Potato Lady disappointment

I ordered 5 pounds of Yukon Gold and 5 pounds of Red Pontiac from Potato Lady. For Yukon gold they didn’t have a choice of conventional seeds - so I had to buy more expensive organic seed potatoes. I do not care if my seeds are organic or not, but I care for them to be disease free. I received package yesterday.

Every single out of 20 Yukon Gold potatoes has potato scab injuries - different degree, from a single spot to many.
There are also some damage I can’t identify with mold growth.

Red Pontiac has 2 potatoes out of 15 diseased , one severe.

I am planting my garden in a new soil this year and I don’t think the previous owner grew potatoes(at least not in this spot) and it would be unfortunate to start the new patch with scab.So should I be planning on dispute with Potato Lady and discarding the seeds or should I just ignore scab issues and plant what I was sent, may be after some disinfection ? I may be not able to buy more seeds this year, too late.


That is a bummer! Usually, the Potato Lady has pretty good seed taters. I’d be hesitant to plant scabby potatoes in new soil myself—though more experienced potato growers might have different notions. Are there any farm supply stores near you? They often carry seed potatoes.

If you need potatoes this year and can’t find any others, I guess you could plant 'em out anyway and rotate to a non-host plant next season. Beans would be good. And maybe do a scab-resistant variety next planting.

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There are places where I can buy potatoes, but last year I bough something that was called Yukon Gold and was something completely different, though looked similar. It was a potato you can’t boil - the top layer flaked off and mixed with water while middle was still raw. So I thought it would make sense to buy a real one this year… Well, not that easy. I see the recommendation to use sulfur dust on them to prevent scab development. I am looking now where I can buy it today, so I can dust my potatoes before they started to sprout…

Yep, the old big box store syndrome: buy one thing, get another altogether.

I hope the sulfur helps. Good luck!

That reminds me: scab does hate lower pH. I wonder if feeding your potatoes with an acidifying fertilizer would help?

I have pretty acidic soil, so that helps. But it is also sandy soil and that doesn’t, as another remedy is to keep your potatoes constantly moist for 6 weeks starting tubers development. Moister help antagonist bacteria to multiply and feed on scabies. I am not sure how realistic to maintain constant moisture in the sandy soil.

No scab in my MPL order but the potatoes were small and about 15% were shriveled or visibly rotting. I will plant the rest but I will likely go back to Fedco in the future. Fedco is a bit more expensive and less availability for the newest varieties, but they’re more consistent.

FWIW I just Googled “Yukon Gold seed potatoes” and first site checked was Grand Teton Organic Seed Potatoes. They have it available now, one pound for $13.18, shipped (might be more to send to Massachusetts).

I am no vegetable grower, so cannot vouch for the quality of this source. Thought you should know. Also, Fedco is still actively advertising seeds. Seed potatoes might still be an option there.

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I’ve seen ‘seed’ potatoes at the grocery and farm stores here…including Kennebec, Yukon Gold and Potomic…100# burlap sack…they put them on a scale and sell any amount (around $ a pound I think).

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They look worse than the potato seeds I bought from Home Depot.
But somehow the Yam I bought didn’t come up yet.

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I had good results with potatoes from Menards. I don’t think I would plant scabby ones.


The first time I ordered from Maine Potato Lady I got several wet potatoes, and potatoes covered in black scurf and gray scurf. I had ordered them for a program on potatoes (as a give away). So instead I ended up using them as an example of what diseases look like, and after much angry arguing back and forth with the Maine Potato Lady herself, was able to get a refund.

I ordered from Grand Teton potatoes the next year. His are more expensive, but he will ship them early which is what I need in Texas. However, I saw that he had diseased potatoes too.
To be honest, there was alot of disease in my seed potatoes this year.

I’ve never seen scab on any of the seed potatoes I have bought, except for some suspicious ones from Tractor Supply. Maybe try for a refund? Or plant them in a container, and treat that soil as contaminated?


Looks like FedCo is putting the rest of their potatoes slightly on sale right now. No Yukon Gold but lots of other gold potatoes. I am partial to “Blue Gold” myself.


Unfortunately, we do not eat blue potatoes :grinning:. My husband always look at them as something that is alive and can jump at any moment. :grin:

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iirc I used to buy my seed potatoes from The Potato Garden

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I am using supermarket potatoes that I treated with gibberellic acid (GA3). I bought a bag of those assorted-color tiny potatoes. I am going to grow the purple potatoes from the bag. The last time I tried to get those potatoes to chit, they went almost a year before they started to rot.
I assume they were treated with hormones to suppress growth. The GA3 seems to have cancelled it out very effectively. I have also read that it can improve crop yield when used on normal seed potatoes.


woodprairie.com near me has a good selection and many disease resistant varieties. they are smack dab in the middle of potato country.

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I purchased Charlotte and Sarpo Mira from Wood Prairie. They were delivered and planted about 3 weeks ago.


Sorry to hear this since I’ve had no problems with Maine Potato Lady. We haven’t bought from them in a couple years, and we haven’t received this year’s order yet — but we didn’t order Yukon Gold.

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Lucky you! Too far to drive. And order - way too expensive order itself and shipping. Look, when you buy tree and pay $100 - unless you kill it, it will be with you for many years. Potato is just one season crop. I can’t even keep for seeds what I grow - no proper storage. If you have to buy them expensive - it just doesn’t make any sense to grow them at all .

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Did you order a lot or just few pounds like me? For some reason I think they reserved bad ones for small orders, because people who ordered small aren’t usually educated on potato diseases and wouldn’t complain. Or they just have a bad crop, but how did they got certified then?