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Potatoes And Frosts

Can I keep frost off of potato tops by building smudge fires! I would
like to plant about February 1, but we usually have a few light frosts
here during March. If I were to turn water in the field when too cold,
would that keep the frost off, and if so, would I have to turn water
down each row, or would one furrow full of water to about every fourth
or sixth row be enough?

You can prevent frost by smudging for potatoes just as you can for other
vegetables. The potato, however, needs little protection of this kind
and will endure a light frost which would be destructive to tomatoes,
melons, and other more tender growths. Unless you have a very frosty
situation, you can certainly grow potatoes without frost protection, and
they should be planted earlier than February first if the ground is in
good condition. The great secret of success in growing potatoes in
southern California is to get a good early start before the heat and
drought come on. Water will protect from frost if the temperature only
goes to about 28 degrees and does not stay there too long. The more
water there is exposed the longer may be the protection, but probably
not against a lower temperature.

Next: Growing Sweet Potato Plants

Previous: Storage Of Seed Potatoes

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