When are potatoes in season? The short answer: autumn equinox. Potatoes are a cool-weather crop making it best to buy them when they're in season in your area. Look for potatoes that are firm and free of blemishes or sprouts. Avoid those that are soft or have wrinkled skin.
Some specific potato varieties may have a shorter or longer growing season, so it is always best to check with your local farmers or grocery store to see what is currently available.
Buying potatoes that are in season is a great way to support local farmers and the local economy.
When Are Potatoes In Season?
Potatoes are a root vegetable typically in season from late summer to early winter. In the Northern Hemisphere, this means August through last October, and in the Southern Hemisphere, February through late April.
However, due to climate changes and different farming practices, potatoes are available year-round in many places.
Potatoes are a cool-weather crop and are typically harvested in the fall.
Here's a list of a few popular types of potatoes and their harvest information
What is the Growing Calendar Timeline for Potatoes?
While the specific dates will vary depending on your location, the general timeline for potato growth goes something like this:
Early September: Planting begins
Mid-October: First frost (in some areas)
Late October/Early November: Harvesting begins
Tips for Growing Potatoes
If you're thinking about planting potatoes this year, here are a few tips to help you get started:
1. Start with good-quality seed potatoes. These can be purchased from your local garden center or online.
2. Plant your potatoes in a well-drained, sunny location.
3. Add some organic matter to the soil before planting to help improve drainage and aeration.
4. Cut the potatoes into small pieces (about 1-2 inches), ensuring that each piece has at least one "eye."
5. Plant the potato pieces about 12 inches apart at a depth of about 4 inches.
6. Water well after planting and keep the soil moist throughout the growing season.
7. When the plants begin to flower, add a layer of mulch around them to help retain moisture and control weeds.
8. Harvest your potatoes when the plants begin to die back (usually in late October or early November).
Tip for growing potatoes, I enjoy visiting our local nursery and asking for growing advice.
For a complete guide covering the "Grades" and "Standards," USDA.
Tips for Storing Fresh Potatoes
If you're lucky enough to have a bumper crop of potatoes, you'll want to make sure they're stored properly so they'll last through the winter months.
Here are a few tips:
1. Cure the potatoes before storing them. This helps to heal any wounds and also helps to prevent rot.
To cure potatoes, simply place them in a cool, dark location (60-70 degrees Fahrenheit is ideal) for about two weeks.
2. After curing, brush off any dirt and store the potatoes in a cool, dark, well-ventilated location. A temperature of 32-40 degrees Fahrenheit is ideal.
3. Do not wash the potatoes before storing them, as this can speed up the spoiling process.
4. Inspect your stored potatoes regularly and remove any that show signs of rot or decay.
With these tips, you should be able to enjoy fresh potatoes all winter long!
When cooking potatoes, there are endless possibilities. They can be boiled, mashed, roasted, or crispy fried potato chips. They can be used in soups, stews, casseroles, and salads. Potatoes are a versatile and affordable ingredient that can be enjoyed in many different ways.