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How long does it take to grow potatoes?
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Wondering how long it takes to grow potatoes? The days-to-maturity (DTM) varies, but there are some good rules of thumb for garden planning.
It generally takes 3-4 months to grow potatoes. New potatoes tend to be ready at 8 weeks or 60 days/2 months after planting. For full-sized potatoes, most common varieties are ready in 3 months (90 days), while some specialty types and larger potatoes can take 4 months (120 days) to grow. The potato harvest season starts with new potatoes at 8 weeks and finishes when storage potatoes are harvested at least 2 weeks after the plants have died back naturally.
Let’s get into the details about how long it takes to grow potatoes!
How long does it take to grow potatoes?
It takes around two months for new potatoes to grow, and three to four months to mature potatoes. Some potato varieties tend to mature in as little as three months, while other large and gourmet types need up to four.
Early season potatoes like Red Norland tend to take 75-85 days to mature to full size. Mid-season potato varieties like Yukon Gold take 90-100 days. Late-season potato varieties like German butterball take 105-125+ days to mature to full size.
Potatoes are usually planted at some point between early March and early June, depending upon the climate. Harvest season also varies from planting time with annual conditions and the potato variety planted. In general, potato harvest season starts in July and goes until October.
When plants begin to flower, new potatoes may be harvested. This can be as early as 7-8 weeks after the seed potatoes are planted if the weather is warm and sunny, or 60 days (or later) during cooler springs.
Dig around a bit in the soil, raised bed, or potato grow bag to see how things are progressing. By day 60, new potatoes will generally be there; they’ll be tiny and delicate. Take a few to try out! You can harvest a few new potatoes from around the base of each plant and leave the rest to grow into full-sized potatoes.
“Young new potatoes may be harvested as soon as the plants’ flowers begin to fade. You can take a few potatoes at a time while leaving the remaining tubers to grow on. To do this, carefully reach down into the potting soil to feel for the tubers. Try not to disturb the roots. If the potatoes feel as big as an egg, they’re good to go. If not, leave them to grow on.”GrowVeg: The Beginner’s Guide to Easy Vegetable Gardening, by Benedict Vanheems
The potato plants will continue to produce new tubers until they die back naturally. The number of days it takes for potatoes to mature varies considerably. Potatoes have different DTM, so you’ll need to know what kind you’re growing and its DTM in order to judge when your crop will be ripe.
By 90 days, the majority of varieties will produce some decent-sized tubers that are ready for harvesting. See below for a list of common potato varieties and their estimated days to maturity. To figure out target harvest dates for each potato variety, count the days from planting.
If you want to store potatoes over winter, wait until the plants have died back for several weeks and then dig up the mature tubers. These can be stored for several months in a cool, dark place. Potatoes are often stored in burlap bags or wooden crates. A storage temperature of 38º-40ºF (3°-4°C) is ideal.
Different potato varieties and ripening seasons
Early season potatoes tend to take 75-85 days to mature to full size, mid-season varieties take 90-100 days, and late-season potato varieties take 105-125+ days to mature to full size.
Listed below are some specific types of potatoes and how long each type takes to grow, in terms of the number of days to maturity (DTM) for the potatoes to mature after seed potatoes are planted.
Early-season potato varieties
Early-season potato varieties typically take 75-85 days to mature to full size. Here are some popular early-season potatoes and their estimated days to maturity:
- Irish cobbler potatoes: 80 days
- Red Norland potatoes: 85 days
- Purple majesty potatoes: 85 days
Mid-season potato varieties
Mid-season potato varieties typically take 90-100 days to mature to full size. Here are some popular mid-season potatoes and their estimated days to maturity:
- Kennebec potatoes: 90 days
- Red Pontiac potatoes: 90 days
- Austrian crescent potato: 90 days
- Russet potatoes: 95 days
- Yukon gold potatoes: 100 days
- AmaRosa fingerling potatoes: 100 days
Late-season potato varieties
Late-season potato varieties typically take 105-125+ days to mature to full size. Here are some popular mid-season potatoes and their estimated days to maturity:
- French fingerling potatoes: 105 days
- Elba potatoes: 110 days
- Pinto gold potatoes: 110 days
- Russian banana potatoes: 110 days
- German butterball potatoes: 125 days
Different varieties grow better in different climates and some are better suited to certain regions than others.
When to plant your potatoes (by climate zone)?
The timing of your potato harvest depends on how early you can plant your seed potatoes. Seed potatoes are usually planted about four weeks before the local last frost date.
For a general idea, here are some guidelines for potato planting times by USDA plant hardiness zone. Actual planting time will vary from year to year, but these windows will give you a general idea:
- Zone 10+: January
- Zone 9: early February
- Zone 8: late February
- Zone 7: early March
- Zone 6: late March
- Zone 5: early April
- Zone 4: late April
- Zone 3: early May
- Zone 2-: late May
Every year is different, so don’t plant your potatoes if your forecast is showing an extended period of damp, cold weather.
How fast does a potato grow?
It depends on the variety! Early-season potato varieties typically take 75-85 days to mature to full size, 90-100 days for mid-season varieties, and 105-125+ days for late-season varieties.
How many potatoes do you get per plant?
Molly Allman at SFG states that you will get about 5-10 potatoes per plant when grown in ideal conditions.
Do potatoes need full sun?
Potatoes grow best in sunny conditions.
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GrowVeg: The Beginner’s Guide to Easy Vegetable Gardening, by Benedict Vanheems
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