Thanks a lot for detailed response! I am leaning toward two harvests system. I plant my seed potatoes in pots, to make sure they are disease free and not affected by nematodes and only plant early potatoes. This most likely contributes to the poor storage as well. The idea is to plant them as early as March and keep at home or garage, while they coming up. They almost do not need lights first month or so, while there is still space in the pot to hill them. In April they can be moved outside and taken back for the night or really cold days. They should be ready to harvest somewhere in June. I can give them a month of cold storage and then plant in pots again(may be even inside to avoid mid summer heat while they coming up). This way they should be ready around end of October, so I can store them till spring. But this is theory - last summer they came up second time on its own - both in ground and what I missed in the pots(really tiny ones). But I am not sure if this going to be this way every year. Will see .
I have had exactly this happen if I leave potatoes too long in the ground
How about it you buy organic potatoes to use for seed potatoes a month or so before planting them. I don’t believe they treat them to stop them from sprouting. I have used them in the past and they worked fine.
Whole foods is supposed to have cheaper food these days so it has to be cheaper than seed potatoes.
I tried this once - bought organic potatoes from WF, but I think they must have been treated, as they never sprouted at all.
I actually tend to save potatoes that have gone too far in storage during winter to use in spring. Some sprout, some don’t. I only assume the difference is about being sprayed.
I use to plant a particular kind, they do not sell them in stores. A least I never saw them. I have very limited space. I found if I plant Red Pontiac I can get enough potatoes for whole summer and fall. So far I didn’t face any other potatoes that is same productive as Red Pontiac. If you careful enough you can get two crops from same bush, as soon as you provide fluffy materials for new shoots to grow… It is really monster potato)
So I happened upon some seed potatoes and I think I’ll be more intentional about it next year.
Apparently when the G-kids and I harvested the potatoes, we left some behind ‘accidentally’. I noticed them sprouting in late summer and just let them go. They were not vigorous plants, actually kinda puny, and I’m assuming they were from the very small potatoes that we missed - maybe quarter-sized.
Meanwhile, I’m trying to find sellers who will ship seed potatoes to me before April as our planting time is around St Patrick’s Day, and they need to be somewhat sprouted before I put them in or they are more likely to rot here. My normal supplier of Bintje on Amazon who will ship whenever I want was nowhere to be found.
So while winter cleaning the beds I dug the frosted down puny plants and found these! Seed potatoes.
So next year, after harvesting, I’ll intentionally leave some (of various sizes) in the soil to produce fresh seed ready to harvest in January.
If anyone follows Paul Gautche (the wood chip guy) he plants back potatoes as he harvests - in the same spot - no chitting, or anything. I’m surprised mine didn’t rot, and am ecstatic to not have to wait til April.
They look good
Thanks Lois. In retrospect, I’m thinking I should have tried leaving some in the ground.
Nice seed crop, Anne! No matter how diligent i think i am in harvesting i always seem to have plentiful volunteers nexy year. I’ve fall planted my potatoes with good success - except one year the voles/mice really loved it, too, so back to spring planting. I had an old (maybe 40’s) MSU ag bulletin that reported several trials with fall planting showed good results and higher yields. But one doesn’t see that recommended very often. Sue
I’m trying to reduce this rodent problem - not good at it yet - but I found planting in large pots where the drainage holes are covered with 1/4" hardware cloth works great. That may be a fall option for growing your own seed.