potatoes and peas - Knowledgebase Question

Deltona, FL
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Question by morello
February 4, 1998
I cannot grow potatoes or peas well in Florida. What kind should I grow? When can they be most effectively be planted?

Answer from NGA
February 4, 1998
Potatoes (Solanaceae) and Peas (Leguminoseae) are cool weather plants, and in your area, they should be planted now (early Feb.)

A good potato crop starts with good seed potatoes. Buy certified seed potatoes to plant. The seed potatoes should becut into pieces with at least two "eyes" and should be cut a few days before you plan to plant. Douse the cut potato pieces in sulfur immediately after cutting to protect them against rot.

Soil pH should be no more than 6.5, a little lower would be best. If you don't know your soil pH, go to several places in your plot and with a trowel dig down about 5 inches, taking a sample from each spot. Place these samples in a bucket, mix well and take a pint of this soil, in a clean container, to your County Extension Office located at 3100 E New York, Ave. in Deland, FL, Telephone number is (904)822-5778. Follow the recommendations on the soil test results.

Potatoes do best in a soil with plenty of organic matter. If your soil is lacking in organic material, add plenty of compost. Dig a trench about a foot deep and place your seed pieces, eyes up,about 10 to 12" inches apart in trench. Cover the seed pieces with 3 to 4 inches of soil. As the plants grow pull more soil to the plants. Potatoes in our area should be planted from January to March. Some good varieties are Sebago, Red Pontiac, Red LaSoda and Superior.

Peas are also planted between January and March. The pH for peas should be from 6 to 6.5 Being legumes, peas require very little extra nitrogen. Your soil should have plenty of organic matter. Most peas will require some sort of support. The edible podded peas (Sugar Snap) will need a trellis to grow on. Little Marvel will do quite well without support.Some varities that do well in Florida are
Wando, Green Arrow and Laxton's Progress in addiiton to those mentioned above.

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