seed potatoes : LUSENET : TimeBomb 2000 (Y2000) Preparation Forum : One Thread

I grew potatoes this year, had mixed results, what i want to know is.. can I use the potatoes from this year to grow plants next year? I don't know if they are hybrid, non-hybrid or whatever, my mother bought them commercially then forgot which comapny they came from. If possible could you guys find a source for seed potatoes that can be grown year after year? also, can sweet potatoes be grown from the potatoes themselves?

-- jeremiah (, October 17, 1999


This site has been recommended on the forum, they carry lots of different varieties and are quite knowledgeable about potatoes: Seed Potato Collection

-- Sammie Davis (, October 17, 1999.

I don't know if ADM or Genentech have come up with a hybrid, sterile non-reproducing potato yet. Unless I'm behind the curve, every potato is potentially a seed potato, and even a seed potato can sometimes do double-duty, becoming not only a "mother" potato, but in some instances a "grandmother" to a third generation. My best guess therefore is that your potatoes would germinate like evbery other potato -- but that does not mean there aren't traits peculair to a comercial variety that would make it less than ideal for a home garden. THEREFORE, keep as many potatoes as you can before starving, and plant them next spring. To keep them of course, the shoudl be kept very cool, in a gloomy but not completely dark place -- like a basement with a window well, and the cool air allowed to circulate around them. Get good burlap bags or hemp bags from your local cofee- roasting company. I get mine for free. Poatatoes are one thing that have not been sufficiently discussed in the prep forums if you ask me. These keep execeptionally well through the winter, can provide FRESH food value, unprocessed vitamins and minerals, and are delicious. Every good GI shoudl have 50-100 lbs of potatoes -- dirt cheap right now -- a poatato grater, and a griddle for their propane, wood or cookstove. Noting like freshgrated hashbrowns for breakfast. We had some this morning. You'll feel rich .....

-- Roch Steinbach (rochsteinbach@, October 17, 1999.

I'll through my hat in on this one.

Sweet Potatoes can be regrown from the whole potatoe. But not in the same way as a regular potatoe.

In early spring, say... March 15th, take two sweet potatoes and set them upright in a small bucket/pitcher, fill part way with water (cover 1/2 of potatoe), with in 2 weeks you will see sprout/shoots comming off the sweet potatoe. Do Not disturb. Let them grow until they have a nice root system. Around mid April pich off the start (roots and all) and place them in a mixture of 80% water/20% potting soil, let them root. May 1st you can put them in a cold frame or in the garden with a little protection (if up north).

Whoala.... you have a new plant.

-- bulldog (, October 17, 1999.

I had mixed results with potatoes this year also. We have generally planted whatever was left from the year before with reasonably good success.

One of the best ways I have found to get good potatoes, is to add a tablespoon of potash to each hill of seed, cover the potash with about an inch of soil, and then add the seed. After the plants are up, you could side dress them with a little more potash later, but don't get carried away since too much could burn the plants.

I have been told by more experienced gardeners than myself, that planting your own potatoes year after year will cause them to become sort of customized to your soil. My experience seems to support that idea. I'd say to ahead and plant your own potatoes.

You can also plant them shallow and mulch them with straw or other mulch, just be sure that the tubers are not exposed to the sunlight.


-- gene (, October 17, 1999.

Can I add a .02 tip? For anyone that may not be sure, there is a difference between "seed" potatoes and the bags of potatoes that are regularly sold in stores. The ones which are for sale now in stores, generally, if planted will top out, but not seed out. They may look nice in rows, but they rarely give any potatoes (Hubby had to find out the hard way. :-( ) Hope this keeps someone from doing a lot of hard work that has no reward.

-- me (, October 17, 1999.

One important thing to do when harvesting your potatoes, is to keep some potatoes for seed seperate from the "eating" potatoes. We always select our seed potatoes from the best and healthiest plants that we grew. Think of the seed potatoes as seeds that will reproduce the plant that they are from, so keep good potatoes from the best plants. And then we sort them and keep them in seperate bags in the root cellar so that we know we have saved the best possible seed.

-- Jim (, October 18, 1999.

I'm not an expert on growing potatoes, but we have been successful many times, and we've never used anything but the potatoes that we buy to eat, which are always organic, thus have not been genetically modified.

I read one time that potatoes have many enemies...blight, fungus, different bugs, etc., and that you usually get more reliable results from starting with "seed" potatoes purchased from a garden store, because these have sometimes been treated with herbicides or fungicides.

We've had the best luck with organic Yellow Finn potatoes.

-- Margo (, October 18, 1999.

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