When to Plant Potatoes in Mississippi?

Planting at the correct time is crucial to getting the most out of your garden. For gardeners in Mississippi, there are approximately 205 days between the last and first frost, which you can utilize to grow just about anything you need to plant.

That said, if you are planning to grow potatoes in Mississippi, the good news is that this state has ideal conditions for potatoes to grow and thrive. But when is the right time to plant potatoes here?

Generally, it is safe to plant potatoes in early spring. In Mississippi, this is normally between mid-February and early April, depending on the planting zone and local weather. This post will cover more on when to plant potatoes in Mississippi and other essential details related to the subject.

When is the best time to plant potatoes in Mississippi

when to plant potatoes in mississippi

Planting potatoes is not as easy as it seems, even for veteran gardeners. This is mainly because the tops of potato plants cannot survive frost or cold weather under 50 degrees Fahrenheit, a reason why you should not plant them outside too early in the spring.

When it comes to growing potatoes in Mississippi, it is best to plant them in early spring, two to three weeks before your last frost date, when the days are warm and the nights are cool. Depending on where you live, this is likely to be between February 15 to April 1. However, because there is a chance that the last frost can happen earlier or much later than anticipated, it is extremely important to pay attention to your local weather.

For best production, potatoes usually need full sun. Planting in early spring will ensure that they get the amount of sunlight they need for the tuber to grow to a considerable size.

If frost inadvertently comes after you have planted your potatoes, cover them in burlap, hoping they will survive. Whether you live in planting zone 7b or are much to the south of Mississippi in USDA planting zone 9a, it is strongly discouraged to plant potatoes later than recommended. When you plant tomatoes late, they may not produce a harvest before the first frost.

How to grow potatoes

when to plant potatoes in mississippi

Potatoes come in many varieties, and apart from being an inexpensive source of carbohydrates, they can add interest to any garden. While you can plant in late fall, in Mississippi and many other parts of the continental United States, potatoes are planted in spring because finding good seed potatoes for fall planting is impossible.

Potatoes grow best in loose, well-drained, slightly acidic soils. To prepare your garden for planting, build beds about 10-12 inches high and 36 inches apart. Next, buy good-quality seed potatoes that are free from diseases and chemicals. Unlike most other veggies, potatoes are not grown from seeds; instead, pieces of potatoes.

Cut your seed potatoes into pieces weighing 1½ to 2 ounces, preferably 5-6 days before planting, and make sure each seed piece has at least one good eye. Keep the seed pieces in a well-ventilated place and in a single layer so that the cut surfaces can heal over. This can go a long way to preventing rotting after planting.

Plant your potatoes when the soil temperature 4 inches deep reaches about 50 degrees Fahrenheit. In Mississippi, this will be about two weeks to the last frost.

Importantly, potatoes need adequate fertilizer early in the growing season, so apply fertilizer before planting and make sure fertilizer doesn’t touch the seed piece. Further, apply adequate fertilizer beside the plants when they are about 4 inches tall to aid tuber formation.

It is typical for spring-planted potatoes to bloom, and some flowers may develop into fruits that resemble green tomatoes.

When potatoes start forming, ensure they are covered with soil to prevent greening. You can also grow potatoes in straw mulch if you want to harvest them when they are very clean.

When to plant potatoes in Mississippi: Conclusion

Growing potatoes is relatively easy and undemanding as long as you plant the seed potatoes at the right time for your planting zone. In Mississippi, the best time to plant potatoes is mid-February through early April, depending on the USDA planting zone you live in. After planting, you will need to pull soil towards the plant as it grows or add mulch as needed.