If you landed here, you’re probably a resident in Colorado who is tired of the less-than-stellar spuds you buy from the grocery store and you’re thinking to finally grow your own potatoes.
However, every state has its own weather conditions and doing things wrong will result in a poor outcome.
Potatoes are one of the most important types of vegetables that exist, which can be cooked in many forms and they are all really delicious.
The most interesting thing is that potatoes is one of the easiest crops to be grown that does not require hardship and extreme care.
This is what made many people think about cultivating it. As it ensures that they get fresh crops, and it also brings them profit and saves them a lot of the costs of buying potatoes, which are often placed on the dining table.
So how to grow potatoes and get a respectable crop? Let us take you on a unique experience of growing potatoes in Colorado and its most important tips.
How To Grow Potatoes In Colorado?
To grow potatoes in Colorado, you need to pass through these 5 steps:
- Choose The Right Variety Of Potato.
- Prepare The Soil.
- Planting Potatoes.
- Caring For Your Potato Plants.
- Harvesting And Storing Your Potatoes.
Don’t worry, we will explain each step of them in much more details:
Step 1: Choose The Right Variety Of Potato
The most important part of coordinating your Colorado potato growing operation is plant selection. You must keep in mind the type of plant and its requirements, and the region of the state in which it will be grown.
Since Colorado consists of several different climatic regions, the Colorado climate is not the same in all cities of the state, but rather it is diverse and volatile.
Since there are hundreds of varieties of potatoes, choosing plants that are suitable for the climate and soil is crucial to ensuring that it grows well.
Potatoes are classified into three major divisions according to their respective growing seasons including many types of potatoes under them.
These potato tubers need a good long time to ripen. Late-season potatoes take about 120 days to mature, although there is a wide range in which the growth period for these late crops ranges from 110 to 160 days depending on the type of potato.
They are crops that need intermediate time to grow between early potatoes and late potatoes. These potatoes are ready to harvest after about 95 and 110 days.
The Early Season Potatoes
Early season varieties, also known as first ears, are fast-growing potato types. You don’t have to wait long to enjoy your new crop, as they are ready to harvest between 70 to 95 days.
So, after we got to know these types, what kind of potatoes should you choose to grow in Colorado? let’s know:
Potato Varieties That Grow Well In Colorado
Early potato varieties and medium varieties are suitable for cultivation in Colorado, there are many potato varieties you can choose from them according to your favorites such as:
- AUSTRIAN CRESCENT 
- RED THUMB
- ROSE FINN APPLE
- PURPLE PERUVIAN
- YUKON GEM
- YUKON GOLD
- RIO GRANDE
- ALL BLUE
- GERMAN BUTTERBALL
- MIDNIGHT MOON
- PURPLE MAJESTY
- COLORADO ROSE
- CHERRY RED
- RED LASODA
Step 2: Prepare The Soil
Let’s get acquainted with a quick overview of the most important characteristics of soil in Colorado. Although Colorado has many beautiful natural formations, on the downside it is not blessed with rich soil, It has a very low content of minerals and organic matter.
Colorado gets little rain compared to other eastern states and the lack of vegetation in Colorado leads to Significant soil erosion when it rains. Which further deteriorates the upper soil layer.
Soils in Colorado are heavy clay and may be red. Since there were igneous, sedimentary, and volcanic rocks in the region thousands of years ago, which crumbled and produced this red soil.
One of the things that the soil analysis in Colorado revealed is that it has a high pH and is incredibly alkaline. Where the pH ranges from 7.5 to 8.3!
On the other hand, potatoes need light, acidic, well-drained soil, as potatoes do not grow well in heavy soils that retain a large amount of moisture and they need soil with a PH of 4.8 to 5.5 to grow. So the soil of Colorado needs some modifications to suit potato cultivation.
- How to Grow Potatoes in Arizona: A Comprehensive Guide.
- A Step- By-Step Guide To Growing Russet Potatoes In Texas.
Tips To Adjust The Soil Of Colorado To Be Suitable For Growing Potatoes
Colorado landscape experts recommend adding organic matter to help break up and loosen the soil and allow water and air to penetrate to create a well-draining planting bed suitable for potato plants.
Adjusting The Alkalinity
It is recommended to use acid-forming fertilizers such as aluminum sulfate, to reduce severe soil alkalinity.
Feed The Soil
Don’t forget to feed the soil with fertilizers. Colorado soil can be turned into nutrient-rich soil for potato plants.
Keep in mind that nitrogen is present in very low amounts in Colorado soil. so the soil must be tested to discover exactly how much nitrogen the potatoes need to supplement nitrogen efficiently with fertilizer.
It is preferable to use a balanced formula that adds a variety of nutrients such as nitrogen, phosphorus, iron, and other microelements. You can use natural-organic fertilizers, such as poultry waste and compost, as they are wonderful and light on the soil.
They will nourish your plants with the necessary nutrients and will enhance sandy and muddy Colorado soils with their fibers and other organic components.
Step 3: Planting Potatoes
It is recommended to plant potatoes after the last frost in early spring which is typical in Colorado in late April to mid-May. The weather will get warm and safe for planting potatoes.
Buy Potatoes seeds from a gardening store to ensure they are reliable, high quality, and disease free. It is never recommended to use market potatoes as they are chemically treated so that they do not sprout.
Plant small potatoes whole, this is the best, but if they are large, cut them using a sharp, clean, and sterilized knife into smaller pieces two or three days before planting, then leave it in a warm place until planting day.
Related Article: How Many Potatoes Does It Take To Grow Potatoes In A Potato Bag?
The best way to plant potatoes is in rows, digging a trench 7-8 inches deep. Then fill it with 4 inches of soil, then place the potato seeds, then backfill them with another 3 cm of soil. Stack the potatoes in an area of about one square meter for each potato, then continue planting the other seeds in the same sequence.
Step 4: Caring For Your Potato Plants
Potatoes are easy-to-grow plants that do not require much effort to care for. Monitor your planting and growth rate, and use pesticides if there is any sign of a disease or problem. Water the potato vines regularly, especially when they are in bloom and just after they bloom.
At this stage, the plants are forming their tubers, and they need a constant supply of water to achieve good crop results. Potatoes need 1-2 inches of water per week. Stop watering it when its leaves turn yellow, as this will help the potatoes dry out and prepare for harvest.
Step 5: Harvesting And Storing Your Potatoes
Young potatoes are usually harvested 2-3 weeks after the plants have stopped flowering and have turned yellow. Dig gently around the plants and take the mature potatoes. leave the smaller ones in their place until they have completed their growth.
Potatoes harvested at this stage are not suitable for storage, but for immediate consumption. Potatoes to be stored should not be harvested until 2-3 weeks after the young potatoes have been harvested and the foliage has died.
What Month Do You Plant Potatoes In Colorado?
Mid-April through mid-May is the perfect time for planting potatoes in Colorado.
What Kind Of Potatoes Grows Best In Colorado?
Russet potato crops grow and thrive very well in Colorado, where they represent most of the Colorado crop of potatoes. Many types of potatoes fall under this category, such as Centennial, Classic, Mesa, Rio, and Teton.
Can You Plant Potatoes In The Winter In Colorado?
It is not recommended to plant potatoes if the weather is not cold and there is still frost. Cold and wet soil delays the emergence of buds or leads to the rotting of seeds. The soil temperature in which the potatoes are grown should be at least 55°F during the day and 45°F at night.