Optimum temperature for planting potatoes

Optimum temperature for planting potatoes

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Potatoes are a culture without which it is impossible to imagine the menu of a modern family. And it is not by chance that it is called "the second bread". Indeed, on occasion, potato dishes can really replace bread, especially since their variety can only be surprising. It is quite possible to eat potato dishes at least every day, and they will not soon get bored. Therefore, it is not surprising that in every family, if there is such an opportunity, they try to grow this vegetable on their own in order to be sure of the quality of the products obtained. But in order to grow a good potato crop, you need to take into account a lot of factors.

One of the important factors is the choice of a suitable potato planting date. After all, there are no exact dates, and every year everyone decides for himself when it is best to plant this culture. At the same time, the temperature of the soil for planting potatoes plays an important role. At least, many are accustomed to focusing on this factor, although there are still many subtleties in determining the timing of planting.

What Science Says

It is well known that the timing of planting potatoes has a significant impact on its yield, as well as the quality of ripened tubers. Why is everyone trying to plant potatoes as early as possible? There are several reasons for this:

  • With early planting of potatoes, the harvest will also be quite early, and who does not want to eat young potatoes as soon as possible.
  • According to scientific data, the sooner potatoes are planted, the more they will be protected from the spread of various viruses. Indeed, with early planting, by the time of the beginning of the active summer of the aphid that carries various diseases, the potato manages to achieve age resistance to many diseases. As a result, he will be less affected by them.
  • Finally, the earlier the potatoes are planted, the greater the yield they produce. The table below shows the relationship between potato planting dates and yield for the northwestern region of Russia.

Potato planting dates

Productivity as a percentage of planted

Until May 15


May 15-25


May 26 to June 10


June 11 to June 25


The yield here is determined as follows - if you planted a bucket of potatoes and collected the same bucket, then the yield is 100% (that is, nothing). If you planted a bucket and collected two buckets, then the yield is 200%. A yield of about 600% is considered normal.

For other regions, the timing will, of course, be different. The table is provided solely for clear evidence of the fact that the best potato yields are directly related to the earliest possible planting.

But this is a double-edged sword. After all, on the other hand, no one will plant potatoes in the frozen ground either, it is completely pointless. So, thinking about the timing of planting potatoes, you need to consider:

  • Weather;
  • The condition of the soil, its temperature and warmth;
  • Physiological state of tubers.


Weather conditions are the hardest to calculate in advance. They are often so unpredictable that they can disrupt any carefully designed plans. Nevertheless, about a week or two before the expected landing date, you need to find out the weather forecast and adjust specific days for it. Since it is unlikely that someone will be engaged in planting potatoes in a pouring rain or immediately after it ends, when the ground is a continuous impenetrable liquid mud.

Soil condition

Soil condition has two factors in mind at the same time: temperature and humidity. In addition, the mechanical composition of the soil with which you are dealing in a particular case depends on how quickly it is able to reach the desired temperature or humidity.

What should be the minimum soil temperature for planting potatoes in spring? According to scientific data, it makes sense to plant potatoes only when the soil temperature is + 7 ° + 8 ° C at a depth of 10-12 cm.

Attention! This temperature is usually observed near the soil when the average daily air temperature does not drop below + 8 ° C.

What is the reason for this? The fact is that it is precisely from a temperature of + 7 ° that the active work of the potato roots begins. At lower temperatures, especially in combination with high humidity, potatoes have every chance of simply rotting in the ground. Or another option is possible, next to the planted "mother" tuber, tiny nodules without buds are formed, which do not have the ability to germinate - this is called sprouting of tubers.

Advice! The only option that can work is if already germinated tubers with sprouts are planted in the ground with a temperature of + 3 ° - + 7 ° C.

The fact is that potato sprouts survive from a temperature of + 3 ° C and begin to develop slowly, but. But they, most likely, will not endure freezing temperatures. Therefore, if it is cold at the time of planting, but warming is promised in the coming days, then you can take a risk and plant already germinated tubers so that they gradually begin to grow.

