You’re probably from Texan and wants to start your own little farm and grow your own fresh produce. Texas is famous for its high productivity of vegetables, especially potatoes, which are produced in large quantities in Texas. Fortunately, Russet potatoes are grown in many areas of Texas and are giving excellent productivity.
Russet potatoes are among the most delicious types of potatoes, under which various other subspecies are included. However, I know it can be pretty overwhelming to know how to start such a process, especially, if you’re new to the world of farming.
Don’t worry, because like always, we’ve got your back. In this article, we’re sharing everything you need to know on how to grow Russet potatoes in Texas. Whether you have an agricultural land, or you’re going to grow russet potatoes in your home, we’re going to present some of the most important tips for obtaining high quality crops. Let’s start..
How To Grow Russet Potatoes In Texas?
Russet Potatoes growing in Texas takes 4 main steps:
- Choosing The Right Potato Seed.
- Preparing The Soil.
- Planting Russet Potatoes.
- Caring For Russet Potatoes.
- Harvesting And Storing Russet Potatoes.
While they logically look like the main steps for growing potatoes in general, actually there are a lot of hidden details that you need to know. Now, let’s explain:
1. Choosing The Right Potato Seed
Selecting High-Quality Potato Seed
Potato seeds are the first production line for obtaining good crops from russet potatoes in Texas. the quality of what you harvest depends mainly on the quality of the seeds you planted. They must be carefully selected so as not to keep planting, caring, and waiting for days and weeks to finally get poor crops.
Read More: A Beginner’s Guide: How to Grow Your Own Russet Potatoes From Store Bought Potatoes.
The Different Types Of Potato Seeds Available And Their Pros And Cons.
There are two types of potato seeds: regular potatoes and custom potato seeds from the garden store.
1. Regular Russet Potatoes
The advantages of regular potatoes include that they are affordable and available as they can be easily purchased at any time from any supermarket.
But on the other hand, it has serious negatives that may lead to the failure of potato cultivation. Its most important drawback is that it is chemically treated with bud inhibitors to prevent bud germination while being shipped and on supermarket shelves.
It is also not selective, as it is among the hundreds of potato fruits that can carry diseases or pests. thus leading to the growth of diseased and weak plants that enter you into the cycle of treatment and medicines to get rid of them.
2. Custom Russet Potato Seeds From The Garden Store
They are seeds that are carefully prepared for growing potato crops. Their most important features are that they are selected very carefully according to certain criteria so that they are free from diseases and pests. They are not chemically treated with bud inhibitors to discourage growth and germination. Also, they are not sprayed with chemicals that leak into their tubers, which are often harmful to health.
On the other hand, there are some negatives, which as that it is more expensive to purchase and is not available at all times of the year.
2. Preparing The Soil
The Ideal Soil Conditions For Growing Russet Potatoes In Texas
Texas soil is one of its most important natural resources. However, it is very complex and diverse due to the great diversity of climate, geology, and vegetation.
You might be surprised to know that there are more than 1,300 different types of soil in Texas! Each of these is characterized by a certain set of characteristics that affect its agricultural uses. So you must know the requirements for Russet potatoes to determine the soil in which they will be grown. Russet potatoes need loose, well-drained, fertilized acidic soil, with a pH of 4.5 to 5.
Prepare The Soil For Planting
you should test the soil to add the amendments they needed. Soil analysis will show the elements in it and their proportions, and by this, you can determine the elements that should be added to the soil. Rosette potatoes need soil rich in iron, nitrogen, phosphorus, magnesium and other microelements. You can adjust the acidity of the soil by using acidic fertilizers that contain sulfates.
3. Planting Russet Potatoes
Russet Potatoes Planting Time In Texas
The last frost occurs much earlier in Texas, it can be in the mid or the end of January so you can plant potatoes in Texas faster. The end of February and early March are ideal times to plant potatoes in Texas.
Related Article: The Time It Take To Grow A Potato From A Potato.
