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Planting Potatoes – right time?

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    Hi all, I have some really tasty purple skinned potatoes that have started to vigorously sprout before we could eat them all, So I’m anxious to plant them.

    I understand that potaotes ieadlly should be planted in Sydney from August to October.

    So, what are the down sides to planting them now? Am I wasting my time?

    Is there a way to keep them until later – of course I’ve already cut them into ‘eyes’ before I asked this question (:uhoh:)

    Any and all help gratefully accepted – thanks!

    Lady BeeLady Bee

    Hmmm, if you hadn’t already cut them I’d have said you could keep them for a few months without a problem.

    I guess you could try to keep some, plant some and see what happens.

    My understanding is that potatoes can rot in the ground in cold weather, so try a potoato cage so that they don’t get waterlogged over winter. Also keep layering the straw up to protect all but the growing tips from frost.

    It may work; it may not.

    Hopefully someone with more knowledge than me on spuds can advise.


    If you don’t get frosts you will ok. Since you have cut them you may as well plant them. In those Perth suburbs where frosts are rare people get a summer and winter crop. I get to many frosts to grow a winter crop.


    Thanks Lady B and Bill! We don’t get frosts here and I’m planting them in a raised bed, so OK, what the heck, I’ll throw them in.

    They have really tasty yellow flesh so if I get anything edible from this they’ll be especially delicious, being home grown!

    Thanks again,



    Hi Magpie, I only just spotted this, but as you already cut them it was too late anyway.

    For future reference…

    In Australia, other than the very cool areas light mountain regions, Tasmania and those that get frosts, Potatoes can be sown most of the year. Obviously in winter they will be slower, with smaller yields, but still better than thsoe you can buy, the majority of which have been heavily treated with pesticides…

    The accepted practice for preparing potatoes is to “Chit” them, that is store them in a light airy place to encourage short sturdy shoots, then plant them out this way. DON’T cut them. The thinking here is that the cut surfaces open the potato to disease attack.

    I always grow them in tubs as I got sick of them coimg up in the beds for years afterwards. In winter, these black tubs absorb the suns heat and keep the soil temps a little more potato friendly.

    Hope this helps.

    (keep an eye on my site, there will be an article on our harvest, growing, chitting etc, soon..)




    Yep agree with all the above, just going to add, if you only have a few big spuds of a special variety, cut them up but place them in the sun and make sure they callus well before planting.


    not sure about at parramatta? but i’m putting ours in up here in brissy to ge them on the way before the cold comes to inhibit their growth a little, if you have a good northern aspect can’t see why they wouldn’t grow now, if in doubt then put them into pots untill the time is right.

    first time i’ve seen it up here but every nursery is selling seedies. they want $2.95 a kilo the produce agency only wants $2.00 per k, last year $2.50.

    check our instant potato patch out.



    Better than what I got gardenlen. Ended up buying some at $6.50 a kilo at BigW!! :p

    With my lack of potato growing ability, that’s some expensive potatoes.


    This is an interesting subject to me.

    Potatoes are the easiest carbohydrate to grow and so for supplying seeerious amounts of food, they are invaluable.

    I live and garden in a fairly dry area of South Aust. so that growing them in summer (from spring plantings) is very difficult and any weather over 40C seems to finish them off (this past summer that was in early Nov.)

    I have always dug more from “accidental” plantings earlier in the year, and I dig plenty of potatoes during the winter… ongoing.

    The only problem is that you can’t buy seed potatoes until it is too late to plant them and all you’ll get is a small crop before the hot weather.

    I plant any potatoes that grow well in my cupboard… and dig them for much of the year.


    Hi ejanea, Kapunda…. hmmm nearly lived there long ago, but we moved to Nuri instead… sheesh the memories.

    Back on topic…. when I did my PDC the guy who taught it said, because our grounds do not freeze you could plant at any time of the year…….. and thoughts?

    Have to admit I put in a crop of tubers which had sprouted inside, into the ground in late February and they are doing VERY well. time will tell I guess 🙂


    AbbysMum wrote:

    because our grounds do not freeze you could plant at any time of the year

    That’s surprising advice for him to give. The problem is frost kills the plant… isn’t it? I have never actually tried a winter crop because all literature I read says “frost = no potatoes”.


    :shrug: is what I understood ….. and have planted in a very open position to get as much sun as possible. It is my understanding frost rolls in ……. if this is true then if you protected from this rolling nature it may work. Need someone more expirienced than me to give a better answer I am afraid



    @Bill I have planted potatoes in winter a few times now and they do better than the summer ones (planted “after the last frost” in spring.) This is mainly because the very hot weather and the impossible amount of water that they need is jsut not possible here. I’ll be trying a few under shadecloth next summer though. I’ve been assured that it won’t work because of the lack of sun, but I am willing to try in order to attempt carbohydrate self-sufficiency 🙂

    Hi Susan… I get to Nuri often enough… Carer’s Link. I shop at Angaston market sometimes too.


    I put mine in just about any time of year. If frost threatens I cover the plants with Plantguard, Jackie French suggests a deep layer of a light fluffy mulch which you can remove next morning.


    quote ” put mine in just about any time of year.

    Same here.

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