The Perfect Time to Grow Potatoes in Tennessee

Do you dream of having your own delicious potatoes in Tennessee but feel unsure about when to plant them? Growing potatoes may seem simple, but there are a few crucial details you need to know. Don’t worry, I’m here to guide you through the ideal planting time for potatoes in Tennessee.

Understanding the Potatoes’ Vulnerability

One important thing to remember is that potatoes cannot survive frost or chilly temperatures below 50 degrees Fahrenheit. Planting them too early in the spring will result in their demise, while planting them too late will prevent a bountiful harvest before the first fall frost arrives. So, timing is everything!

Determining the Perfect Timing

To determine the right time for planting potatoes in Tennessee, pay close attention to your local spring weather, especially when the last frost occurs. As a general rule, wait until there hasn’t been a frost for two weeks before planting your potatoes outside.

To make it easier for you, I’ve compiled a table with average frost dates for major cities in Tennessee. If your city isn’t listed, you can find the Last & First Frost Dates here. However, keep in mind that these dates are just averages, and Mother Nature can be unpredictable.

Tennessee Last & First Frost Dates

Unfortunately, each year brings its own surprises when it comes to frost. There are times when the last frost arrives later than usual, or, on rare occasions, it comes earlier, allowing you to plant your potatoes sooner. That’s why it’s crucial to stay vigilant and check your local weather regularly.

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Protecting Your Potatoes from Frost

If you learn that a frost is coming after planting your potatoes, don’t panic. Take immediate action to safeguard your precious plants. If they are in pots, bring them indoors. However, if they are in the ground, cover them with burlap and hope for the best.

Moreover, planting your potatoes too late in your garden can result in undersized or even nonexistent potatoes. To avoid disappointment, make sure you don’t delay planting them.

Starting Your Potato Seeds Indoors

Depending on the type of potatoes you’re growing, it takes around 30-40 days to grow potatoes from seed indoors and then transplant them to your garden. To find the specific date to start your potato seeds indoors:

  1. Find the last average frost date on Ames Farm Center.
  2. Subtract 40 days from that date.

While following these guidelines, pay attention to your local weather report. Additionally, to strengthen your potato plants and increase their chances of fighting off diseases, insects, droughts, and wet conditions, gradually introduce them to the outdoor environment. Begin by placing them outside for an hour in their pots and increase this time by an hour each day until they have spent 8 hours outdoors.

If you’re interested in learning when to plant any vegetable in Tennessee, visit Ames Farm Center and enter the vegetable of your choice. Get ready to enjoy a bountiful harvest of homegrown goodness!