Potato growing season is among us! Farming is a year-round, around the clock job but today we are going to break down the growing season timeline for you.  The planting of potatoes begins as early as March and can go through the spring until May. Planting time varies throughout our state because of potato variety and farm location. The second step in the growing process is the bulking and blooms stage. The favorable conditions and long growing season in Washington allow spuds to “bulk up”. The favorable conditions in Washington are what set our potatoes apart from other potatoes. The conditions in Washington allow spuds to form “high solids”. Potatoes that have high solids hold less water which leads to a better product for processing, mashing, frying, and baking. The third step in the potato growing process is irrigation. Stage three occurs from May-August and requires modern technology. Today growers use GPS equipped center pivot irrigation systems to water their crop. These new systems give potatoes the moisture they need without using excess water. The fourth step in the growing process is harvesting season. Every variety is a little different, so harvest can happen anywhere from July-October.  Once growers harvest their potatoes, they move them into storage. Storage is the fifth and final stage of the growing process. Most potatoes are stored in state of the art potato storage facilities. During this time, growers must monitor their storage facilities and ensure they have the perfect temperature, lighting, humidity, and ventilation. Clearly, it takes a lot of thought, work, and effort to grow high-quality Washington potatoes.

 

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