The Proper Spacing And Depth For Planting Russet Potatoes
It is preferable that there be suitable distances when placing potato seeds in the soil so that they grow well. Each potato must be placed in an area of one square foot. Potatoes grow under the soil, so a suitable bed must be made for them as follows:
A trench of about 7 or 8 cm is dug, then 4 cm of soil is placed, then potato seeds are placed and another 3 cm of soil is backfilled. The soil should be well drained so that it is not always soggy with water because this leads to rotting potatoes, but it must be wet so that it is not dry and allows plants to grow.
If you’re on a limited space, you can a try a different method. Check out our guide on growing Russet potatoes from in potato bags for more instructions.
4. Caring For Russet Potatoes
Caring for your russet potatoes is pretty crucial to get the most out for your crop. Here are some of the most important tips to follow for proper caring:
It’s crucial for Russet Potato seeds to get sufficient amount of water to grow and form into a full plant. We recommend providing your Russet potatoes with 1 to 2 inches of water per week. This will help them form healthy tubers and produce better harvest of delicious russet potatoes.
When the potato plants are about 4 inches high, apply 1 cup of fertilizer for every 30 feet of potato rows. Fertilizers are applied by spreading organic or chemical fertilizer granules on the soil next to potato plants. Compost pellets release their nutrients into the soil when plants are watered and moistened.
Common Pests And Diseases
Pests and diseases can hugely affect your plants production and keeping them away is quite important to get the most out of your effort. There are many diseases and pests that affect Texas russet potatoes such as:
1. Bacterial Diseases
The bacteria leads to the appearance of soft, moldy spots on the potato fruits, and thus they are inedible. The most common bacterial potato diseases are Pectobacterium carotovorum and Dickeya, Clavibacter michiganensis subsp. sepedonicus, Ralstonia solanacearum.
2. Fungal Diseases Of Potatoes
Fungi cause a number of diverse and deadly diseases in potatoes, the most common fungal
potato diseases are Colletotrichum coccodes, Streptomyces scabies, Phytophthora infestans, Spongospora subterranea, Fusarium, Rhizoctonia solani, and Alternaria solani.
3. Viral Potato Diseases
Pests are the main cause of virus transmission to potatoes, and on top of these pests are aphids (Aphidoidea) and some nematodes harmful to plants such as Trichodorus and Paratrichodorus. Viruses cause growth and leaf disorders and cause potato crop losses ranging from 10 to 80%. Potato leafroll virus (PLRV), Tobacco rattle virus (TRV), and Potato virus Y (PVY) are common viral potato diseases.
4. Common Potato Pests
Various pests cause damage to potatoes, such as
Aphids Aphidoidea, Chrysoperla carnea, Potato root or potato cyst nematodes (Globodera), Voles (Arvicolinae), Cutworms (Agrotis), Colorado potato beetle (Leptinotarsa decemlineata).
How To Prevent Common Pests And Diseases?
After identifying the most common pathogens that are threatening your crop, you need to know how to protect your potatoes from them. In general, the best strategy for preventing potato diseases is to buy approved and healthy potato seeds to start the cultivation process in a healthy way.
Here are some tips to help you prevent common pests and diseases:
- Using a balanced fertilizer.
- Using plant cover to prevent pests.
- Using sterile earthing and hoeing tools, as viruses are transmitted due to contaminated tools.
- Remove affected plants immediately, carefully remove them from the soil, and dispose of them in the household waste
- Use approved pesticides.
5. Harvesting And Storing Russet Potatoes
When the leaves of the plants turn yellow, you can harvest the new potatoes. Dig carefully and take the number of potatoes you want, then put the plants back in their place to continue growing. When the stems die, you can harvest the large, ripe potatoes. Dig the soil and remove the whole plant and take the potatoes.
To keep potatoes intact and healthy for a long time they should be stored in a cool dark place around 35-40 degrees Fahrenheit.