Usually, sowing potatoes takes place in the spring, and more precisely between April and early June at the latest. However, Irish have another method: they use for this purpose September or early autumn and achieve great success. Are you wondering what else useful you could do in your garden this month? Then you might well consider growing potatoes. We would like to explain to you what are the advantages of planting potatoes in September and what you should pay attention to.
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Advantages of sowing in early autumn
You have already sown or planted the winter vegetables, but there is still a bed that is free and has enough space for a few more plants? Then you’re making exactly the right choice with potatoes (and who doesn’t love potatoes?). Because, as Irish tradition proves, there are some advantages to planting potatoes in the fall.
- Planting potatoes in early autumn is easier
In autumn, the soil is no longer so dry, because rain falls more often. This moisture is just wonderful for the freshly sown potatoes and, accordingly, you do not need to water the potatoes so often. This ensures that they will establish faster and easier in their location.
- The future potato plants are prepared
The buried tubers can form the abundant roots thanks to good moisture. At the same time, however, the weather becomes too cold to develop an above-ground plant. For this reason, the potato wait until spring. As soon as the soil warms up, the potato plant grows. Since the tuber has already settled in well, you don’t have to worry about the weather or whether you might not have started too early. The plant will take care of that by itself as soon as the right time comes.
- Plant potatoes in the fall instead of buying early potatoes in the spring.
Of course, we understand that you want to harvest potatoes as early as possible. For this reason, many also choose to plant them in three stages. This way you get early, medium-late and late potatoes throughout. But how about adding a fourth crop? If you plant potatoes in September, you’ll be able to harvest them even before the early potatoes, because they won’t waste time having to develop roots first. After all, they have already done that the previous year.
- The wireworm has no chance
High moisture in the soil during the fall reduces the likelihood that your potatoes will be attacked by this typical and common pest.
Until when can you plant potatoes
Late planting is ideally done between September and October. By then, the big heat wave is already over and the tubers also have enough time to develop strong roots before the ground starts to freeze.
Planting potatoes in September – Here’s how to do it right
Which varieties are suitable?
It is best to choose a variety of early potatoes if you want to plant potatoes in September. Also, since the effort required for root development is greater in the fall and winter, you should choose larger tubers. Once you have obtained them, you can prepare the bed.
Choose the right location!
It should not be just any bed in your garden. Especially in the cold winter months, potato tubers planted in the fall, benefit from heat, and this, after all, they get best in the sun. So the potato bed should be in full sun, because nothing will come of the harvest in the shade. Ideally, you have also not grown potato plants in this bed in the previous four years.
Also important is that the soil is rich in nutrients. For this purpose, it should have been well fertilized in the previous year. However, if you missed this, then work in fertilizer at least four weeks before sowing. Mature compost or dry leaves are ideal for this purpose. Do not be sparing with the material here either, as the layer may well be up to six centimeters thick.
Prepare the soil
Regardless of whether you still need to work in fertilizer first or can start sowing directly in a nutrient-rich soil: The soil must be really well and deeply loosened.
How to plant the potatoes in September
After these steps, you can start planting. The soil should still be loose at this stage so that the tubers or roots can develop freely. If it has already dried out, all the better.
Now form narrow hollows with a depth of 20 cm at the deepest point. Those who regularly plant potatoes , know that this is deeper than usual. The tubers need to be deeper when planting in September because they overwinter in the ground and are thus a little warmer. In these hollows now place the potato tubers at a distance of 20 to 30 centimeters from each other.
Then cover the potatoes with soil, mound them and cover them with bark mulch – another cold protection measure.
What to do in the spring
In the middle of winter, be sure to remove the layer of mulch laid out. Just as it insulates the tubers from the outside, it naturally behaves the same way from the inside out. This means that it would prevent the soil from warming up early due to the warm rays of the sun, and this would slow down sprouting. If a sudden cold snap does occur, you can protect the potatoes from freezing by using a garden fleece or newspaper. Remember to weigh down the edges so that stronger winds don’t blow the insulating material away.
When to harvest potatoes?
Already in early spring potatoes should be ready for harvesting.