When To Plant Potatoes In Idaho - Krostrade

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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 Grow Mexican Heather. 3 Steps To Success

How To Grow Mexican Heather. 3 Steps To Success

You only need to overcome three steps to know how to grow Mexican heather. This compact perennial is unique not just because of its looks but also with how easy it thrives amidst hot conditions. However, do note that Mexican heather plants don’t do as well in cold regions. 

Before you give them up, you may also find it comfortable to grow Mexican heather in the greenhouse. Remember that the stable indoor conditions in the greenhouse make it ideal for starting plants. However, it can also offer protection to plants that don’t tolerate extreme climates. 

 

How To Plant Mexican Heather

 

Step #1. Planning and preparation

 

Timing

The first step in growing Mexican heather is planning and preparing to guarantee success. You want to check your calendar on when is the best time to plant Mexican heather. If your climate is similar to the Mediterranean regions, you can easily plant Mexican heather at any time

However, it’s generally ideal for growing this plant late in fall, so it has established itself before the temperatures get challenging. And as you can assume, you will need to grow Mexican heather in the greenhouse if your area has harsh winters. Starting Mexican heather from seeds indoors will guarantee flowers in the summer.

 

Location

After determining when to plant Mexican heather, you must prepare the site for your plants. Remember that the location is crucial to guarantee the steady growth of any plant. Therefore, you may benefit from starting Mexican heather indoors if your climate is fluctuating. 

In general, you want somewhere with fertile and well-draining soil. Test your soil to do the necessary amendments and improve its structure. The plant also does best with some shade because the full sun affects the foliage’s health. 

 

Step #2. Planting

After you started Mexican heather in the greenhouse, gently take the plant from the pot. Make sure to untangle and loosen the roots before setting the plant in the center of the hole. Allocate a space of three feet between each plant, and the top of the root ball should be half an inch above the ground. 

 

Step #3. Maintenance

Maintaining the newly planted Mexican heather plants is no different from other plants. You want to keep soil moisture to help the plants establish themselves. However, be sure not to create a wet environment that can decay the plant. 

Adjust your watering practices according to the weather. Mature Mexican heather plants will tolerate challenging conditions like drought and summer heat. However, it’s best to provide two to six hours of partial shade instead. 

 

 

How To Propagate Mexican Heather

 

Seeds

You can grow Mexican heather from seeds similarly to other flowering plants. Use pots with standard potting mix for sowing, and then add some soil over the seeds. Maintain soil moisture, and you can place the pots in the greenhouse to protect the seedlings from the environment. 

 

Cuttings

You can also root cuttings from a healthy Mexican heather plant. Take a four-inch stem section, remove its lower leaves, dip the end in rooting hormone, and then plant in a pot with soil. Continue watering until root establishment for transplanting. 

 

Division

Division is an excellent way to grow Mexican heather and also keep the plants from overcrowding an area. Gently loosen the soil around a plant to make lifting easier and divide the root ball into sections using a sharp and sterile knife. Depending on its size, you can get up to four divisions for transplanting in containers or onto the garden. 

 

Caring For Mexican Heather

 

Water and fertilizer

While Mexican heather can tolerate dry conditions, it would still be optimal to keep them well-hydrated. You can water the plants deeply once per week, but ensure that you’re using a well-draining medium and container. Then, wait for the ground to dry in between waterings to avoid creating standing water. 

Remember to adjust the frequency and amount of water you give to the plants. More so, container Mexican heather plants would dry faster, so water them often. You can also mulch every spring to maintain soil moisture and even smother weeds. 

Do you fertilize Mexican heather? Mexican heather is relatively low-maintenance and not meticulous when it comes to nutrients. However, you can still boost and maintain your plant by fertilizing in spring, summer, and fall with a balanced feed. 

 

Pruning

Pruning is not a requirement for Mexican heather. However, you can maintain the size and shape of your plant by trimming lightly every spring. You can also use this practice to remove the unhealthy parts. 

 

Common problems

As one can expect, Mexican heather plants are not that prone to many diseases and pests. However, you still want to maintain proper cleanliness and diligence to prevent infestation and diseases. It would also be best to maintain a stable environment such as a greenhouse to discourage spider mites or fungal infections. 

 

Conclusion

You can add another colorful perennial to your garden in three simple steps. Those who know how to grow Mexican heather can quickly tell you that this plant is the easiest to grow. However, remember to plan your planting date and site to ensure that the conditions will support the plant’s development. 

You can start indoors and then plant Mexican heather somewhere with partial shade and fertile, well-draining soil. Ensure soil moisture but never overwater the soil. Once established, you shouldn’t have any issues in growing Mexican heather. 

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