Thinking of growing your own potatoes at home? That is a great idea! Why spend a dollar or two on potatoes when you can plant your own and get them for free? Potatoes are easy to grow and, when you care for them properly, they can give you an abundant harvest, enough to give you a stable supply of potatoes in your pantry. Let’s look at When To Plant Potatoes In Zone 8b?
When To Plant Potatoes In Zone 8b?
In the USA, you can find 7 types of potatoes: russet, petite, fingerling, red, white, yellow, and blue/purple. All of them accept any planting situation, whether on a raised bed, pot, or special “grow bag”. You just have to give them full sun, loose, fertile soil, and 1″ of water per week for them to thrive and bear fruit. But what if your residence is in Zone 8b of the USDA System of Hardiness Zones? Can you plant potatoes any time of the year in your area? Will the planted potatoes survive in your climate? Why don’t we find that out?
USDA Zone 8b
Before you plant any crops, it is important that you first know your climate. This will tell you what plants survive in your area, even during the winter season. To make it easy for you to determine what plants thrive in your area, the USDA has developed the system of hardiness zones. If your region belongs to zone 8b, this means that the minimum temperature in your area during the winter season is between 15 and 20 degrees F.
Zone 8b is one of the warmest zones and contains the regions of Texas, Arizona, California, Louisiana, and Florida. Areas in this zone have a long growing season and they experience hot summers and mild winters. Do potatoes thrive in this kind of climate when, in fact, in order to grow, they prefer soil temperatures of somewhere between 59 and 68 degrees F? Yes, they do! Potatoes are hardy in zones 3 to 10. You just have to pick a time when the soil temperature in your area is at least 40 degrees F.
When to plant potatoes in Zone 8b?
To determine the best time of the year to plant potatoes, let us first know the conditions that they prefer. These conditions will also give us ideas on when the best time is to grow potatoes in Zone 8b. Potatoes prefer full sun because the lush top growth needs this much sun in order to feed the tubers underground. Choose a location where they can receive sunlight for at least six hours per day. Potatoes are strict when it comes to soil temperatures. They need full sunlight, but they require the soil temperature to be at least 40 degrees F. They grow best when the soil is 60 to 70 degrees F, but when it hits 80 degrees F, they stop growing.
Given that Zone 8b is a warm zone and experiences hot temperatures during the summer, when is the best time to plant potatoes if your area is in this zone? In warmer southern climates, potatoes are considered a winter crop.
The last frost date for zone 8B is April 1st, and the first frost date is December 1. These frost dates will give you an idea of the time when you can start planting potatoes, which is after April 1 and before December 1. But these dates are sometimes inaccurate. The general rule is to check the soil temperature.
Take note that potatoes take 90-120 days to fully mature. Adjust the time of your planting so that it avoids the coldest and hottest temperatures in your region. For spring planting the best time to plant potatoes is in January or February. It is better to plant them in January to avoid the heat of summer. For fall planting, the best time to plant potatoes is in August or early September. This will give you the 90-120 days needed for full maturity, which will also avoid the winter frost. However, farmers in Zone 8b rarely plant potatoes in the fall because of the long and hot summer in the region.
When To Plant Potatoes In Zone 8b?: Wrap Up
Potatoes are hardy to zone 8b, which means that it is possible to grow them in areas that fall under this hardiness zone. However, potatoes prefer full sunlight and a cold soil temperature. If you are in zone 8b, the best time to plant potatoes is in January or February when the soil temperature reaches at least 40 degrees F.