Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Seed Potatoes: Where to buy them?

Q - What is the difference between a seed potato and a regular potato?
A - The answer is there is no difference... sort of, sometimes seed potatoes have been treated and are not edible.  Usually the seed seller will disclose any issue. Some sell a sampler pack... to try and to plant.

A sprouting Viking Red a great heat tolerant red potato
Q - Can I just plant potatoes from the grocery store?
A - Not typically, they are usually treated with a chemical to prevent sprouting, they may eventually sprout but may not produce any potatoes.  I have heard that if they have been treated this way and they do sprout, if planted they will not develop tubers.  I can't verify this but I plan to experiment next time we have some sprouted grocery store potatoes in the pantry.
Q - What about "organic potatoes" from the grocery store?
A - You would think they would be good to plant but I have heard first hand accounts with mixed reviews about their viability.  Some of the issue may have to do with how they were stored and if the potatoes are new this years' crop.  Potatoes have to rest along with either high heat to cold to be viable as seed.  It is worth a shot but I wouldn't trust my whole crop to them.
Q - Where did you get your potatoes for your potato bins?
Cut into pieces (least two eyes each) set out to callous over.
A - I purchased them from potatogarden.com they have a huge variety of seed potatoes, I mean it they have countless varieties.  I also purchased from them because I can get them months early than other seed sellers.  Because I am in Zone 7b I need to plant mine far before most places ship their potatoes.
Q - Would you buy from them again?
A - Yes, they were very good to work with and I have been very satisfied with their seed potatoes.  Though next year I will order from their Long Season choices for the Potato Bins, because they will have a much large yield.
Q - Where else can I get seed potatoes?
A - I have been looking around locally for other options, I have found them at the big box stores and the farm stores like Atwoods, Tractor Supply and Calranch.  Most of what they all stocked were mid season varieties which don't work as well for Potato Bins
Q - Who had the best price?
A - Atwoods had the best price by far, only $0.69lb. Most of the other farm stores were about $1lb. The only draw back is they only had about 6-8 varieties.  The ones at the big box stores were decently priced also but their selection was also limited.
Q - What will you do next year for your seed potatoes?
A - I will buy some specialty ones(like the purple ones) from potatogarden.com and get the regular ones (reds, yukon golds etc.) from the farm store.

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