Whatever plants we grow in our gardens, they likely have nutritional needs different from neighboring plants. They may also leach or add nutrients, bacteria, fungi into the soil, as well as insects.
With that in mind, what to plant after potatoes is a valid question. Using crop rotation methods is not an accidental science. It is the result of millennia of studying plants to help produce healthy crops.
Whether growing a garden on 200 square feet of rooftop or on 60 acres of bottomland, what you plant after potatoes will benefit the next crop.
Follow along to learn more about crop rotation, why we do it, and to get you thinking about what to plant after you harvest your potatoes.
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What to Plant After Potatoes
If you harvest your potatoes in May, you can grow cucumbers, sweet potatoes, winter squash, peppers, pumpkins, and melons. For those harvested in June, okra, sweet corn, cucumbers, fall tomatoes, and winter squash make the list. You can still grow green beans, fall peas, onions, and kale in July.
Rotation Planting is Good for the Soil
We only have so much space to grow our gardens. But, using it efficiently and thinking toward the next growing season can help you produce better fruits and vegetables.
Crop rotation can help keep your soil healthy by managing disease, pests, and weeds in vegetable gardens.
When used as a method of maintaining the health of your soil, rotating crops can add nutritional benefits, also.
Your method of crop rotation does not need to be elaborate. For example, you can rotate potatoes with cucumbers one year and winter squash the next.
Alternatively, a five-year plan will allow you to take full advantage of crop rotation. It will also allow you to use companion planting to keep your plants healthy too.
Companion Planting Means More than One Thing
Some plants that you can grow with potatoes will add nutrients to the soil to help them grow while your potatoes are growing. These include corn, chives, cilantro, marigolds, flax, and nasturtiums.
Sugar snap peas, green beans, and other legumes add nitrogen to the soil when planted with your potatoes or as an additional crop for the season.
Plants such as marigolds and nasturtiums work as insect deterrents when planted with your potatoes. Flax and cilantro grown with potatoes attract beneficial insects and deter destructive pests.
All of these plants help the soil during and after the growth of your potatoes.
Potatoes like well-drained, fertile soil that is slightly acidic and well-drained, but what to plant after potatoes does not need to have the exact requirements. Instead, what you plant needs to complement the needs of your potatoes.
You’ll have to till the soil where you previously planted the potatoes before planting a new crop. The soil may also need amending, depending on what you intend to grow.
When Not to Replant Potatoes after Potatoes
If you dig up diseased potatoes, you need to plant your next crop of them somewhere else for about three years. That is because it is how long it will take you to rid the soil of the disease.
If you can identify the disease, you can grow a crop after potatoes unaffected by the same pathogen. Someone from your local agricultural extension office can help you with your plants.
Before even considering when to plant after potatoes, be sure that you have time and fertile soil that is pest and disease-free. Then, growing fall plants can be successful.
The only thing worse for a gardener than no crop is a lousy crop due to poor planning.
Although you can grow other root crops after potatoes, it is discouraged. Beets, parsnips, and other roots crops are susceptible to the same insects that enjoy potatoes.
Instead, you will be better served using the space to grow a crop that will add beneficial nutrients to the soil for next year’s crop of potatoes.
How Plants Feed
Some plants can grow in sand and do well, while others need rich compost. Plants are classified as light, medium, and heavy feeders, and potatoes feed heavily.
Meaning, that potatoes take many nutrients from the ground as they grow, so they need rich, fertile soil to grow to their full potential.
Along with amending the soil, the plants you grow after potatoes can help return nutrients to the soil. In addition, so can the plants you grow with them when you grow companion plants alongside your potatoes.
Both amending the soil and growing plants that will return nutrients to the soil will enable you to grow potatoes in the exact location, year after year.
That is if you can keep disease and pests from your growing tubers.
Growing companion plants with your potatoes and nutritionally beneficial plants after them will ensure that you have a bountiful harvest.
You will also have a wider variety of vegetables, herbs, and flowers as you combine them to keep your garden healthy.
Frequently Asked Questions about What to Plant After Potatoes
What do I do if my potatoes get blight?
Discard them. Do not put diseased potato plants in your compost.
Is there anything I shouldn’t grow after potatoes?
Plants you should not grow with or after potatoes include eggplant, tomatoes, and peppers. Potatoes do not do well where they were planted or when you plant them close by.
Daniel has been a plant enthusiast for over 20 years. He owns hundreds of houseplants and prepares for the chili growing seasons yearly with great anticipation. His favorite plants are plant species in the Araceae family, such as Monstera, Philodendron, and Anthurium. He also loves gardening and is growing hot peppers, tomatoes, and many more vegetables.