The Best Climate for Potatoes

Posted on: August 10th, 2011 by Annette Welsford No Comments
Potatoes are grown throughout the world, but some varieties do better in specific climatic conditions than others. Having said this, some of the best varieties of Irish potato (which are universally the most popular type) are well suited to all climates.
 
The sad part though is that in most parts of the world, the potatoes that we immediately recognize are limited to the few types that commercial growers have chosen. In other words, when home gardeners decide to try growing potatoes, they think about the potatoes they most commonly see on their supermarket and corner-grocery shelves.
So if you aren't aware of the different varieties that in fact exist, including those that are gold, yellow, russet, red, purple and of course white potatoes, it stands to reason that you aren't going to consider planting them.
 
Taking this one step further, perhaps you don't know either that some potato varieties are better suited to boiling, rather than baking or frying, and vice versa. You DO have a choice.
Happily, while potatoes do take up quite a lot of room in the garden, they are quite easy to grow successfully. The secret (as we have hinted) is to pick varieties suitable for your climate, location, and desired use.
 
Usually, whatever seed potatoes are available in your area will be suitable for planting. But sometimes it pays to search out heirloom varieties and less usual hybrids. Heirlooms, in particular, are a worthwhile investment since these are "classic" types that grow particularly well in very specific geographic areas. This idea goes even beyond climatic suitability, and relates more closely to micro climate.
 
The term "heirloom" with reference to gardening and vegetable gardens, dates to the 1970s, when people realized that certain veggies had developed in small regions, often on a handful of plots, and had been kept going by continued generations of residents. The reason they were maintained in the first place was because they were so successful in the area. By identifying heirloom varieties in areas that share a common climate with yours, you will find that you can develop a new potato tradition yourself.
 
Climate will also dictate when you should plant your potatoes. It will take several weeks for potatoes to shoot out of the ground, so you need to be sure that by this stage there will be no risk of frost. Generally it is advisable to wait until you are sure there won't be any sign of frost for two weeks or more before you plant.
 
In temperate climates it is best to plant potatoes from late winter through to early summer. In tropical and subtropical regions, potatoes are best planted late in summer or in early spring. Here the humidity in summer counts against successful growing. In colder climatic conditions, potatoes should be planted after frost and before the end of spring.
Wherever you live, and whatever climate you experience, if you stagger planting you will maximize your potato crop.
 
Pota toes come in different sizes and colours
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