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Early, Mid- and Late-Season Potatoes

Survey the incredible variety of spuds available for growing.
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Tuber Diversity

Who doesn't love potatoes? They taste even better when you grow your own and the choices available for gardeners today extend far beyond the traditional Idaho potato to such exotic types as 'Cranberry Red' potatoes (a mid-season variety) which actually have pastel pink flesh. Renee Shepherd of Renee's Gardens says, "Potatoes are not hard to grow. If you plant them in the right season, they don't need a lot of care and they are very rewarding because you can get so many great tasting varieties."

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Photo: Emily Fazio

General Ground Rules

Planting season for seed potatoes is in the spring, several weeks before the last estimated frost date. They need a sunny, weed free area where the ground is workable and not soggy. Plant them in straight rows of shallow trenches which are 24 to 36 inches apart.

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Seasonal Terminology

There are seasonal classifications for all potatoes: early, mid and late; this refers to when the potatoes are harvested, not when they are planted. In general, early potatoes like 'Accent' could take from 60-80 days to harvest; mid-season potatoes might range between 80-95 days and late potatoes fall approximately between 95 to 130 days. But there are always exceptions to the rule such as a mid to late season potato like the 'Russet Burbank' (95 to 110 days).

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Photo: Image courtesy of Filaree Garlic Farm/Phoebe Webb Photography

Potato Wall Art

The best way to get high quality potatoes for planting is to order organic seed potatoes (pictured) from a specialty grower. "Potatoes are vegetatively propagated," says Phoebe Webb (assistant manager of Filaree Garlic Farm), "which means that the body of the vegetable is what grows a new plant with a new vegetable on it. What you'll receive are full potatoes that you can plant whole or you can cut them up. Just make sure each piece has two eyes on it."

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