No luck with seed potatoes this year

I usually buy my seed potatoes in near by nursery. They opened up today and and I drove there to get my every year favorites - Yukon gold and Red Pontiac. They always had them in big farmers bags and allowed you handpick as many as you need (In my tiny garden I just need 20) and sold them like $3/lb. But this year they ordered prepacked potatoes(few in the net) of completely different kinds and set terrible prices. It is like you can buy online plus nursery profit… I am completely puzzled what to do. It is already too late to order online - almost all places sold out… Sigh…

Which farm you refer to, please?

Farmer’s daughter it is. It was a great nursery before… Now when I asked on the phone if they have seed potatoes, they asked me what it is). Absolutely no knowledge…

Sad to hear that - was the place sold to new ownership?

What I did this year was go to Whole Foods and sort thru the organic potatoes to find ones with eyes starting to sprout - which I planted

My problem is space. I found that Red Pontiac gives me 2, even 3 crops form same bush. I plant like 20 of them, we start to eat them at the end of June and finish them around end of September, and we eat a lot of potatoes for family of 2. I just get under the bush with my hands and get my dinner out. As soon as I add more straw and compost on top, it will continue to produce… I tried different potatoes, but only Red Pontiac works for me that way. Last year I already was not able to buy at nursery, they just didn’t order this one, I had to buy it online at Gurney’s. It was good potatoes, but they sent it very late, so I had no time to cheat them, and they were ready to pick two weeks later then usual.

I don’t see any Red Pontiac in stock, but there are still some other varieties at The Maine Potato Lady.

In particular, you may be interested in Red Gold:

This project tries to grow potatoes in bags and posted the result for each type.

Not only is Red Gold an early potato, but it gave them the highest yield and seems to set all the way up, not just at the seed level (see “Set Level” data point").

I vaguely recall growing Red Gold and found some notes on it in my logs. It was 2012 and I harvested the first ones in mid-June and continued planting more until the end of July. I don’t remember it too strongly, but I think it was reasonably good.

Bob, thanks for the link. Does Red Gold gets ready all at once and you need to plant again, or if you dig in and get some, it will continue to grow? This is most preferred way to grow for me.

I don’t remember. I don’t think it is all at once, as my notes say I dug some on 6/16, but I found a 6/29 picture with some in it.

We are conservative :grin: when it comes to potatoes. It is OK for blueberries to be blue, but potatoes we preferred white :grin:

I had to order my Red Pontiac from Gurney’s again. $14 for 4 pounds with delivery. A lot, but not crazy. I am planning to grow couple in a separate pot with sterile soil to grow my own seed potatoes. As I need just 20 of them I always can store them in the fridge. I actually found few tubers in my potato box from last year crop - they were too small to clean, so I forgot about them. They dried out, but all are growing :slight_smile:. If I’d have more space I would try to plant them this year, to see how they do.

I’ve also got some leftovers from last year as well. I’ll plant some and share some with others. In addition to the small ones, I also have a few normal ones which grew eyes before they could get eaten.


I had a couple dozen last year’s fingerlings that were sprouting, kept them in the fridge and planted them out last week

I like blue potatoes because of the idea of increased flavenoids- even if they only work as a flacebo!

Never bought seed potatoes in my life- we never can finish a 5 pound bag here and they usually start sprouting out after a month. I’ve bot blues and yukon gold in my big fridge with scion wood. The blues I bought from a supermarket that wasn’t charging much primarily to use as seed potatoes because my crop last year sucked.

You are lucky, I started with store potato few years ago and they just didn’t come up. Later I found out that in potato production they add some chemical at the last stage of growing to suppress sprouting in storage. Even if it sprouts, it has no power to grow.

Hmmm, last year I may have had that problem for the first time- very retarded growth. I think if you use organic potatoes it works- they always begin to sprout rather quickly. Any potato that sprouts quickly in storage probably hasn’t been treated or I wouldn’t have had success so often. .It is the potatoes that sprout before we use them that end up in the garden.

After writing the first paragraph I searched for info, and a sprouting potato should keep growing, especially an organic one because the inhibitors used for organic potatoes are very temporary and need to be reapplied bi-weekly.

1 Like

That’s why I made sure to get organic potatoes

I like organic potatoes because I’ve read they use a lot of nasty stuff on conventional, now I find out they are treated with active herbicide AFTER HARVEST- not very appetizing, especially because I like to eat the skin.

I think that’s an important consideration when deciding which produce is worth the extra $ to go organic on. For me, the simple rule of thumb is “The thicker (and not eaten) the skin, the less important it is to go organic”. So for bananas and melons it isn’t as important as for apples and peaches. I would think it would be even more important with potatoes, as they are growing in direct contact with the soil and the pesticides/herbicides won’t get a chance to wash off in the rain.

I don’t remember ever having organic potatoes which didn’t sprout, if given enough time. And those store potatoes do just fine. But, I’m interested in trying a wide variety of cultivars, so I’ve been buying seed potatoes. Once I settle down with a few varieties, I wouldn’t expect to need to do that much at all.