Asked on Jul 16, 2014

When should I be planting fall potatoes?

Darlene T
by Darlene T

Can I plant potatoes in containers during the summer and expect to harvest them in the fall? I want a good amount of potatoes by then. My last container harvest was disappointing; I barely got a pound of potatoes after 10 weeks. Any tips to grow more this time?

Fall potatoes

  12 answers
  • Patricia W Patricia W on Jul 16, 2014
    You should be able to, thick black garbage bags work really well for this.
  • Carole Carole on Jul 16, 2014
    Not sure about planting times for where you are, but I do know that different varieties of spuds give different yields. Some give a bigger crop per plant than others. If you are buying seed potatoes they should have something on the label about how much pounds or kilos of spuds each plant should yield - worth checking perhaps. Disappointing I know when the crop is very small after all that effort. Good luck.
  • Douglas Hunt Douglas Hunt on Jul 17, 2014
    I think it is a little late. Virginia Cooperative Extension suggests June planting for a fall harvest and I would think the times would be similar for you, but I would confirm with your local extension office. I think you tried to harvest your other potatoes too early. The vines starting to die back and lose their color is a sign potatoes are ready to harvest.
    • See 2 previous
    • Judy Judy on Jul 19, 2014
      @Darlene T Listen to Doug Hunt! He always knows what he's talking about. I don't know about where you live but here we've had unusually high temperatures early in the season. If it's been unusually hot the vines may start to yellow & die back, especially if they weren't getting quite enough water. Also some early varieties like Yukon Gold are determinate types & are not suited to growing in containers where you keep adding soil, straw etc as the plants grow. They do better planted in the garden where they can grow in one layer.Here's a web page you might find informative: this one: luck next year.
  • Lee @ Lady Lee's Home Lee @ Lady Lee's Home on Jul 18, 2014
    I agree with Douglas, 10 weeks seems very fast for potatoes. I plant mine in the middle of March and harvest around the middle of June. I am not sure what your weather is like, but I am in NC, zone 7b, and it is too hot to plant potatoes here right now. I will wait for the middle of September to plant the Fall potatoes. When frost comes, in the middle of November, I will cover the plants and give them a couple additional weeks before harvesting. Hope this helps.
  • Irish53 Irish53 on Jul 19, 2014
    you have plenty of time to grow potatoes. All you have to do it mulch thick enough to get the soil warm. I have harvested up until Thanksgiving carrots and potatoes. I have made plastic tepees to keep tomatoes and peppers fresh for salads.
  • Anna Anna on Jul 19, 2014
    @Darlene T, Several years ago, I read an article in Mother Earth news that a man in Vermont planted his potatoes around the 1st of July. He did this so he wouldn't have to deal with potato bugs. He said it was very successful and his potatoes turned out great. I had planned on trying it but just didn't get around to planting potatoes this year. I have talked to farmer friends and they said it would work.
  • John Reilly John Reilly on Jul 19, 2014
    different varieties can take anything from 70 to 120 days to grow, So knowing that it takes 10 to 15 weeks you would think Okay let's try. You are already are past the rainy season when MOST plants thrive, and because plants have evolved for their best growing seasons, you might not get these to sprout at this time of year. Potatoes need a period of dormancy. The potatoes that are missed when digging them will not sprout in the ground this fall, they could and have sprouted in the spring. The days are now getting shorter and plants know that and will set fruit for next years growing season. In nature, before man cultivated, the potato produced its tubers and then died back and rested and waited until the start of the next growing season. To everything there is a season, a time for every purpose under the sun. A time to be born and a time to die; a time to plant and a time to pluck up that which is planted;
  • Monica Talley Monica Talley on Jul 19, 2014
    The thick black garbage bags known as contractor bags. Planting them now is a matter of required sun and proper water and drainage. As the fall approaches and cooler temperatures begin set in you will need to wrap your plants in several layers of hay. Wrapping the outside of the hay with burlap will also help. This should give you the extended grow time you desire.
  • James Bryan C James Bryan C on Jul 20, 2014
    70 to 90 days for most varieties. For better yield plant good seed potatoes for the variety you want, you can cut them into pieces for more plants.. If you use a container 10 pounds per container is excellent. For a larger harvest you can find a grassy spot on your lawn, place the seed potatoes in a small row right on top of the grass, place enough bagged top soil on top of the seed potatoes to get them started, add straw all around and over the plants once they start popping up through the ground.. keep adding straw each week as the plants grow through the straw.. when they bloom you can start "robbing" a few new potatoes.. or wait until the vine dies completely, not only will you have loads of potatoes, your potatoes will be dirt free which means they will store longer than potatoes that you have to wash to get the dirt off... For our Market garden this year I planted 100 pounds of seed potatoes and ended up with 7 rows about 100+- feet long.. Potatoes are one of the easiest crops for beginning gardeners and keep well after harvest for fresh home grown potatoes through out winter
  • Darlene T Darlene T on Jul 23, 2014
    Ok, I desided to try it again, we have been having uncommonly cool weather and it is still very 'wet' here... I figure it can't hurt and who know, I might just get more potatoes. Oh, I am planting the red potatoes. Thank you all for your comments and advice!
  • Linda Hinchey Linda Hinchey on Aug 19, 2014
    I live down below you in SW Virginia and after harvesting potatoes from a particular bed, I left many of the small potatoes in the ground. I transformed this particular bed into an asparagus patch. That following Spring and every Spring since, I've had these potatoes come up as perennials.
  • Sarah Sarah on Oct 03, 2023

    You'll want to get those potatoes in the ground during late spring or early summer, around May to July.

    Potatoes love soaking up that warm weather, and it gives them the energy they need to grow big and strong. Then, when the fall breeze starts to chill things down a bit, your spuds will be all set for a cozy harvest.

    Your location and the type of potatoes you've got might have a say in when to plant. So, don't forget to check out what's going on in your local climate and the recommended planting dates for your neck of the woods.