One of the great things about growing potatoes in zone 10 is that it doesn’t frost very much. This makes it possible to grow potatoes just about any time of year. You can start planting as early as February and can continue to plant potatoes through December. Potatoes thrive in well-drained, loose soil and need plenty of sunlight. Make sure to keep your potatoes well-watered, but not overly wet. Mulch around the plants to help maintain soil moisture and keep weeds down. With the right conditions, you can enjoy delicious homegrown potatoes all year round in zone 10.
USDA Hardiness Zone X Climate
Zone 10 has a warm climate with mild winters and hot summers. The average yearly temperature is between 65°F (18°C) and 75°F (24°C). Winters are mild, with temperatures rarely dropping below 50°F (10°C). Summers are hot and humid, with temperatures reaching up to 95°F (35°C). Hard frosts are almost never experienced in this zone. Precipitation is fairly evenly distributed throughout the year, averaging around 53 inches (135 cm) annually. Potatoes can be grown at practically any time of the year in zone 10.
The Best Seed Potatoes For Zone 10
When selecting seed potatoes for growing in zone 10, it is important to be mindful of the variety’s days to harvest and the length of time you have before you want to harvest them.
Early-season varieties such as ‘Yukon Gold’ and ‘Red Norland’ have fewer days to harvest and should be planted as soon as possible for harvesting in late summer.
Mid-season varieties such as ‘Russet Burbank’ and ‘Kennebec’ have more days to harvest and should be planted in late April or early May for harvesting in fall.
Late-season varieties such as ‘Cara Russet’ and ‘All Blue’ have the most days to harvest and should be planted in late April or early May for harvesting in early winter. Be sure to select varieties with the right number of days to harvest for your intended harvest date. Some good potato varieties for zone 10 include:
- Russet Potatoes: 85-95 days
- Yukon Gold Potatoes: 90-110 days
- Red Potatoes: 80-90 days
- Purple Potatoes: 90-110 days
- Fingerling Potatoes: 90-120 days
- Sweet Potatoes: 90-120 days
- White Potatoes: 90-100 days
- All-Blue Potatoes: 95-105 days
- Yellow Finn Potatoes: 85-95 days
- Kennebec Potatoes: 85-95 days
When To Plant Potatoes In Zone 10
In zone 10, it is rare to ever experience a hard frost, but if you want to stay on the safe side, avoid having potatoes planted from December 15th to January 15th. Aside from that, you can pretty much grow potatoes any time of the year. If you plant a crop in February, you can harvest by June and plant another crop to harvest by November.
How To Plant Potatoes In Zone 10
To plant seed potatoes, begin by preparing the soil for planting. This can be done by tilling the soil to a depth of approximately 8 inches and adding organic compost to the soil. Once the soil is ready, place the seed potatoes in a sunny location that receives at least 8 hours of direct sunlight.
The seed potatoes should be planted with the “eyes” facing up and should be spaced approximately 8 to 10 inches apart. Cover the seed potatoes with 3-4 inches of soil, and water them well. Once the potatoes begin to sprout, add more soil to the rows to ensure that the potatoes are well covered.
Water the potatoes regularly and keep the area free of weeds.
Caring For Potato Plants
Caring for potato plants is pretty easy – they’re incredibly hardy and generally no-fuss. Potato plants need full sun and well-drained soil to thrive. They should be watered deeply and regularly, allowing the soil to dry out between waterings.
Fertilizing is also important for optimal growth. Potato plants need a balanced fertilizer with equal parts nitrogen, phosphorus, and potassium. This should be applied every four to six weeks, depending on the soil’s nutrient content.
It is also important to keep the soil evenly moist, as potatoes do not tolerate dry or waterlogged conditions. Mulching around the potato plants can help retain moisture and reduce weeds.
When To Harvest Potatoes In Zone 10
There are two sure ways to know your potatoes are about ready to harvest! The first is counting backward from your current date to their planting date. Potato varieties have an approximate number of days to harvest, so consult the days to harvest for the particular variety of potatoes you’ve planted. If you aren’t sure, assume it’s around 100 days.
The appearance of your potato plants is another dead giveaway. You will know your potatoes are ready to harvest when the foliage begins to turn yellow and die back. Allow the soil around the plants to dry before harvesting, but don’t allow it to be dry for too long. Once harvested, inspect the potatoes carefully- they should be firm and free of green or soft spots.