The second factor, which is even more important when choosing the timing of planting potatoes, is soil moisture. The fact is that planting at an acceptable temperature of + 7 ° C, but in too moist soil, can quite easily lead to infection of tubers with various bacterial infections and rhizoctonia.

Attention! If the soil moisture is 75% or more, then potatoes cannot be planted.

How to determine this without the appropriate measuring instruments, which are not always available from any summer resident or gardener? There is a fairly simple folk way to determine what moisture the soil has. True, it works only for fairly heavy loamy soils, but sandy and sandy loam are not so terrible in terms of moisture. Take a handful of earth and squeeze it well in your fist. And then, stretching out your hand in front of you at waist level, throw the lump onto the path.

Here we should once again mention the mechanical composition of the soil, because it depends on it how quickly the soil will warm up and dry out. All garden soils are divided according to their mechanical composition into:

  • Light - sandy and sandy loam;
  • Medium - light to medium loam;
  • Heavy - Heavy loam and clay.

The lighter the mechanical composition, the faster the soil warms up in spring, and the earlier potatoes can be planted in it. And the faster it dries up, so there is no need to be afraid of increased soil moisture, even after prolonged torrential rains. After a couple of days, everything can already dry out.

It is for this reason that it is impossible to delay planting potatoes on light soils. Indeed, in too dry soil, potato tubers will not be able to develop well. They may need additional watering.

Accordingly, on the contrary, the heavier the mechanical composition of the soil, the slower it warms up in spring and the more moisture it contains. For this reason alone, the timing of planting potatoes in the same region may differ by one, or even two weeks!

Physiological state of tubers

Potato tubers can be used for planting both in the normal state and in the germinated state. The seedlings come in a variety of lengths, although tubers with thick, sturdy seedlings no longer than a few centimeters are usually used for planting. It has already been mentioned that sprouted potatoes are beneficial for planting, not only because they germinate faster. Germinated potatoes can be planted in colder soil than regular potatoes with minimal impact. The minimum temperature for planting germinated potatoes is about + 3 ° C, but it is still better to plant at + 5 ° + 6 ° C.

Folk ways to determine the timing of planting potatoes

So, it turned out that you need to plant potatoes, on the one hand, the sooner the better. On the other hand, it is necessary that the temperature of the soil in which the potatoes will be planted should not be lower than + 7 ° + 8 ° С.

Moreover, not on the surface, but at a depth of 10-12 cm. It is difficult to imagine a gardener or summer resident who wanders around a future potato field with a thermometer in his hands and measures the temperature of the soil at such a depth.

It is much easier to remember and use the old folk method of determining the readiness of the land for planting potatoes.

Advice! Try placing your bare feet on the prepared, dug ground. If the leg is relatively comfortable, then you can plant potatoes.

There are other popular ways to determine the timing of planting. Observe the surrounding trees - their roots go deep underground and they probably know the temperature in the soil well. You can often find indications of the blossoming foliage of birches, as well as the flowering of bird cherry. But the fact is that the bird cherry blossoms about 10 days after the start of leaf blooming on the birch. It follows from this that the period associated with the blooming of leaves on a birch is the earliest time for planting potatoes. And the blooming of the bird cherry indicates the time when it no longer makes sense to delay further with planting, it is necessary to act without delay.

Additional factors

What else can you consider if all of the above methods are not satisfying to you? Until now, it has been about the minimum soil temperature at which it becomes suitable for planting potatoes. But if you are one of those people who do not like to rush and do everything thoroughly, then you can wait for a solid warming and plant potatoes with a full guarantee that they will not freeze. The optimum soil temperature for planting potatoes is from + 12 ° C to + 15 ° C. By the way, this roughly corresponds to an ambient temperature of about + 16 ° + 20 ° C. However, it should be borne in mind that if your soil is light, then with a later planting, problems with moisture may arise. The rest has already been mentioned above in the article.


Decide for yourself, determine the terms that are most suitable for your region and a specific piece of land. The information in this article should help you make the best decision.

Watch the video: Enormous harvest of Container Grown Potatoes (December 2022).

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