Potatoes go into the ground in the spring. Is that really how everyone does it? In Ireland, people traditionally plant potatoes in September. We tell you why this can be useful!

Who has not experienced that the old potatoes, landed on the compost before winter, cheerfully push new shoots. Even potatoes forgotten in the bed always sprout cheerfully – and produce a substantial new crop. This got the Irish thinking; they therefore put their potatoes in the ground in September – and have been doing so for hundreds of years. We’ll tell you what the advantages are and what you should bear in mind.

What are the advantages of planting in the fall?

Potatoes planted in September take advantage of the autumn moisture period and then already form roots. Above-ground growth begins as soon as the soil warms up in the spring. They are less likely to be attacked by the wireworm, the larva of the click beetle. This is because it is usually much wetter in the fall than in the spring. The animals look for moisture during dry periods. Potatoes planted in the fall even beat early potatoes in terms of harvest time.

What potatoes can be planted in the fall?

For cultivation in September, it is best to use early potatoes. To start them frost-proof, place the tubers in the bed a little deeper than in the spring. This is especially true if the garden is located in a harsh climatic region. The potatoes should be relatively large. Only then will they have enough strength to push their shoots from the depths to the surface.

How to prepare the bed for the potatoes

If winter, then with the sun: otherwise, on a shady bed, the autumn planting of the potato has no chance. If the winter sun warms the soil, then it gets incentives to sprout. Start in a bed that was well supplied with nutrients in the previous year. Alternatively, four weeks before planting, spread mature compost and mix it well with the topsoil. Alternatively, you can also add dry leaves to the bed, which usually accumulates in abundance in the fall. The layer may be 2 inches thick. Be sure to loosen the soil really deep.

As always when growing potatoes, it is useful if no potatoes have grown on the designated area for four years. This reduces the risk of pest and disease infestation. The potatoes benefit if plants such as beans, peas or spinach have stood on the area before them.

The right planting technique

The soil must still be open when the potatoes are placed in the ground. At best, the bed has dried out somewhat. Especially with heavy subsoil, otherwise compaction occurs during planting, which is not good for the potatoes. Then use a hoe to make furrows in the soil about 8 inches deep. The seed potatoes are planted there at intervals of about 8 to 12 inches. Afterwards, cover the potatoes with soil and mound the row a little. Applied bark mulch keeps the moisture in the soil and prevents the cold from penetrating deep into the soil.

To allow the soil to warm up in the spring, the mulch layer is removed early in the year. If there is another cold snap, lay a heat fleece over the bed. A good insulator is also newspaper, which is weighted down with stones.