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What to plant after potatoes is often a question posed by gardeners after harvesting them.
In this article, we will help you identify the appropriate crops to plant following a potato harvest, as well as discuss specific plants that can help you grow potatoes more healthily in the future. Keep this useful guide at hand as you make your decision.
JUMP TO TOPIC
- What Are the Crops That Can Be Planted After Potatoes?
- What to Plant After Potatoes To Prevent Pests and Diseases?
- What Kind of Plants Will Help Produce More Yield After Harvesting Potatoes?
- What Is Companion Planting, and How Can It Help Potatoes?
What Are the Crops That Can Be Planted After Potatoes?
- Green beans
- Sugar snap peas
As you may have noticed, the majority of these crops are legumes.
This is because legumes are a fantastic choice because they can create their own nitrogen; thus, instead of getting it from the soil, they can supply it to the soil, especially when they rot, thus improving quality and soil health.
What to Plant After Potatoes To Prevent Pests and Diseases?
To prevent pests and diseases after planting potatoes, you can try planting alfalfa, cabbage, carrots, corn, lettuce, buckwheat, cucumbers, and others. There are specific types of crops you can grow depending on what pests or diseases you want to avoid.
After harvesting potatoes, you should address pests and diseases before the next planting season if you found them on your potatoes. To do this without discarding all of the soil you used, you can opt to plant specific crops to help get rid of the unwanted inhabitants in the soil.
However, it should be noted that these pests and diseases that affected your last harvest of potatoes can also spread and bring damage to other crops, especially from the potato family. With this, it is advisable not to cultivate any vegetables from the nightshade family. Tomatoes, eggplant, potatoes, and peppers are members of the plant family known as nightshades.
After encountering pests and diseases on potatoes, below is a list of vegetables not to plant:
In order to effectively use the affected soil without compromising the crop that will be planted next, it is important to determine first what is the specific pest or disease that affected your newly harvested potatoes. Once known, you can now plan on what will be the most appropriate vegetable or crop to plant.
Here are common pests and diseases and the corresponding plants that they cannot affect and can be planted right after the affected potatoes.
1. Colorado Potato Beetles
Also known as the Colorado beetle, this is considered one of the major pests that can affect potato crops. It measures around 10 mm in length and has five distinct brown stripes running the length of each of its elytra.
Despite being attractive, these bugs can do severe damage to potatoes. They can consume at least 15% of the leaves of the plants and tend to develop immunity to insecticide, especially if they are exposed to the same one year after year. This poses a risk of low produce, especially for high-priced Colorado potato.
A tried and tested way of getting rid of them is to do crop rotation. Given that they love plants from the nightshade family, too, you should be sure that you steer clear of planting the above-listed vegetables on the same infected soil.
After a struggle with potato beetles, you can produce the following crops and you will notice that fewer bugs will attack if you produce more unrelated crops.
- Sweet potatoes
The larvae of the click beetle, which look like wires, are called wireworms. They are between 3/4 and 1 1/2 inches long and are yellow-brown. They often only become an issue if the field is already infested with wireworms.
They can stifle growth and, in the end, kill the plant. In order to prevent the adult beetles from depositing their eggs and breaking the wireworm life cycle, you can plant the below plants, which are known to be non-host plants to wireworms.
You can also do crop rotation and follow planting potatoes with planting sugar beets, corn, and tomatoes. Make sure that these have been treated with insecticides that specifically target wireworms.
3. Common Scab
Common scab disease on potatoes is caused by the bacteria in the genus Streptomyces. These bacteria commonly infect root crops. You will know that your potatoes have them if the potatoes have lesions that are rough in texture and range in color from tan to dark brown.
Avoid planting other root crops like carrots, turnips, parsnips, radishes, and beets if you suspect that this bacterium is present in the soil. Instead, you can plant the below plants that are known to be least affected by it.
Despite being a root vegetable, onions do not act as a host for Streptomyces, so they are okay to be planted. Keep in mind that you shouldn’t plant solanaceous plants for several years following infected potatoes.
4. Early Blight
Early blight is caused by the fungus Alternaria solani. It is a disease that affects leaves, stems, and tubers, which can result in decreased crop marketability. The symptoms include bull’s-eye dots on the leaves, stem lesions, and tuber blight. To manage this fungus, you can plant the following crops after potatoes:
You should plant unrelated crops for a number of years because the fungi can last in the soil for more than a year.
