in a dark, humid place for up to 3 days to dry out. 

For the planting itself, drop a seed tuber in a shallow hole. It should be at least 3 inches deep, making sure the sprouts are pointing up. The spacing for each tuber is at 12 inches, and add a mound of dirt on top.

 

Step 4: Caring

As the potatoes grow gangbusters in four weeks, add more dirt on the mound to encourage growth. Around 3 inches of soil is good, and you can also add a layer of organic mulch to manage weeds. When you notice that your plants are about 6 inches tall, mound more soil at 4 inches to prevent the potatoes from emerging. 

You can water your crops once or twice a week to prevent the soil from drying. However, light watering is enough as the root systems are fragile. Be on the lookout for pests and diseases as well. 

 

Step 5: Harvesting

You can start harvesting once the plants have died and turned brown. Pull the potatoes by hand, but you can make it easier by wetting the soil first. Each plant can yield up to 5 pounds of potatoes. 

 

How Long Does It Take For Idaho Potatoes To Grow?

Idaho potatoes take up to 110 to 120 days to grow, but this still depends on which variety you planted. Overall, the size of the potatoes that you aim to produce will dictate your harvest time. At the same time, the longer these tubers grow, the higher the yield that you will also get.

How does one know the size of the potatoes that they will get? You can dig up a plant and look at the tubers underneath. If you are happy with the size of the potatoes, then you can start harvesting. 

If you want to get bigger potatoes, try harvesting at a different time. This will give you an idea of what duration it will take for the plants to achieve the size you want. However, do not be discouraged if the potatoes don’t have the same size every time. 

How many potatoes does Idaho produce? Idaho produces up to 100 million hundredweight of potatoes per 300,000 acres annually. More than Russet potatoes, the state also grows Yukon Golds, Reds, Fingerlings, and 27 other varieties. 

 

Why Do Potatoes Grow Well In Idaho?

Potatoes grow well in Idaho because the state has fertile volcanic soil, mountain-fed irrigation, and a growing season of warm days and cold nights. As a result, the potatoes they yield are high-quality in terms of texture and taste due to high solids and low moisture content. Idaho potatoes are also available year-round compared to other states. 

As time goes on, the potato industry in Idaho has developed and led research, growing techniques, educational and training materials, handling and distribution, storage, and food safety issues. The Idaho Potato Commission also has certification marks to ensure customers of the quality Idaho potatoes.

 

Conclusion

Idaho is the leading potato-producing state, so it’s no surprise that anyone interested in potato farming has chosen it for growing the tubers. However, do you know when to plant potatoes in Idaho? The best time to do so is in early April to the middle of May. 

You must also mark your calendar and plant eight weeks earlier than your location’s last frost date. While potatoes thrive in cold conditions, they are still prone to damages from frost. Also, a good solution that one can apply is the use of a greenhouse to maintain the ideal temperatures for the potatoes. 

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How To Prevent Root Rot In Hydroponics: 3 Useful Tips

If you’re a newbie gardener who’s looking to find ways to hone your skills, you’d want to learn how to prevent root rot in hydroponics even before this problem affects your plants.

Hydroponics can be advantageous to crops in more ways than one. However, it also comes with risks of diseases, such as root rot, which can be destructive or even lethal to your plants.

Unfortunately, there are no effective methods to recover the wilted parts that were affected by the root rot once it hits your plants. The only thing you can do if you do not want this catastrophe to befall your crops is to prevent it before it happens. Read on to learn more about this subject.

 

What is Root Rot?

Root rot is a disease that attacks the plant roots and causes them to suffer decay. This usually happens when a lack of oxygen supply occurs in the substrate.

To give you an idea, think about plant roots that are submerged in water that only has a little oxygen in it. Over time, the plant suffocates and dies.

Aside from rot and decay, this disease also leads to the proliferation of fungi that are naturally present in the soil. These include Rhizoctonia, Alternaria, Pythium, Botrytis, Fusarium, or Phytophthora. As soon as fungi colonies start to grow, they tend to target the weakened roots and infect your precious plant babies.

Once the plant becomes infected, they won’t be able to take in what they need to grow – water, oxygen, and other nutrients. When this happens, it won’t be long before the plant dies.

 

What is Hydroponics?

In case you’re not aware, the term hydroponic is derived from a Latin word that means “working water”. To put it simply, hydroponics is an art that involves growing various types of plants without soil. If you’re like most people, the first thing that comes to mind when somebody talks about hydroponics would be a picture of plants with roots suspended into the water without using any type of growing medium.

 

Avoiding Root Rot in Hydroponic Systems

Detecting and identifying root rot can be tricky. When your plants get infected, their leaves and roots gradually wither until the whole crop itself dies from the lack of nutrients, which is a common symptom of many diseases.

 

What causes root rot in hydroponics?

One of the requirements in hydroponics systems is oxygen. Without it, your plants are basically on the road to death. On the other hand, lack of such is one of the major triggers for root rot, and it must be avoided at all costs.

Just like when planting in soil, you loosen up the ground so that your plants’ roots can have their required intake of oxygen. That is the case for crops grown in aqueous solutions as well. If they cannot breathe, they would not be able to grow.

Another agent for root rot is the temperature. The last thing you would want in your system are parasites that leech nutrients intended for your plants and infect the water during the process. In common terms, these fungi are called molds.

One of the best breeding grounds for these is warm and moist areas. For this reason, if the water temperature inside your reservoir is high, then you are susceptible to it. Something as minor as letting the solutions exposed to sunlight can already be a risk factor.

 

3 Useful Tips on How to prevent root rot in hydroponics

There is good news! Root rot in hydroponics can be prevented! Just follow these tips:

Tip#1: Use the right air pump

If you do not want root rot to affect your plants, you merely have to avoid its causes. If you need oxygen, keep the water bubbling by providing an air pump of appropriate size, and also give importance to proper ventilation in the room.

 

Tip #2: Maintain the temperature

The temperature should be maintained within the 70 to 80 degrees F range. Get rid of any materials that can make your system vulnerable to infections, and make sure not to disturb your crops while they are trying to grow.

 

Tip #3: Get rid of the rotten parts

However, if you failed in preventing the disease, then the rotten parts should be removed immediately. Cut them off as there is no chance of reviving them, and focus on the potential new growth instead. Fix your hydroponics system and eliminate the risks.

 

Why Give Greenhouse Gardening a Try?

Greenhouse gardening offers numerous benefits to greens aficionados who dare to take their gardening experience to the next level. Aside from acting as a shield against the effects of inclement weather, a mini, hobby, or semi-pro greenhouse can also serve as a protective layer that keeps harmful bugs and critters at bay.

What’s more, its enclosed structure allows you to control your plants’ growing conditions including the temperature, light, moisture, and ventilation of the greenhouse’s internal environment. With a controlled environment, you’ll be able to extend growing seasons and grow plants that aren’t native to your area.

 

Conclusion

No matter how well-informed you are about how to prevent root rot in hydroponics, you cannot completely eradicate the risks. Therefore, to avoid the worst-case scenario, you should be prepared to sacrifice the infected for the sake of others. While you’re at it, consider trying your hand at greenhouse gardening as well.

 

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