We are having a freeze tonite. My potatoes are up about 6". Do I need to cover? Thnx
They will get nipped, so cover if you can.
It's not a bad idea. They will live if you don't cover them, but they might be set back.
We had a weird weather event this January -- two straight weeks of freezing fog. It didn't get below about 30, but the length of time killed back some plants that are normally fine at that temp.
My potatoes were frozen and I replanted them. NOW, 3+ months later, the original ones are resprouting! The potato bed has become very crowded...
If it's not going to get below about 27 you can just lay a bedsheet or tablecloth over them. You don't have to use straw or anything.
Cover with sheets or row cover. Remember potatoes are the brothers to tomatoes, peppers and eggplant and not cold hardy as people seem to think.
"Cover with sheets or row cover. Remember potatoes are the brothers to tomatoes, peppers and eggplant and not cold hardy as people seem to think."
Mixed bag there, really. Its true, the potato plant itself is not cold hardy, freezing will kill it.
Thing is, unlike peppers and tomatoes, all you need is a small tuber to regrow a potato, and even in containers its rare that a brief period of cold weather will actually cause the tuber to freeze. In the ground, as long as you're the normal 6-8 inches deep the tuber will never freeze and will simply regrow once things warm up.
Last year, my potato patch lost all of its leaves from a cold snap that wasn't even freezing temperatures (33 degrees F) in late April. They came back but it took them a while to get going again.
I agree that some cover will definitely be helpful.