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Seed Potatoes - In small quantities?

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Seed Potatoes - In small quantities?

Post  moldeen85 on 1/31/2013, 3:55 pm

I was wondering why seed potatoes come in such large quantities.

I can't imagine they stay good all that long, but I honestly don't know. If I am going to buy some seed potatoes, cut them down so each potatoe could technically provide 2-3 seeds, then plant 1-4 seeds per square foot... then how many lbs could I possibly need to do one or two square feet? Everywhere I look to buy the seed potatoes, they can in approximately 2-5lb sets. Are these seed potatoes extremely large? Can I save the seed potatoes I don't use - they won't last a year will they? Or should I just eat my left over seed potatoes?

Sorry... I'm trying to figure out this potato thing, its all very new to me. Shocked
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Re: Seed Potatoes - In small quantities?

Post  Goosegirl on 1/31/2013, 4:06 pm

For each seed potato piece that you plant, you ideally want at least 2 eyes (sprouts) on it, and enough potato to feed it while it is starting to root. If you are only planting 1-2 sq ft of potatoes, go for the 2 lb pack. 2 lbs is not a lot of potatoes, but you will probably have a few extra pieces - you could just overplant your squares, or if you have the space, plant another square or 2. They will probably not make it to the next year if you try saving them. Personally, I plant 4 pieces per square and have had pretty good success.

Some of the seed potatoes may be large, some may be quite small. For the small ones you may not be able to divide them into pieces, they may need to be planted whole to have enough potato to feed the growing sprouts.

GG
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Re: Seed Potatoes - In small quantities?

Post  JackieB999 on 1/31/2013, 9:31 pm

Hi Amanda... I'm new to potatoes too Smile GG is right about the eyes and storage, but I wanted to share my experience. I used a 20 gallon bucket and planted store bought russets (mainly because I had some that were starting to sprout). I read that if you have store bought potatoes that sprout, that those are fine to use because they havent been treated with a chemical that prevents sprouting... and they are obviously disease free if they are meant to be eaten from the store.

So... I cut them into 2 inch pieces with 2-3 eyes on them. Leave them cut side up for a day or 2 to let them dry out. They will look pretty pittiful. Then plant them eye side up in about 3-4 inches of Mels Mix. If you use a big bucket, drill some drainage holes first. Then after the sprouts come up nicely, about 2 inches tall, cover them totally with another 2-3 inches of soil. And follow that pattern all the way to the top.

Here's a picture of mine after just 3 weeks. I'm at the top of the bucket already! They grew really fast. I cant wait to eat a home grown potato! Good luck to you. When do you plan to plant them?



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Re: Seed Potatoes - In small quantities?

Post  RoOsTeR on 1/31/2013, 9:43 pm

and they are obviously disease free if they are meant to be eaten from the store.

Actually, you run a higher risk of disease using store bought potatoes. You have less chance of disease using certified seed potatoes.

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Re: Seed Potatoes - In small quantities?

Post  JackieB999 on 1/31/2013, 9:44 pm

Rooster! You always give me bad news LOL

Well, live and learn.... but my store bought potatoes look healthy, dont they?
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Re: Seed Potatoes - In small quantities?

Post  RoOsTeR on 1/31/2013, 9:48 pm

I'm not saying they will be diseased, just that there is higher risk. Many folks have great success using store bought taters. That being said, certified seed taters usually have higher yields and less chance of disease. YMMV Cool


***and I gave you good news here on post 13 Wink
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Re: Seed Potatoes - In small quantities?

Post  gwennifer on 2/1/2013, 1:18 am

moldeen85 wrote:I was wondering why seed potatoes come in such large quantities.

I ended up finding seed potatoes for sale at my local nurseries in bulk bins that I could pick and choose from. I bought just a few good potatoes since that was all I needed. Don't think it even cost me a buck.

So what I learned was if you order on-line you have to place your order early in the year, well before planting time. If your nursery is going to carry them, they won't put them out until planting time. So call your local nursery now and ask them if they'll be selling them. Then you'll know whether or not you need to order them!
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Re: Seed Potatoes - In small quantities?

