potatoes

The 10 Best Potatoes To Grow In North Carolina

Welcome to our comprehensive guide on the best potatoes to grow in North Carolina! If you’re a gardening enthusiast in the Tar Heel State, you’ll be delighted to know that there are several potato varieties perfectly suited to the region’s climate and soil conditions.

Whether you’re a seasoned gardener or a beginner looking to embark on a potato-growing adventure, this article will provide you with valuable insights and recommendations on the top potato varieties that thrive in North Carolina. From classic favorites to unique heirlooms, get ready to discover the best potatoes that will ensure a bountiful harvest and delicious meals straight from your own backyard.

The best potatoes to grow in North Carolina

When it comes to growing potatoes in North Carolina, selecting the right variety is crucial for a successful harvest. The state’s warm climate and long growing season create favorable conditions for various potato types. Here are ten best potatoes to grow in North Carolina that are known for their adaptability, disease resistance, and excellent flavor:

  1. Yukon Gold: This popular variety is prized for its smooth, golden flesh and buttery flavor. It performs well in North Carolina’s climate and is versatile in the kitchen.
  2. Red Pontiac: Known for its vibrant red skin and firm texture, Red Pontiac is a reliable choice for North Carolina gardeners. It is excellent for boiling, baking, or making potato salads.
  3. Kennebec: A high-yielding variety, Kennebec produces large, oblong tubers with white flesh. It has good disease resistance and is suitable for various cooking methods.
  4. Adirondack Blue: If you’re looking for a visually striking potato, Adirondack Blue is an excellent choice. Its deep blue skin and vibrant purple flesh make it a standout in salads or as a colorful side dish.
  5. German Butterball: This heirloom variety is favored for its rich, buttery flavor and creamy texture. German Butterball potatoes are versatile and can be used for baking, mashing, or frying.
  6. Russet Burbank: Known as the classic baking potato, Russet Burbank produces large, starchy tubers with a fluffy texture. It is ideal for making crispy oven-baked fries or fluffy mashed potatoes.
  7. Purple Majesty: Another visually striking variety, Purple Majesty features deep purple skin and vibrant purple flesh. It retains its color even after cooking and is perfect for adding a pop of color to dishes.
  8. All Blue: As the name suggests, All Blue potatoes have a striking blue skin and blue flesh. They are versatile and can be boiled, mashed, or roasted, adding a unique twist to your culinary creations.
  9. Norland: Norland potatoes are early maturing and produce round, red-skinned tubers with white flesh. They are excellent for boiling, steaming, or roasting and are well-suited to North Carolina’s climate.
  10. Yukon Gem: This variety is a North Carolina-specific adaptation of the popular Yukon Gold. Yukon Gem potatoes have a smooth, golden skin and creamy flesh, making them a reliable choice for local gardeners.

When selecting the best potatoes to grow in North Carolina, consider factors such as taste preferences, cooking versatility, and disease resistance. By choosing from this diverse selection, you can enjoy a bountiful potato harvest that thrives in the unique climate of North Carolina.

Avoid growing these potatoes in North Carolina

When it comes to growing potatoes in North Carolina, it is important to choose the right varieties that are well-suited to the region’s climate and growing conditions. While there are many excellent potato varieties available, there are also some that may not perform as well in this particular area. Here are ten potato varieties that are best to avoid when growing potatoes in North Carolina:

  1. Yukon Gold: Although a popular variety in many regions, Yukon Gold potatoes tend to struggle in North Carolina’s hot and humid climate.
  2. Russet Burbank: This variety requires a longer growing season and cooler temperatures, making it less suitable for North Carolina’s climate.
  3. German Butterball: While German Butterball potatoes are known for their excellent flavor, they may not thrive in the heat and humidity of North Carolina.
  4. Red Pontiac: This variety is susceptible to diseases common in warmer climates, making it less ideal for North Carolina potato growers.
  5. Kennebec: Kennebec potatoes prefer cooler temperatures and may not produce well in the heat of North Carolina summers.
  6. All Blue: These striking blue potatoes may struggle to develop properly in North Carolina’s warm climate.
  7. Purple Majesty: Similar to All Blue potatoes, Purple Majesty varieties may not reach their full potential in North Carolina’s heat.
  8. Russian Banana: This fingerling variety may not perform as well in North Carolina’s climate, which can impact its yield and quality.
  9. La Ratte: Another fingerling variety, La Ratte potatoes may not thrive in North Carolina’s hot and humid conditions.
  10. Adirondack Blue: While visually appealing, Adirondack Blue potatoes may not produce satisfactory yields in North Carolina’s climate.

By avoiding these varieties and selecting ones that are better adapted to North Carolina’s conditions, gardeners can increase their chances of a successful potato harvest.

Potato growing tips for North Carolina

Growing potatoes in North Carolina can be a rewarding and successful endeavor if you follow some essential tips and best practices. Here are some guidelines to help you achieve the best results:

  1. Choose the right potato variety: When selecting potatoes to grow in North Carolina, opt for varieties that are well-suited to the region’s climate and growing conditions. Some of the best potatoes to grow in North Carolina include Yukon Gold, Kennebec, Red Pontiac, and Russet Burbank. These varieties tend to thrive in the state’s warm summers and mild winters.
  2. Prepare the soil: Potatoes prefer loose, well-draining soil with a pH level between 5.0 and 6.0. Before planting, amend the soil with organic matter such as compost or well-rotted manure to improve its fertility and drainage. Avoid using fresh manure, as it can promote disease and rot.
  3. Planting time: In North Carolina, it’s best to plant potatoes in early spring, around mid-March to early April. This timing allows the tubers to develop before the heat of summer. However, if you’re in the western part of the state, you can plant a second crop in late summer for a fall harvest.
  4. Preparing seed potatoes: Prior to planting, it’s crucial to prepare your seed potatoes. Cut them into pieces, ensuring each piece has at least two or three eyes. Allow the cut pieces to dry for a day or two to prevent rotting. This process also helps to stimulate sprouting.
  5. Planting technique: Dig trenches or furrows about 4-6 inches deep and space them around 2-3 feet apart. Place the seed potato pieces, cut side down, in the furrows, leaving a distance of 12-15 inches between each piece. Cover the potatoes with soil, forming mounds or ridges about 4-6 inches high. These mounds protect the tubers from sunlight, preventing them from turning green and becoming toxic.
  6. Watering and fertilizing: Potatoes require consistent moisture throughout their growing season. Water deeply once a week, providing about 1-2 inches of water. Avoid overwatering, as it can lead to rot. Fertilize the plants with a balanced organic fertilizer at planting time and again when the plants reach about 6-8 inches in height.
  7. Pest and disease management: Common pests that can affect potatoes in North Carolina include Colorado potato beetles, aphids, and wireworms. Monitor your plants regularly and take appropriate measures, such as handpicking pests or using organic insecticides if necessary. To prevent diseases like late blight, practice crop rotation, and avoid overhead watering.
  8. Harvesting: Potatoes are typically ready for harvest when the plants have died back and turned yellow or brown. Gently dig around the plants to unearth the tubers. Be careful not to damage them during the harvesting process. Allow the potatoes to dry in a cool, dark place for a few hours before storing them in a cool, dry, and well-ventilated area.

By following these tips and best practices, you can enjoy a bountiful harvest of the best potatoes to grow in North Carolina. Happy gardening!

Cody Medina
Small Scale Farmer
Hi there! I'm Cody, a staff writer here at The Garden Magazine and a small-scale farmer living in Oregon. I've been gardening most of my life and now live on a quarter-acre farmstead with chickens, ducks, and a big garden.