What Kind of Plants Will Help Produce More Yield After Harvesting Potatoes?
The kinds of plants that will help to produce a bigger yield after harvesting potatoes you can consider are other vegetables. However, since most vegetables do well in their specific planting seasons, there are suitable crops to plant depending on when you harvest your potatoes.
It is also a good idea to check on the individual needs of each plant because others still require fertilizers in order to produce more. For early potatoes that were harvested in May, you can proceed to plant teh varieties below:
- Honeydew melons
- Sweet potatoes
- Winter squash
While for those harvested in June, you can check the list of plants below to determine which one to plant to succeed the potatoes.
- Fall tomatoes
- Sweet corn
- Winter squash
You can also plant these crops in July:
- Fall peas
- Green beans
- Salad greens
- Winter squash
If you have a small garden and want to maximize your garden beds, you can select from the below plants to plant next after harvesting potatoes so that you can fully utilize your garden space:
For general planting without any specific goals as mentioned above, below is the complete list of suggested plants that can be considered in planning what to plant next after harvesting your potatoes.
- Asian Greens
- Dwarf beans
- Fordhook giant
- Honeydew melons
- Pak Choy
- Rainbow chard
- Sweet corn
- Sweet potato
- Swiss chard
- Winter squash
There are a lot of options to choose from when thinking of what to plant after harvesting potatoes. These listed plants can also be used as potato companion plants.
What Is Companion Planting, and How Can It Help Potatoes?
Companion planting for potatoes is a tried-and-tested gardening technique that enhances and defends delicate potato crops. Specific crops are planted close to potatoes by farmers and gardeners to ward off pests, attract helpful insects, promote growth, improve soil quality, and provide ground cover.
These can also serve as markers and encourage a better taste of the crops. In the case of potatoes, there are good companion plants to attract beneficial insects, repel pests, improve the soil, and maximize the garden space.
For attracting beneficial insects, you can plant tansy, petunias, cilantro, chives, or alyssum with potatoes. If you want to repel pests, plant marigolds, horseradish, and flax. Nasturtium, on the other hand, is planted by farmers and gardeners a few meters away from the crop they are protecting, as it attracts pests and keeps them away from the precious crops.
As potatoes grow, you can also plant legumes to help improve the soil quality, as these plants are known to be providers of nitrogen in the soil. If you have a limited amount of space or a garden, you can plant crops with shallow roots that will not compete for nutrients from the soil. Examples of these crops are leeks, broccoli, corn, cabbage, cauliflower, collard greens, kohlrabi, and kale.
In order to maximize your garden beds after harvesting potatoes, there are several crops that can be planted on the soil instead of just leaving your garden beds empty. However, there are certain factors that should be taken into consideration when planning what to plant after potatoes, so let us summarize what we have learned so far:
- If the goal is nutrient retention in the soil, you can plant legumes because they can create their own nitrogen and do not need to get it from the soil.
- For potatoes that were affected by pests and diseases, ideally, the soil should be changed as the bacteria, fungi, and other pests still exist there.
- However, if you still want to utilize the soil, you can plant unrelated crops that are known to be non-hosts. Just be sure to apply pesticides as well.
- For higher yields, you can plant other crops right after harvesting potatoes.
- Just like crop rotation, companion planting helps to attract beneficial insects, repel pests, improve the soil, and maximize the garden space.
After harvesting potatoes, you can still utilize the soil and maximize your garden space by planting the most suitable crop according to your needs. With the knowledge you’ve gained from this article, deciding what to plant next after potatoes will be a breeze!
- Sue Scheufele. (September 2022). Potato, Identifying Diseases. University of Massachusetts Amherst.
Retrieved from https://ag.umass.edu/vegetable/fact-sheets/potato-identifying-diseases
- Ricky E. Foster. (March 2016). MANAGING INSECT PESTS OF POTATO. Purdue University Extension Entomology.
Retrieved from https://extension.entm.purdue.edu/publications/E-96/E-96.html
- Click Beetles. Orkin Canada.
Retrieved from https://www.orkincanada.ca/pests/beetles/click-beetles/
- Karen Delahaut, David Lowenstein and Russell Groves. Wireworms. University of Wisconsin-Madison.
Retrieved from https://vegento.russell.wisc.edu/pests/wireworms/
- Crop rotation. RHS.
Retrieved from https://www.rhs.org.uk/vegetables/crop-rotation