Post  moldeen85 on 2/1/2013, 8:47 am

Gwen: That's a great idea... I'll have to call a couple places. The only issue with that, is I'd like to start them indoors a little early. Wink So... I'd need patience. Does anyone sell that, cause I'm fresh out.



Jackie: I did see your potato post plus a couple older ones. Smile very helpful. I was able to find where someone referenced a website groworganic.com. I checked them out, and they do sell a single pound at a time. Very Happy

I love the buckets. I'm trying to decide between buckets like those you have and grow bags (also sold pretty cheap at groworganic). I found a piece Mel wrote up on his main site about potatoes, so that gave me a pretty good idea of what I was going to need to do.

I was just wondering, how do you know when to stop covering the potatoes? Is it just when I run out of room in whatever my growing container is? Also - how many seeds did you start in that bucket? It looks like almost two feet rounded. Thank you Jackie, for all the wonderful stories and info.
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Re: Seed Potatoes - In small quantities?

Post  JackieB999 on 2/1/2013, 9:27 am

Patience for sale? Anyone? Anyone? LOL, I'm sure it would cost a fortune!

Yes, just keep covering the sprouts until you reach the top of your container. Leave a few inches for water. I think Rooster said they will grow about 3 foot high after that. When the plant starts to yellow and fall over, it's time to harvest. Or, we can pick some early if we want new potatoes.

I planted 7 pieces that each had a few eyes on them. I hope it's not too many. My bucket is pretty big, so I'm hoping to get 15-20# of potatoes out of it. I got it at Home Depot for $6.99 and thought that was a darn good price.

I've seen those bags too. I think they were called Gardensoxx, and you can buy them by the foot for about $1 a foot. Let me know if that's what you go with and how they do.

Rooster... one out of 5 ain't bad! Very Happy
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Re: Seed Potatoes - In small quantities?

Post  Hoggar on 2/1/2013, 11:07 am

Here is what I will be trying this year. I want to grow Blue potatoes so I'm building a 2' x 2' x 2' box and following these instructions.
How to Grow 100 lbs. of Potatoes in 4 Square Feet

and here are some more instructions on growing taters.
Irish Eyes Garden Seeds - Growing Potatoes
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Re: Seed Potatoes - In small quantities?

Post  donnainzone5 on 2/1/2013, 11:15 am

Moldeen85,

Try www.potatogarden.com. It sells quite a few varieties of potatoes in one-pound lots for $5.00. That's where I plan to get mine this year!
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Re: Seed Potatoes - In small quantities?

Post  llama momma on 2/1/2013, 11:35 am

2-1/2# bag from seedsavers.org is $10 plus shipping
5# bag is $16.25 plus shipping.
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Re: Seed Potatoes - In small quantities?

Post  Lindacol on 2/1/2013, 12:25 pm

Home Depot here in so CA has small packages of a couple of varieties of seed potatoes on the shelf right now.
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Re: Seed Potatoes - In small quantities?

Post  TN_GARDENER on 2/1/2013, 7:54 pm

You might want to see if your grocery store sells organic potatoes.

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Re: Seed Potatoes - In small quantities?

Post  sceleste54 on 2/1/2013, 8:49 pm

I've had my best luck with organic potatoes I've bought from the grocery store. I choose some from a bin that tastes good, buy a few and let them sprout. Actually I save a couple back each time I buy some good potatoes and see which ones sprout. Works for me.. OH... and I never cut them up, small whole ones work best for me...Smile

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Re: Seed Potatoes - In small quantities?

Post  RoOsTeR on 2/1/2013, 9:13 pm

I think Rooster said they will grow about 3 foot high after that.

I don't believe I've ever said that actually.

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Re: Seed Potatoes - In small quantities?

Post  camprn on 2/1/2013, 9:15 pm

RoOsTeR wrote:
I think Rooster said they will grow about 3 foot high after that.

I don't believe I've ever said that actually.
I did. I mentioned it because they will sprawl all over the place.

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Re: Seed Potatoes - In small quantities?

Post  Gunny on 2/1/2013, 9:55 pm

Moldeen85,
Try a Walmart shopping bag for a container, set it in water and it works great. Will be using several and they are only 50 cents apiece.
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