GROWING SEED POTATOES

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Potatoe or potato, just ask dan quayle…

Potatoes may be planted as early in spring as the ground can be worked, and may be planted through early June.  They grow best in a loose soil. Use certified seed potatoes, which are virus-free. Tubers from the supermarket are treated with sprout-retarding chemicals which will reduce yields.  Even organic potatoes may have been grown in soils where diseases were present, and will carry those diseases into your garden.

  • Planting: Plant either mini tubers or cut pieces with 2-3 eyes, 3”-4” deep and 12” apart in rows 24” apart.  Irrigate as needed. Mulching helps prevent sunscald; potatoes exposed to sunlight while growing will end up with inedible green skin. After plants are 12” tall, mound soil 6” high around them.  Apply low nitrogen, high phosphorus fertilizer for best yields.

  • Harvest: Small, new potatoes are ready to dig when blossoms appear on the plant.  When plants die back in midsummer or fall, potatoes have reached their maximum size.  To increase storage ability, leave potatoes in the ground for 2 weeks after vines die, and then dry them in a dark, airy spot for another week. Store potatoes in a relatively dry location, at the lowest temperature possible without freezing.

  • Yield: 5 pounds of seed potatoes will plant 25’ of row, and will yield 25 pounds of potatoes.  Mini tubers will yield 15-20 times the amount planted.